There was much fanfare and celebration the other day as I finished a jar of Chinese 5-spice powder before the best-before date.
I’d never had that wonderful experience before, instead usually finding it stuck in the back of the pantry along with the Tobasco, curry powder and whole cloves. Usually it’s the section of the kitchen that just gets tipped straight into a garbage bag before I move house. You know, the whole back row of ingredients with the use by date of 2006.
So, ‘smug’ is probably the word I could use to describe my sense of joy as I scraped the dregs of it out from the bottom of the wee glass container. “I am a proper, hardcore COOK.” I thought to myself. Actually I probably said it out loud. I save all my most stunning and witty comments for myself, when I’m alone during the day.
What about you? What’s your ingredient that sits frustratingly forgotten? Do you even own a jar of 5-spice? If I was a proper foodie I’d be whipping up my own batch of it, but I’m a mum and as you all know we’ve got about 8,000 more important things to do rather than concoct our own mix of star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper and fennel.
Luckily for me, my kids have always devoured all Chinese flavours, loving the salty hook and if your cupboard is bare of this spice mix then I recommend you buy some and try out one of these 5-spice dependent recipes.