These Chinese glazed carrots are fabulous as a side dish with a Chinese or Asian style dinner. They are sweet, bitter and pungent because of the use of the Chinese 5-spice mix.
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
🥘 Main ingredients
- pearl onions
- soy sauce
- brown sugar
- vegan butter
- Chinese 5 spice (check post)
This side dish matches very well with many hot spicy dishes. It balances out the different flavours and tones down the spice with its sweetness.
🌶 Chinese 5-spice mixture
The Chinese five-spice mix is used a lot in the Chinese cuisine. It represents the 5 flavours of sour, bitter, sweet, pungent, and salty. Traditionally this 5 spice mix only uses 5 spices. As the name suggests. But currently you can buy Chinese five-spice mix with sometimes containing up to 7 or 8 spices.
The standard and most common mix includes;
- Star anise
- Chinese cinnamon
- fennel seeds
- Sichuan peppercorns
Sometimes you might find mixes which are added or substituted with;
- anise seeds
- ginger root
It can be very interesting to experiment and make your own preferred mix.
🔪 Instructions for the spice mixture
To make this Chinese 5-spice mix. You can use whole spices, and toast them in a medium hot pan. Once cooled down a bit you grind the spices by hand or with a machine. Sieve the mixture so you end up with a nice finely ground mix.
Of course when using already ground spices you can just mix them to your liking without toasting nor grinding. Although using whole spices might seem more work, the end result will be better.
I made my five-spice mix using;
- 5 start anise
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- cinnamon stick (7 cm / 3 inch)
- 2 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns
Keep this mixture in an airtight jar for 3 - 4 months. You can use it in any Chinese style dishes. But use it sparsely. A little goes a long way...
Back to the Chinese glazed carrots...
With the right preparation this dish is ready in a matter of minutes (about 10). It is best enjoyed fresh from the wok, or pan. It brings a nice colour to your table, and it pairs beautifully with spicy foods.
This carrot recipe is part of my series; 'Travels of taste'. We use our taste buds to travel the world. If you are ready to imagine yourself travelling through China's landscape and discover its diverse cuisine. Check out my full China 'travels of taste' post; >>> China, It's all about FOOD!
Let me know if you made your own creation of this glazed carrot dish. I always love to see others creations. Add @haricoco1 to your Instagram, so we can share and inspire each other and others. Thanks, and ENJOY!
- 3 large or - 4 small carrots roughly chopped in 3 cm (1 inch) pieces
- 8 pearl onions de-skinned
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 4 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter
- ½ teaspoon Chinese 5 spice check recipe in post.
- 1 tablespoon of chopped chives.
- If you don't have a 5-spice mix ready made. Make first your 5 spice mix, by toasting the spices (see post) in a hot dry pan, until fragrant. When cooled down grind the spices by hand, or in a grinding machine.
- Mix the water, soy and brown sugar, making sure the sugar is well dissolved.
- Heat a frying pan or wok, and add the vegan butter. Followed by the pearl onions. Stir fry the pearl onions for a few minutes.
- Add the pieces of carrots, and toss them nicely around with the onions. You might want to add a bit more butter so the carrots are nicely coated in butter.
- Add the ½ teaspoon of 5-spices, and toss it round so the carrots and onions are coated.
- Stir in the mixture of water, soy and brown sugar, bring to a simmer, and cover the pan.
- Leave to simmer for approx. 10 minutes so the carrots are cooked, but still have a little bite.
- Uncover, and reduce the liquid almost completely.
- Serve, with the chives on top.