I realized that five spice powder may not be a common pantry ingredient. I didn't have it on hand either. But instead of rushing to the stores, you might want to try making your own. It's not that difficult and its much fresher too!
I got this recipe from No Recipes, a wonderful blog which is a personal favourite of mine. One of the reasons why is because of the blog name itself. It's so ironical when it contains a slew of recipes that leave you salivating at your keyboard. But try not to do that. It's hard to wipe the drool off.
Chinese Five Spice Powder
adapted from No Recipes
3 pieces whole star anise
3" long piece of cinnamon stick or 1 tablespoon of ground cinnamon
1 Tbs Sichuan pepper
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp white peppercorns
Toast all the spices either in a hot pan or in a toaster oven being careful not to burn them. You’ll know they’re done when they start giving off a wonderful aroma.
Put the toasted spices in a spice grinder, a blender, or a food processor and blitz until it’s ground into a fine powder. I did mine in a pestle and mortar. Don't grind while the spices are still warm!
Pass it through a fine mesh sieve to remove any big pieces and store in an airtight container until you’re ready to use it.