6 whole star anise
3 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons *Szechuan peppercorns
3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seed
Combine all of the ingredients in a burr-grinder (home coffee grinder) and blend to a fine powder.
*You can substitute 1 1/2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns for the Szechuan peppercorns but you won't get the same "bite".
Place the powder in a tightly sealed jar and keep refrigerated. For best results use within 2 months but the mixture will store longer. As with all ground spices the flavors will diminish with age.