Friday, March 23, 2007

My New Toy: Chinese 5-Spice Grinder

Something about me: I love design. I'm very visual so I get sucked in with anything pretty. So when I saw a Williams-Sonoma ad for this new 5-spice grinder, I fell in love with the frosted glass and the idea of freshly ground 5-spice. Chinese 5-spice is like this mysterious spice that many people associate with hot Chinese food. I don't use it that often, but I liked the idea of freshly ground spice. (Yeah, I said that already.)

This product is from a South African company called So!Go! (Short for So Gourmet) It combines five spices that includes the signature tastes of star anise and cloves. After I bought it, I was inspired to make this very simple, clean grilled chicken dish. I've seen a lot of people make Chinese 5-spice chicken with soy sauce and other ingredients that cover up the 5-spice flavoring. This recipe showcases the spice (which can be a bit peppery) and I've dressed it up with a side of sauteed fennel.

So what do I think of my new toy? The top that you turn to grind feels a bit weak, made of plastic. And I'm wondering what I do when I run out of the spices inside since I didn't see any replacement bags when I bought it at Williams-Sonoma. And you know what? My hand did get tired of grinding after awhile. Sigh. But it's sooo pretty. :)

So!Gourmet! Chinese 5-Spice grinder. $12 at Williams-Sonoma stores.


Anonymous said...

chowhounds mentioned the szechuan peppers here:

thanks for the tip on the grinder..I might get one too.

Chef Ben said...

Thanks for the link! I just got a bunch of Szechuan peppercorns from Whole Foods. I still have yet to use them, but will soon. (Although not in this grinder since it's still filled with 5-spice. :)