(Courtesy of Pereg Foods) The people who brought you fiery Harissa from Tunisia, exotic Moroccan Ras El Hanout and the sassy flavors of Cajun country are at it again. All aboard the Pereg Spice Blend Express—next stops China, Latin America and beyond!
Pereg’s ever-growing selection of international ingredients now includes 5-Spice Seasoning, an aromatic anchor of Chinese cuisine, and Adobo Blend, a zippy mainstay in kitchens from Spain and Peru to Mexico and the Philippines.
Nobody knows exactly how 5-Spice powder came to be, although most sources point to China as its place of origin. Regardless of its lineage, everyone agrees that this happy marriage of sweet, salty, pungent, sour and bitter has the power to elevate dishes of all kinds. Pereg’s Chinese 5-Spice mix—with its balanced blend of cinnamon, anise, fennel, black pepper and cloves—delivers an intriguing, pan-Asian complexity to braises, soups, stir-fries and sauces. It pairs beautifully with lamb, chicken and duck. You can even use it in cocktails!
Try this Chinese Almond Chicken recipe from “The Set Table,” a cookbook from the women of the Albert Einstein School of Medicine.
Chinese Almond Chicken
- 1 1/4 lbs. chicken breasts, cubed
- 1 cup oil
- 3 scallions, chopped
- 1/2 cup blanched almonds
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 egg white
- 1/4 tsp Pereg Chinese 5 spice
- 1 Tbsp white vinegar
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp cornstarch
Combine marinade ingredients in medium bowl. Add diced chicken and let stand for 30 minutes. Heat oil in a wok and add chicken. Stir until lightly browned. Add scallions and pepper. Stir-fry 1-2 minutes until vegetables are crisp-tender. Combine ingredients for seasoning in a bowl. Pour seasoning over chicken and continue to stir-fry until chicken is coated with sauce. Add almonds. Serves 6.
Adobo, which originated in Spain and Portugal, wears many hats. Latin adobo usually refers to a sauce or marinade typically made from paprika and stewed chipotle chilies. However, some Latin and Caribbean countries think of adobo as a seasoning mix, either wet or dry, to rub on meat before cooking. And in the Philippines, where adobo is the national dish, it’s a style of cooking in which meat, fish or vegetables are marinated in vinegar, salt and spices, browned in oil, and then simmered in the marinade.
Adobo seasoning is endlessly versatile. It adds a rich dimension to chicken, turkey, burgers and your favorite chili. Use it as a dry rub for steaks and whole fish. Mix it with quinoa, add it to fish tacos, spice up your guacamole, or sprinkle it on popcorn.
This recipe isn’t just delicious and impressive—it’s also a cinch to make on the stove top or in a slow cooker, pressure cooker or instant pot.