The most common blend is equal parts ground cinnamon, star anise, fennel, cloves, and pepper. Some versions also use ground ginger and other spices. In fact, as you'll see (and hear…warning: gratuitous sound effects ahead) in the video clip when I looked at my 5-spice bottle's ingredient list I got 7 spices! It had the usual five, but I also got ginger and licorice. I actually could have called it 8-spice, but I only counted the two peppers as one ingredient in the clip. Seven is my lucky number, so that's what I went with.
To me, roasted carrots are so far superior in flavor and texture to the usual boiled or steamed versions. The dry roasting intensifies the sugars and when combined with the Chinese 5, 7, or 8 spice mix, the results are quite delicious. This is the perfect holiday veggie side dish. If you watched the Cider-braised brisket video recipe, you saw these luscious carrots surrounding the bowl. Enjoy!
6-8 large carrots
2 tbl vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice
salt to taste