Chinese Five-Spice Noodles

Chinese five-spice powder — a spice mixture used in, you guessed it, Chinese cooking — is a welcome addition to any stir-fry dish. However, not everything called "Chinese five-spice powder" is identical. One of the most common versions consists of cinnamon, star anise, fennel, cloves and Szechuan peppercorns. However, you also may find Chinese five-spice powders made with cinnamon, star anise, anise, ginger and cloves. Both of these will add very distinctive flavors to your dishes; it all comes down to a matter of preference.

Chinese five-spice also can be used for any number of recipes, and it makes a good dry rub for chicken or pork. To use as a dry rub, mix it with a little Kosher salt before rubbing it on the meat.

In the recipe below, the spices bring out the sweetness of the vegetables. The dish can be served warm or at room temperature, and it makes a good side dish for sautéed or stir-fried chicken or pork. 

Chinese Five-Spice Noodles

Recipe by Marcy Gaston


  • 1 package soba noodles
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic paste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Chinese five-spice powder
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 3 carrots, shredded or julienned
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 cups shredded savoy cabbage
  • ¾ cup vegetable stock
  • ½ cup chopped scallions


  1. Cook the noodles according to package directions. Toss the cooked and drained noodles in 1 to 2 tablespoons canola oil to prevent from sticking together. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, sesame oil, chili paste and Chinese five-spice powder. Set aside.
  3. Place a large wok or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons canola oil, garlic and ginger. Sauté for 1 minute.
  4. Add the soy sauce mixture, carrots, broccoli, cabbage and vegetable stock. Cook for 5 minutes or until the carrots and broccoli begin to soften.
  5. Add the scallions and cooked noodles; toss well to coat with sauce. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 6.
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Marcy Gaston
Marcy Gaston, MS, RD, LN, is Assistant Teaching Professor of Hospitality Management at Montana State University in Bozeman. She blogs at Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.