Chinese Five Spice Shrimp & Chicken

Ground Cloves in Pestle and MortarAs you may have guessed, Chinese Five Spice is not one spice, but exactly as it sounds – a mixture of five spices.  According to most any food authority you might consult, you will learn that it is comprised of five tastes:  sweet, sour, salty, bitter and pungent.  One tried and true reference I tend to rely on was a gift from my mother-in-law Olga,  my 1975 edition of the Joy of Cooking, which says the Chinese Five Spice is made of equal parts ground Chinese star anise, fennel, pepper, cloves and cinnamon.  

The other evening we wanted something quick and simple but without sacrificing taste.  I tooled around in the kitchen for a bit and remembered that I bought a bit of five spice a while back and decided we would try that with some cooked-up sirloin bits, shrimp, veggies and maybe a hint of cream.  We turned the Elton John on and putzed away at the stove, throwing this and that into the pan, which just happens to be my very favorite way of cooking.  After all, if it tastes like or resembles caca, you can just order pizza.  The end-result was a delicious, warm and creamy meal, high in protein.  The star anise played the lead role in this dish while the other spices complimented it nicely.  

Chinese Five Spice Shrimp & Chicken

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oilChinese five spice beef & shrimp
  • 1 pound sirloin, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 sweet onion, small dice
  • 1 cup celery, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar (we use Marukan)
  • 1/4 cup beef broth
  • 2 & 1/2 teaspoons Chinese five spice
  • 3/4 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup light cream

How to Make It!

In a medium frying pan, melt butter over medium heat and brown the sirloin bits.  Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and cook the onions, celery and garlic until translucent.  Add the rice vinegar and allow to cook for another minute, then add the beef broth. 

Remove the sirloin bits from the saute pan and add them to the large frying pan.  Add the shrimp and allow to cook 2-3 minutes, until the shrimp is close to done.  Stir in the five spice and light cream and bring to a bubble.  Turn heat down to medium-low and allow to cook another 2-3 minutes.  Serve hot over rice.  Serves 4


About tossingtheswissaround

I have been obsessed with food since I can remember. I grew up watching the Frugal Gourmet and Julia Childs in black and white repeats on TV. I made an elementary version of veal parmesan when I was all of 8 years old and even concocted a homemade version of vomit to drizzle along the hallway and oh-so-carefully in the bathroom so I could get of school whenever I wanted. Dad never caught on but I eventually came clean about that vomit recipe. About two years ago. My skills have greatly improved and my obsession has only deepened as the years go by. In the mornings, I ask my co-workers what’s for lunch, what they ate last night and what is on the menu tonight. I groan when I eat almost anything I like because I can barely contain my excitement. Because, well, because it’s food! I was technically trained and once worked as a formal chef but physically that takes its toll so I joined the much less strenuous, albeit entertaining, world of HR. Food is still at the forefront of my mind as I continue to cook and love all things food. Enjoy!
This entry was posted in beef, Chinese five spice, food, herbs & spices, Home, recipes, sauces, shrimp, vinegar and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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