Chinese Five-Spice Soup

By Monday, October 18, 2010

This post was updated in February 2015 with new photography!

So I am more than a little behind with the blogging, but to be honest, I’ve been on a bit of a cooking drought. My Other Half has been traveling for the past 6 weeks, pretty much non stop. On top of that, I’ve been all the way from Vancouver to Halifax in the past month. It’s hard to get into a cooking schedule – or to even have a regularly stocked fridge – when your life is that irregular. What, might you ask, does My Other Half have to do with my lack of cooking? Well, recipes aren’t normally designed for one person, and since I absolutely despise leftovers (I’m strange, I know), I’m hesitant to cook extravagant things without someone to share it with. Also, a lot of the new recipes I plan on trying are things My Other Half would really enjoy… therefore I don’t want to make them while he’s away.

Chinese Five-Spice Soup |

So… those are my excuses for not blogging of late. Take it or leave it.

I have been cooking a bit though. I got a fantastic new Asian cook book from my friends at the NAC Marketing Department, and the first thing I decided to try was Chinese five-spice soup. It’s basically just Pho, to be honest. It wasn’t really that easy, because it was done in very separate steps, and without hoisin sauce and Asian hot sauce, it was sort of bland.

Chinese Five-Spice Soup |

The key ingredient is the Chinese five-spice powder, which you can get at the bulk barn. Fresh basil is also preferable, as well as three juicy limes.

Chinese Five-Spice Soup


  • 6 C chicken broth
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tbsps grated ginger
  • 1 tsp 5-spice powder
  • 3 limes
  • .25 C fish sauce
  • 2 tsps sugar
  • 1 C fresh basil
  • 1 jalepeno chile
  • 2 cups shredded and cooked chicken
  • 185g rice noodles
  • 2 green onions, sliced


  1. Combine broth, shallots, ginger, powder, and bring to boil. Simmer 10 minutes. Juice limes with fish sauce and sugar and dissolve. Cut limes and serve on plate with chile and basil. Pour lime mixture into soup. Add chicken and heat through. Add noodles and heat. Garnish with green onions. Add sides as desired.

Like I said… it was okay. Not something I’d make again. I like hot & sour soup much more.


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