Five-Spice Stir-Fry with Quick Fried Rice


The exotic flavors of Chinese five-spice powder delicately glaze the vegetables in this dish. A coffee-colored mixture of star anise, cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, and Szechwan peppercorns, this spice creates an exotic and pungent flavor. Quick fried rice flavored with scallions, peas, and bean sprouts makes a perfect side dish for this meal.

Serves 4.

This meal contains 596 calories per serving, with 27 percent of calories from fat.


1) Boil rice and coat with oil
2) Prepare vegetables.
3) Make stir fry
4) Finish rice


Five-Spice Stir-Fry

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable broth, divided
3 tablespoons Oriental rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
5 medium cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons low-salt soy sauce
2 ounces slivered almonds (about 1/3 cup)

1 teaspoon canola oil
1/2 medium yellow onion, sliced (1 cup)
1 medium red bell pepper, sliced (1 cup)
2 medium stalks celery, sliced (1 cup)
2 medium carrots, sliced (1 cup)
One 15-ounce can straw mushrooms, drained (1 cup)
One 15-ounce can whole baby corn, drained and cut in half (2 cups)
1 teaspoon cornstarch

To make the sauce, mix 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth, the vinegar, Chinese five-spice powder, garlic, and soy sauce together. Heat wok or large nonstick frying pan on high heat. Add almonds and toss until golden, about 30 seconds. Remove to a plate and set aside. Add oil and heat on high until smoking. Add onion, red bell pepper, celery, and carrots and stir-fry 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and corn and stir-fry 2 minutes. Remove to a bowl. Add sauce to wok and boil 3 minutes. In a bowl, whisk cornstarch with remaining 1 tablespoon broth and add to wok. Boil about 30 seconds to thicken sauce. Remove from heat and return vegetables to wok. Toss with sauce to coat vegetables. Serve over rice.


Quick Fried Rice

1-1/2 cups uncooked long-grain white rice
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1/4 medium yellow onion, sliced (1/2 cup)
4 scallions, sliced (2/3 cup)
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1 cup frozen petite peas
1 tablespoon low-salt soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 large egg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Fill a large saucepan three-quarters full with water and bring to a boil. Add rice and boil 10 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain in a colander and stir in 1 tablespoon of the canola oil. While rice is cooking, arrange vegetables in order of use on one or more cutting boards. In a bowl, whisk the soy sauce and sugar together and set aside. Heat a wok or large nonstick frying pan on high heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. When oil is smoking, add onion and stir-fry 1 minute. Add scallions and continue to fry another 30 seconds. Add bean sprouts and rice and stir-fry 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, push the ingredients aside, making a depression in the center. Crack the egg into the hole, beating with a fork just to mix the yolk and white, then mix egg into the other ingredients. Make a depression in the center again and add sweetened soy sauce and peas. Toss all of the ingredients together and stir-fry another 3 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper, if desired.



  • Chinese five-spice powder can be found in the spice section of the supermarket.
  • Slice all vegetables in a food processor fitted with a thin slicing blade.
  • Onion is used in both recipes. Slice all at once and use as needed.
  • Two woks are needed for the two recipes. If you don t have two woks you can use a wok for one dish and a nonstick frying pan for the other, or use two frying pans.
  • Make sure your woks or frying pans are very hot before you start to stir-fry.


  • 1/4 pound fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • 1 small bunch scallions
  • One 15-ounce can whole baby corn
  • One 15-ounce can straw mushrooms
  • One 2-ounce package slivered almonds
  • 1 small jar Chinese five-spice powder
  • One 9-ounce package frozen petite peas (4-1/2 ounces needed)


  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Yellow onion
  • Low-salt soy sauce
  • Large egg
  • Vegetable broth (one 14-1/2 ounce can)
  • Cornstarch
  • Long-grain white rice
  • Canola oil
  • Oriental rice wine vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Black peppercorns

Vegetarian Dinner in Minutes
by Linda Gassenheimer
Chronicle Books, 1998
$16.95 paperback, 144 pages
Recipe reprinted by permission.

About Vegetarian Dinner in Minutes


Visit China page.


This page originally published as part of the electronic Gourmet Guide between 1994 and 1998.

Modified March 2007

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