Easy Spicy Salmon Cakes Looking to add some interest to an easy dinner recipe? Five-spice may be your new best friend. What is five-spice powder? A mixture of these five spices: cinnamon, clove, fennel, star anise and Szechuan peppercorns. (There are regional recipes in China that include more spices, including white pepper, nutmeg and orange peel.) It adds a distinct warm flavor to these healthy salmon cakes.