Monday, October 1, 2007

Exotically Delicious 5-Spice Carrots - And, Gratuitous Gong Sound Effects!

I've had a lot of requests lately for easy, but different, vegetable side dishes. So, today's video recipe is an extremely easy, yet unusual, carrot side dish using one of my favorite "secret" ingredients; Chinese 5-spice. This spice mix was invented literally thousands of years ago, and is suppose to season food in perfect balance with the five elementary flavors of Chinese cuisine (and all cuisines for that matter); sweet, sour, bitter, salty and savory.

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!





Ingredients:
6-8 large carrots
2 tbl vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5-spice
salt to taste

20 comments:

Kenneth said...

Can I put cheese on those? hehe just kidding!

P'nut butt said...

Mmmmm, cheesewhiz! How about some peanut sauce? Peanut buttered cheesewhiz carrots! Maybe Jimmy Kimmel will let me cook with him?

Seriously, this "sounds" exotic! Thanks for the simple gong-style secret cooking method for carrots. Yum!

Anonymous said...

Sounds delicious. Cant wait to try this. Thanks much. AP

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef John, thanks for the tastee recipe! If you got 7 spices with a chinese 5 spice--does that mean we get more than all the world known spices with allspice? =)
Wanted to ask--you show how to cut the carrots, but I am guessing many of us are not culinary trained.. Can you think about a "kitchen tips" video on stuff like how to best cut onions for various cooking, how to slice or do greenbeans or tomatos or which olive oil to use for salad vs which to use for sautee with, or salt use in cooking--(your scrambled egg vid and your rice & potato vids really opened my eyes to just how wrong I had done it all these years!!). All those little tricks and tips we usually find out about after we mess up but you guys who are trained know about all too well. My mom used to make me taste any jar spice or ingredient I would add so I knew its flavor and what it did--a great lesson that helped me a lot--but it was not enough as I still cut my hands when I use a knife or peeler while cooking sometimes cause I never learned how exactly to hold things while I cut them or how to cut things up best.

Just a thoughtful suggestion that maybe could help some of us still struggling who love your vids. thx again for all your wonderful recipies! =)

Aristolochia said...

HAHAHA~ i lurve the sound effect!!!

Chef John said...

Thanks all. And regarding videos covering the basics... This is what my online course (for real money) will hopefully cover. You can read more on the school link.

As I have written about in previous posts, I've had to do video production for About.com and other sites to keep this site up and running financially. As soon as I get a few more dollars in the bank I can afford to devote a few weeks to completing the online content and selling it on the blog, either by subscription, or on a DVD.
Thanks!!

p'nut butt said...

Sooooo glad to hear that the cooking class, although put on the back burner, is still on the stove! Boy, is that going to help me, and anyone who wants to be a better home cook, not to mention those who want to become professionally trained, without going into deep debt.

Anonymous said...

Hiya CJ,

Thanks for doing something with - what I found after living 6 months in Taiwan, their 'national' spice.

They seem to use 5-spice with everything. I'm guessing like it's the oriental equivalent to ketchup and from memory, even the McD... food and pizzas there had 5-spice added.

Anyway, I'll try your carrot recipe (looks great BTW).

Thanks again, Phil.

Paula from Only Cookware said...

I am definitely going to try this. I am always looking for different ways to cook veggies.

Anonymous said...

Dee-lishus! It took me almost 2 months to get around to trying thts one, and I love it.

Anonymous said...

Gosh, these sound wonderful, and I suspect would turn out to be a family favorite. But ... not being all that experienced in the kitchen, I don't know what temperature the oven should be. Did I miss that info somehow? I watched the video twice. Or is this just the kind of thing most people would know (but I don't)? Could someone help me out with this, please?

Chef John said...

yes, it's at 28 seconds of the video... "preheat to 375 F.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU! I didn't catch that despite my best effort. I'm going to make these tomorrow. Salivating already. A lot of your recipes are having that effect. ;-))

Chef John said...

enjoy!

Bill W, NH said...

I've made this dish so many times now I can't count them. Everyone I've made them for loves the dish, even supposed carrot haters. It's great for holidays and so so easy to make.

Bill said...

Great recipe, simple and delicious. It's hard to find vegetable recipes not doctored up with cheese and cream and cracker crumbs. I think subconsiously we're trying to them into meat and bread.
I bought the Chinese 5, er 7 spice specifically for this recipe!

Thanks!

Shane Milne said...

Made this tonight for Valentine's Day, they tasted excellent and the aroma filling my home made me want to eat my furniture.

Some ended up not thoroughly cooking through, and some got a little mushy, so next time I may go for the pre-cut baby carrots and only cook them for 20 minutes or so.

Thanks for the simple yet delicious recipe!

Divya said...

Hi Chef,

My name is Divya, I am from India. I love this recipe of yours but my only trouble is that here i cant find the particular Chinese seven spices as shown in your video. What else can i use instead of that thing to make it taste almost the same?

Chef John said...

If you google "how to make chinese 5 spice?" you will get lots of recipes to make you own.

Susan Chin said...

Hi Chef John,

This recipe seems very simple and easy to make. I'm gonna cook this recipe tomorrow for dinner along with beef sausage. Thanks for posting this recipe.