I first tasted five-spice powder when my husband used it to make Chinese vegan sausages. Depending on what brand you buy, there will be a slightly different blend of spices. The one I use from Penzeys Spices consists of cinnamon, star anise, anise seed, ginger and cloves. Some varieties have fennel, some have pepper corns, but no matter, five-spice powder is quite distinctive, and made a very tasty coating for the "Five-Spiced Walnuts" (page 7). The recipe calls for glazing the walnut halves in a mixture of oil, margarine, and soy sauce before adding the five-spice powder, but I used soy sauce only, and that gave the walnuts just enough of a moist coating to allow the spices to stick to them. Once the walnuts are prepared, they are baked in a moderate oven (I lined my cookie sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking). I had to bake these about 30 minutes as opposed to the 15 minutes called for in the recipe, and although the recommendation is eat them within 2-3 days, mine kept well for two weeks. I found many delicious ways to use these flavorful treats including adding to green salads, topping stir-fries, and just snacking on them.
Keeping it "McDougall Friendly" checklist:
- Omit the oil and the margarine (and save yourself 31 grams of fat!); the soy sauce will provide enough moisture to allow the spices to stick.
- Line your baking sheet with parchment paper to prevent sticking, or use a nonstick baking surface such as a Silpat baking mat.