Spices can completely change the flavor of a meal, or can bring out the best in a meal. For Chinese food and Shanghainese food, there are many spices that contribute to making your favorite Chinese food, from dumplings to stir-fry. In this blog post, You Garden Xiao Long Bao, the best Chinese restaurant in Queens, discusses the spices of Chinese food. Contact us today!


  • Five spice powder. Traditionally, five spice powder consists of cinnamon, cloves, star anise, fennel, and Sichuan peppercorns. However, five spice powder can be found with different spices as well in order to add variety to Chinese and Shanghainese food selections. Five spice powder is easy to make yourself at home. You may need a grinder if you like your spices ground up.
  • Sichuan peppercorns. A traditional ingredient of five spice powder, Sichuan (also known as Szechuan) peppercorns have been used by the Chinese people for millennia to add heat to traditional Chinese dishes. Unlike other spices, this spice is actually made from the berries of the prickly ash tree, which are native to China and Taiwan. Many people describe Sichuan peppercorn as being bitter at first, then full of heat and a citrus taste. These are usually roasted first and then ground up and are used in many Chinese and Shanghainese food dishes.
  • Cinnamon. One of the most sought after spices during the height of the spice trade in the 16th and 17th centuries, cinnamon was first recorded as being used by the ancient Egyptians in 2,000 BC. Cinnamon was used as a preservative for meat and in Chinese food to flavor savory dishes.There are two types of cinnamon readily available today: cassia cinnamon (which is used in Chinese food fare) and Ceylon cinnamon, which is used for baking and as a topping for coffee. Ceylon cinnamon is sweeter and milder than its stronger cassia cinnamon cousin.
  • Cloves. Another spice made popular by the spice trade in the Renaissance, cloves are usually used in the sweater dishes of Chinese food, such as Chinese five spice cake, or used to savor meat as well. They are popular for vegetable stews and in making pickling brines. It’s important to remember to use only small amounts of cloves while cooking as too many can lead to a bitter taste.

You Garden Xiao Long Bao serves the best Chinese food in Queens. We offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner on our Chinese food menu. You can either order Chinese food delivery, take out, or enjoy Chinese and Shanghainese food in our dine-in restaurant. Along with our amazing and delicious Chinese food menu, we offer a wide selection of wines, from Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon to Riesling and Moscato. Not a fan of wine? Our beer selections include bottled beers, such as Bud Light and Tsing Tao, or coke product beverages.

You Garden Xiao Long Bao in Bayside excels at delivering you the best Chinese food at the best prices. We guarantee you’ll be satisfied, day or night. Call us today!