Shao Kao Spice (Xinjiang Style Chinese BBQ Blend)
All of China loves a good skewer of grilled meat or veggie. The most popular shao kao, or Chinese barbeque, comes from the far west region of Xinjiang, where Muslim grillers have perfected cumin-dusted lamb skewers.
This small-batch, handcrafted skao kao spice blend is in the style of Xinjiang, featuring cumin grown in Xinjiang and chiles from Guizhou backed up with plenty of premium Sichuan pepper, sesame, black cardamom and other Chinese spices, along with umami-heavy mushroom powder and just the right amount of salt.
This smoky, spicy, tingly blend is made with The Mala Market's single-origin spices by Chef Travis Post, who makes a celebrated version for his Plenty of Clouds restaurant in Seattle. When Travis was the chef at Yunnan Kitchen in NYC, Pete Wells said of his shao kao spice:
"I just know that I fell silent as I swiped this house-made bacon into the rust-colored powder again and again, trying to name all the spices. There was cumin, Sichuan pepper and hot chiles for sure, and maybe some star anise as well. Whatever is in it, the blend is hard to resist."
Our large, slightly octagonal bottles have been outfitted with a spice cap. One side of the cap is for pouring or measuring out larger amounts for rubs and marinades and the other side is for sprinkling the spice as you grill or serve.
While this type of shao kao spice is famously used on lamb skewers, it is addictive on anything headed for the grill or oven, including the myriad kinds of vegetables grilled in Sichuan-style shao kao.
Our preferred method for shao kao skewers is to make a marinade of 2 teaspoons Shao Kao Spice with 2 tablespoons oil, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil for each pound of protein or vegetables. We then give the skewers another dusting of the dry spice before or after grilling. If we're making oven-roasted "Xian" chicken wings, we use the same marinade and then mix up the wings with more spice in a bowl right after pulling them from the oven. But you don't have to limit yourself to grilling and roasting; Chef Travis uses this blend to great effect in his cumin lamb stir-fry.
Source: Handcrafted for The Mala Market by Plenty of Clouds, Seattle
Size: 100 grams (3.5 ounces)
Ingredients: Xinjiang cumin, sesame, Guizhou chilies, salt, coriander, fennel, Hanyuan Sichuan pepper, star anise, shiitake mushroom powder, black cardamom