There are various recipes for Chinese Five Spice powder, but the most common blends include ground cinnamon, star anise, fennel seed, cloves and a touch of Szechuan peppercorns. Some blends include ground ginger, white pepper, and ground nutmeg.
A good Chinese Five Spice powder is highly aromatic with a noticeable licorice flavor. It should not be spicy.
Chinese Five Spice powder pairs especially well with pork. It is perfect as a dry rub for barbeque and used famously in Chinese BBQ Pork (Char Siu). It can also be used to flavor sauces.
If you live in Malaysia, here is a link to my favorite brand of Chinese Mixed Spice powder (Pok Oy Thong brand). It has a lot more than 5 spices but it’s truly magical.