Five-spice powder is a mixture of five spices, encompassing all five flavors of sweet, sour, bitter, pungent, and salty. It is popular in Chinese cuisine, but also used in other Asian cookery. There are many variants. The most common is star anise (bajiao), cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan pepper (huajiao) and ground fennel seeds. Instead of true cinnamon, "Chinese cinnamon" (also known as rougui, the ground bark of the cassia tree, a close relative of true cinnamon which is often sold as cinnamon), may be used.
Personally, I love cassia a lot, sometimes even prefer it rather than cinnamon. The spices need not be used in equal quantities. According to my book about spices it may additionally also contain kardamom, dried ginger or liquorice root as well. I love to prepare my own spice mixtures and as I have just run out of five spice powder, I decided to try it this time the version with the additional spices, despite the liquorice root. (source:wikipedia)
1 tablepoon star anise
1 tablespoon Sichuan pepper
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon or cassia
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1/2 tablespoon cloves
1 teaspoon ginger powder
3 brown cardamom pods
Simply blend all the ingredients together and keep it in an air tight container. Use it within 3-4 months.