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Salt & Pepper Mix (Chinese Takeaway Style)

Aromatic, sweet and salty, this seasoning can be used to great effect with fried chicken, ribs, chips or mini spring rolls.

Course ingredient, seasoning mix, Spice Mix
Cuisine Chinese, Chinese Takeaway
Keyword salt and chilli, salt and pepper, salt and spice, spice bag
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 12 minutes
Servings 20 servings


  • 6 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 whole star anise
  • 2 tablespoons monosodium glutamate see notes
  • 3 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Chinese 5-spice powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon extra hot chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked garlic powder


  1. Heat a dry wok or large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the sea salt and whole star anise. Dry-fry the salt, stirring often, until the salt changes colour and becomes a little darker (this should take around 10 minutes). Set aside to cool completely (be careful, the toasted salt will be VERY hot).

  2. Once the toasted salt is completely cool, add it to a large bowl. Add the monosodium glutamate, caster sugar, white pepper, ginger powder, Chinese 5-spice powder, extra hot chilli powder and smoked garlic powder. Mix well and pour the salt and pepper mix into a shaker or a food-safe container.

  3. The salt and pepper seasoning mix is now ready to use - for one portion, I generally use around 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of seasoning.

Recipe Notes

  • I haven't added any dried crushed chilli flakes to this mix as I like to be able to adjust the heat levels to order depending on who I'm cooking for.  You could, however, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried crushed chilli flakes to the mix.


  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) has had some unwarranted bad press over the years but has been consistently shown to be safe - if you're unsure about it you may, of course, leave it out of your mix, however I highly recommend using it if you're serious about trying to replicate Chinese takeaway flavours.