This powder is used in alot of Oriental as well as English cooking. This is another hard to find spice mixture!
To save money, here is the do it yourself version!
Five-spice powder adds a spicy kick to dry rubs or marinades for meat, fish, poultry or pork. Occasionally you will also see five-spice powder added to a sauce. Also, five-spice powder goes very well with tofu
Combine all ingredients into a blender, coffee grinder or spice grinder and blend until finely ground.
Store in an airtight container. This spice should remain fresh for about 6 months.
CHEF NOTE: Roasting the whole spices (before you grind them down) in a dry frying pan until they are aromatic (only a minute or two) will bring out a much more intense and broader taste to the spice mix.
ADDITIONAL NOTE: Be sure NOT to burn the spice while roasting
Information on Szechuan Peppercorn: Sichuan pepper has a unique aroma and flavour that is not hot or pungent like black, white or chili peppers. Instead, it has slight lemony overtones and creates a tingly numbness in the mouth that sets the stage for hot spices. According to Harold McGee in On Food and Cooking, second edition, p429 they are not simply pungent; "they produce a strange, tingling, buzzing, numbing sensation that is something like the effect of carbonated drinks or of a mild electrical current (touching the terminals of a nine-volt battery to the tongue). Recipes often suggest lightly toasting the tiny seedpods, then crushing them before adding them to food. Only the husks are used; the shiny black seeds are discarded or ignored as they have a very gritty sand-like texture. It is generally added at the last moment. Star anise and ginger are often used with it prominently in spicy Sichuan cuisine. It has an alkaline pH and a numbing effect on the lips when eaten in larger doses. It is also a common flavouring in Sichuan baked goods such as sweetened cakes and biscuits.