Five Spice Powder Recipes

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Vegetarian Char Siu Recipe (Tofu Xa Xiu) Recipe

If you've been to an Asian market, you've probably noticed the long pieces of Chinese-style barbecue meat glistening with red sauce on hangers. The red sauce is char siu sauce (in Vietnamese, it's called xá xíu). Since my husband Lulu is a vegetarian, I made a tofu version and coated the fried tofu with the sweet sauce. It's made with honey (but I used date syrup for a darker color), hoisin sauce, reduced soy sauce, dry sherry (optional), fresh ginger, five spice powder and sesame oil. I added a little red food coloring to reach the typical char siu color but really, it's up to you. To finish the dish I sautéed the tofu with shiitake mushrooms and red and green onions.

I didn't miss eating meat at all, but of course, you could use the sauce on a pork tenderloin and generously baste the meat with the eye-catching sauce, if you prefer.


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 Vietnamese Grilled Beef Rolls (Bo Cuong Hanh Huong Recipe) Recipe

Bò nướng hành hương is a wonderful South-Vietnamese specialty. It's a dish of beef wrapped around sliced yellow and green onions, then grilled to medium doneness. The beef is infused with the aromatic scent of green onions and five-spice powder rub with honey. The blend of all the flavors gives the meat a sweet, sour, bitter, pungent and salty taste.

The dish is traditionally served with vermicelli rice noodles (bún) and aromatic Vietnamese herbs, but I served mine with nước chấm, ginger guava sauce and crushed peanuts. The main component of ginger guava sauce is guava jam. It can be difficult to find, but it's available in some Indian stores. Make the effort to find it because the flavor is amazing, and it contrasts with the beef very well.

I make this dish quite often for parties because it's easy to eat in one or two bites and doesn't interrupt conversations. Try it as an appetizer at your next dinner party. Your guests will love you!

Note: Glossary of relevant Vietnamese cooking terms.

= beef

Bún = vermicelli rice noodles

Cuốn = rolled

Hành = onions

Hành hương = aromatic onions

Nướng = beef

Thịt = meat

 


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Homemade Peking Crispy Roast Duck Recipe

Peking roast duck sounds complicated to make, but it is not. It just takes time to prep. I usually start preparing the duck early in the morning, then finally roast the duck for dinner. It's always a success. The key to a good Chinese roast duck is to get a crispy skin while keeping the meat moist and sweet. The duck is first brined, them boiled and finally roasted and basted with a dark sweet and salty mixture.

Peking Duck Recipe


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Soy Sauce Roasted Cornish Game Hen (Ga Mai Ro Ti) Recipe

Soy sauce roasted hen is a Vietnamese version of my French-Style citrus roasted chicken. It's almost the same procedure with a substitution of soy sauce and other Asian spices. I used a hen for the tenderness of the meat. It's always a winner amongst the carnivores in my house.  

My favorite part of the soy sauce roasted hen is the dark sweet crispy skin. The only downside to this dish is that you have to be prepared and marinate the hens for at least 2 days for a guaranteed moist, flavorful bird.


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