If you’re a fan of Yamashiro’s Baby Back Ribs, you've probably seen the phrase “Asian five-spice” on our menu, and possibly wondered what exactly is this mixture of spices that gives our corn bread its unique flavor? Well, let us tell you a little bit about this exotic powder.
The exact origins of five-spice is unknown, but many believe it originated in China as an attempt by the Chinese to create a “wonder powder.” Some believe that five-spice is meant to represent the five elements of life: earth, fire, water, air, and metal. What five-spice does do is encompass all of the five flavors - sour, sweet, bitter, pungent, and salty. To accomplish this, five-spice traditionally includes fennel, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, and Szechuan peppercorns as ingredients. When you combine all five of these strong flavors you end up with a blend that stimulates the taste buds and can add a bold punch to any dish.
Five-spice is typically used with fatty meats such as pork and duck, but our Chef Brock has never been one to play by the rules and has chosen to use it with corn bread to complement our Asian BBQ Baby Back Ribs. The end result? A convention-defying dish and innovative use of ingredients that has come to define Yamashiro and our Asian-inspired menu.