Five Sugar and Spice Rub

This is going to be a short post, but I definitely wanted to give this rub a post of its own, because honestly, there's so many things this can work with. In my Roasted Steak "Stir-Fry" recipe, I used it to rub down my steak and it was really the star of the dish. It's basically my adaptation of a Chinese Five Spice and to it, I've added Red Pepper flakes and Brown Sugar. This gives it a sweet foreground flavor, an umami main flavor and just a touch of heat in the background. All of this just keeps your mouth happy and wanting more.

My three favorite things about this recipe is:

  1. It's so warml and definitely brings you into fall with the cloves and cinnamon (I'm honestly tempted to try it in baking). 
  2. It's salt free, so you can adjust the salt yourself depending on the recipe. This is really helpful when I am switching up the protein or adding it to something like vegetables or potatoes.
  3. This one recipe make a good amount, so you can have it stored for later! For my entire steak I used a heaping teaspoon per side and I still have a lot left for later use!

Ok, ok, enough of the description, here's the recipe!

Five Sugar and Spice Rub

  • Author: Monique Manning
  • Yeild: About 1/4 - 1/3 cup
  • Nutrition (per tablespoon): 11 calories, 0.4g fat, 0.7g net carbs, 0.4g protein


  • 1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1/2 tablespoon white peppercorns
  • 1 ½ teaspoons whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon or 1-2 whole cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 1 - 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoons Gochugaru (Korean hot chili powder) or red pepper flakes


Measure all spices into a small container. It's easiest to measure it in the container you will be using to store it. Easy clean-up is the best clean-up! Give the spices a little mix to make sure they are evenly distributed before going into the spice grinder.

Next, put the spices into a spice grinder or a dedicated coffee grinder to mill them down to a fine powder, working in batches if necessary. You want to make sure

I like to store my spice blends in a small mason jar because the mouth is wide enough that I can get any size spoon in there when needed.

I like to store my spice blends in a small mason jar because the mouth is wide enough that I can get any size spoon in there when needed.

If you have a high powered blender with an individual cup attachment, this could also work. Just be mindful that the milling of the spices will scratch the inside of the cup and you may want to dedicate that cup solely to spice grinding.

Transfer the spice to an empty spice jar or a small mason jar and store with your other spices. As a general rule, I use about a tablespoon per pound of protein, but it's really up to personal preference.

Enjoy and let me know what you think by commenting below!