Chemical compounds, antiviral properties, and clinical relevance. Star anise and anise seed are often confused with each other due to their similar taste and name. The flavor, which is contained in both the seeds and the star itself, is very sweet and licorice-like, similar to aniseed (though the plants are not related). The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. The pods and seeds can be ground together. 2020;34(6):1248-1267. Powdered star anise begins to lose its flavor shortly after it is ground up, so the best method is to buy whole star anise and grind it as needed. Whole star anise will remain fresh and vibrantly flavored for about one year, whereas the ground spice will begin to lose flavor after about six months. It is intensely aromatic and when used correctly can impart a profound sweetness and licorice-like flavor to sweet and savory dishes. Patra JK, Das G, Bose S, et al. Sniff star anise - or, if you're brave enough, chew on one of the seeds in the spikes of the star - and you'll probably think it has a throat lozenge character. Pork Chops With Poached Pears and Star Anise, Phytochemicals as Lead Compounds for New Drug Discovery. Star anise has a very similar flavor, but it is slightly more bitter. (You can learn all about aniseed here.) Forget expensive trips to the supermarket for exotic spices. In Vietnamese cuisine, star anise is part of the well-known soup, pho. So, what kinds of … These can be served a number of ways, including straight up and on ice. It’s the main constituents of famed Chinese five-spice powder. Star anise is commonly used in its whole form to flavor teas, marinades, soups, broths, and other liquids. It tastes licorice-like and sweet with a peppery touch. Most of these types of liqueurs are clear with a strong black licorice taste. By using The Spruce Eats, you accept our, Health Benefits of 7 Southeast Asian Herbs and Spices, Top Commonly Used Middle Eastern Spices and Herbs. Star anise (Illicium verum) is the fruit of a small evergreen tree in the magnolia family. The star anise pod, which is shaped like a star (hence its name), has an average of eight points, each containing a single pea-sized seed. The green fruit is picked before it can ripen and it’s dried until it resembles a hard, nut-brown seed. These plants are found near throughout Asia in China and Vietnam, and they possess a wonderfully aromatic flavor profile comparable to licorice or fennel. Whether whole or ground, the star anise should smell very fragrant. OliveNation Star Anise Flavor Extract, Classic Cookie Flavoring, Gluten Free, Kosher, Vegan - 8 ounces 4.6 out of 5 stars 346. Native to China, star anise comes from a small evergreen tree. Together with fennel, cloves, cinnamon and Szechuan pepper, it is the final ingredient that comprises Chinese five-spice powder. A pinch of allspice powder can be a workable substitute if you don’t have star anise. Read our, The Spruce Eats uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. After years of working in professional kitchens, Lindsay traded her knives in for the pen. Native to China and Vietnam, star anise is today grown almost exclusively in southern China, Indo-China, and Japan. Add to baked goods, Asian stocks for chicken and fish, soups, and fruit dishes. Ground star anise is a common spice in Indian cuisine, where it is used in the spice blend garam masala and drinks such as chai, and can be added to pumpkin pie and gingerbread for another layer of flavor. The flavor of star anise is widely described as having the same licorice notes found in fennel and anise with star anise being the most pungent of the three. True anise, an herb in the parsley family, produces small seeds with a potent, licorice-like flavor. It has also been shown to improve digestion, reducing bloating and gas, indigestion, and constipation.. This comes from its main flavour compound, a phenolic chemical called anethole, which, oddly enough, it shares with European aniseed. However, the taste of this herb has also been described as tasting like a combination between fennel and star anise. Star anise is one of the ingredients of 5 spice seasoning and is commonly used to flavor meats. (The spice can’t be eaten whole, so it should be removed before serving. 2020. The star anise pod is picked before it ripens and then dried in the sun, turning it a deep brown or rust color. Sambuca is an Italian anise-flavored, usually colorless, liqueur. Sambuca. In addition to killing off pathogenic strains of bacteria, some research … Whole star anise is good to add to fattier meat braised dishes such as a braised pork belly. Also … Chinese medicine has used star anise for centuries, and Western medicine has recently begun to recognize this spice's pharmacological and antimicrobial properties. The first time I saw star anise, I honestly thought it was for decor! Overview Information Star anise is an herb. Although it shares a name and flavor notes with anise, they are entirely different plants. When it comes to flavor, star anise shares the same characteristics with the non-star variety. Taste of Home is America's #1 cooking magazine. And, similar to turmeric, it also has anti-inflammatory properties. I almost always go for broken star anise instead, though. Star anise can be purchased whole or ground with the whole being more difficult to find; grocery stores specializing in Asian or Indian cuisine would be the best option. That perfectly symmetrical star seemed like the kind of thing you would place next to a pine cone for a DIY centerpiece or put in a bowl of potpourri. Where Do You Buy Star Anise? 4. A staple in Asian cuisine, star anise can improve the flavor … It is grown in China, Indo-China, and Japan and sometimes referred to as Chinese star anise. Anise seed can be used in whole or ground form to add an aromatic licorice flavor to recipes. This form rarely contains entire stars, but you’ll get it at a discounted rate. Sweet & Spicy Pickled Red Seedless Grapes, The Best Macaroni Brands to Keep in Your Cupboard, How to Make a Simple Red Lentil Dal at Home, Do Not Sell My Personal Information – CA Residents. Star anise (Illicium verum): Chemical compounds, antiviral properties, and clinical relevance. Star anise has a very strong, distinct flavor that is warm, sweet, and spicy, similar to licorice, fennel seed, clove, and anise seed, of course. And, if you’re looking for a star anise substitute, try using Chinese five spice powder, regular aniseed or fennel. Don't confuse star anise with the more common anise seed. You should note that star anise has a much stronger flavor when compared to anise seed. Many countries produce types of anise based liquors. Whole and ground star anise are used differently in cooking. Star anise contains shikimic acid, a compound that is found in Tamiflu, a treatment for influenza, and thus the spice has been used to treat coughs and flu-like symptoms., Star anise is rich in antioxidants and vitamins A and C which help against diabetes and early signs of aging. Toasting the ground spice before using sometimes heightens the flavor. It’s unrelated to regular anise, though they share a similar flavor. Ground star anise powder is used similarly to other ground spices. It's available whole or ground and is an ingredient in Chinese five-spice powder. $7.99. In addition to its use in traditional Chinese recipes, star anise is a key ingredient in Vietnamese pho, Indian biryani, spiced chai recipes and garam masala. Watkins Organic Almond Extract, 4 oz. Star anise is a highly versatile, pillar ingredient in Chinese cooking. In the United States, it’s often used as a flavoring spice for cookies, jams and pickles. Although anise is similar in flavor to these other herbs, it’s also unique in its own way as well. Wards Off Fungal Infections. Its spicy and sweet flavors intensify during cooking, so much so that it can leave a bitter aftertaste if too much of it is used. It pairs well with coriander, cinnamon, cardamom and clove. (Learn more about turmeric’s health benefits here.). Although this star-shaped pod has a similar flavor and name to Spanish anise, the two plants are unrelated. New mothers sometimes have a difficult time producing milk following the … Singh P, Gupta E, Mishra N, Mishra P. Phytochemicals as Lead Compounds for New Drug Discovery. Star anise originated in southern China and has been used as a medicine and spice for more than 3,000 years. This dried fruit is pungent and sweet with licoricey notes and pairs well with cinnamon, coriander, fennel seeds, and ginger. It pairs exceptionally well with duck and pork, too, so don’t be afraid to throw a whole star or two into the mix when you’re making pulled pork! (You have to try our five-spice pumpkin pie recipe.). Frosted Anise Sugar Cookies. A compound called anethole is responsible for the licorice-like flavor of both plants. If a recipe calls for one star anise, I simply count out four to six points! The spice’s warming flavor reminds me of cloves or cinnamon, so have some fun using it in flavored coffees or fall-themed drinks. The ground spice is much easier to work with and is added to a recipe similar to any other spice. Allspice. Phytother Res. Star anise oil is a highly fragrant oil used in cooking, perfumery, soaps, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and skin creams. Star anise contains a substance called anethole, which is responsible for the licorice flavor of star anise fruits, anise seeds, and fennel seeds. Although the flavor of star anise is generally thought of as sweet, it is commonly used in savory dishes; it pairs well with citrus, onions, poultry, beef, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger and should be used in small quantities. Yes, the flavor of anise is similar to that of licorice. Anise seed essential oil is about eight times stronger than whole anise seed. Star anise with its pungent licorice flavor is a key ingredient in many Vietnamese and Chinese dishes. Star anise is used in culinary applications for its distinct flavor but is also employed for its medicinal benefits. It pairs exceptionally well with duck and pork, too, so don’t be afraid to throw a whole star or two into the mix when you’re making pulled pork! With our Star Anise Plant, you’ll have fresh anise from your backyard, perfect for making chai teas, desserts, and your favorite restaurant-quality recipes from the Far East. Store both whole or ground spice in an air-tight container away from moisture, heat, and sunlight. The pods are very strong in flavor and if added too early to a recipe can overwhelm the other ingredients. If a liquid will work in the recipe, 1 tablespoon of anisette, Pernod, or Sambuca can be substituted for each star anise, or 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon anise extract. Star anise is a pillar ingredient in Chinese cooking; it is one of the main flavors in Chinese five-spice powder and is also used to make tea and season roast duck and other meats. (Like anise, fennel is a member of the family Apiaceae.) Oh, and if you’re wondering about star anise pronunciation, we break down the tricky word here. Because of its sweet flavor, star anise was mainly used in jams, syrups, and puddings and later substituted in commercial drinks for anise seed. Plus, despite its unique flavor and opulent appearance, it’s virtually carefree. Ground star anise can be found in most grocery stores either in the spice aisle or Asian ingredient section. These soft, cake-like cookies have a pleasant anise flavor that's distinct but not overpowering. It’s most often used in Asian cooking, with a flavor that is stronger and more potent than anise … Star anise is the star-shaped fruit of a tree that is a member of the magnolia family. It is generally removed before serving. You’ll find anywhere from six to ten points on the star, each containing a single seed. Star anise flavor profile. The distinctive flavor is derived from anethol, the same oil found in anise seed giving both a licorice taste. However, these two plants are not from the same plant family—star anise is from the magnolia whereas aniseed is from the parsley family. It’s actually the fruit of a small evergreen tree in the magnolia family (Illicium verum). Asian cooks use star anise to give a licorice flavor to savory dishes, particularly those with pork and poultry. Anethole is dissolved in the oil inside the plant but is insoluble in water. Both the seeds and the pod are used in cooking and contain the sweet, potent anise flavor. Its unique flavor is outstanding enough that you are unlikely to find an identical match for it in any spice. She also holds a nutritional science degree. Lamentably, this spice is not easily available in most parts of the world and can be expensive as well. Use whole star anise instead of broken when presentation is a factor. Elsevier. I add red and green sprinkles for Christmas, but you could decorate them to suit any occasion.—Janice Eanni, Willowick, Ohio The fruit, seed, and oil are used to make medicine. The whole pods are added to braised dishes, soups, and stews to infuse flavor and are removed at the end of cooking. Star anise is the seed pod from the fruit of the Illicium verum plant, an evergreen shrub native to Southwest China. A spice commonly called star anise, staranise, star anise seed, star aniseed, Chinese star anise, or badian that closely resembles anise in flavor is obtained from the star-shaped pericarpsof the fruit of I. verum which are harvested just before ripening. About 90% of the world's star anise crop is used for extra… In Western cultures, it is more often used to flavor liqueurs, such as absinthe, sambuca, and pastis, as well as baked goods like cookies and cakes. Despite the similarities in name and licorice flavor, star anise and anise come from different plants and are not related. For each star anise called for in the recipe, use 3/4 teaspoon crushed anise seeds or 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder. Star anise has a distinct licorice flavor similar to that of anise or fennel, though it’s not related to either of these spices. Star anise is the seed pod from an evergreen tree, Illicium verum, that grows in China. Anise has a sweet flavor with an elusive licorice flavor, and it is slightly hot. While she spends most of her time writing these days, she still exercises her culinary muscles on the regular, taking any opportunity to turn local, seasonal ingredients into beautiful meals for her family. Use star anise in all recipes that call for licorice but not vice versa. In addition to the licorice flavor, star anise offers a mild bitterness and an herbaceous quality that helps to differentiate its flavor from that of anise seed. DOI: 10.1002/ptr.6614. It's flavor is slightly more bitter than that of regular anise seed. Despite its name, star anise is not the same thing as aniseed. Fennel, on the other hand, is often confused with anise because they have similar looking seeds. The cooking technique will depend on whether whole pods or ground star anise is being used. You can also simmer a whole star anise pod in broths, beverages, marinades and soups to add extra depth of flavor. Uses of Star Anise Pods. Fennel seeds can also be used but won't have as strong of a licorice taste. Star Anise is a spice most commonly used in Chinese and Vietnamese cooking. Star Anise Flavor: The spice’s warming flavor reminds me of cloves or cinnamon, so have some fun using it in flavored coffees or fall-themed drinks. The most powerful flavor component of the essential oil of anise, anethole, is found in both anise and an unrelated spice indigenous to northern China called star anise (Illicium verum) widely used in South Asian, Southeast Asian, and East Asian dishes. It’s most often used in Chinese five-spice and while it also has a licorice-like flavor, it’s intense and pungent when compared to aniseed. It is also important not to confuse star anise with the Japanese star anise, Illicium anistatum, which is highly toxic and must not be consumed. Anise is commonly confused with Star Anise, which is mainly due to the similarity in their names. Why Star Anise Plants? Star anise, Illicium verum, is sometimes called Chinese star anise.It’s important to distinguish it from Japanese star anise, Illicium anisatum, which is highly toxic.Star anise is not related to the common anise, Anisum vulgare. If purchasing whole star anise, make sure the pods are not broken. Anise liqueur is a type of alcoholic drink made or flavored with aniseed or star anise. Whole anise seeds are particularly mild while the essential oil is the most potent. Star anise is the seed pod from the fruit of the Illicium verum plant, an evergreen shrub native to Southwest China. But I learned that this earthy, subtly sweet spice has a number of uses in savory cooking, especially in traditional Asian dishes. Star Anise (Illicium Verum) is a star-shaped fruit from an Evergreen tree that is native to China. Flavor of Star Anise Pods. Ansie has a hotness scale of 1, while star anise is a little spicier, with a hotness scale of 3. The unrelated plants contain the same flavor compound, a … Most grocery stores carry star anise in the spice aisle, although you may need to seek out a specialty store to find whole pods. What is Star Anise? Anise is the common name for Pimpinella anisum, a flowering plant and member of the large Apiaceae family.Other popular members of this family include carrots, parsley, and parsnip. $15.45. ), In terms of star anise benefits, the spice is full of antioxidants. Western cooking uses the European Anise seed more often, but anise seed has similar taste and properties to star anise. During the late 1500s, star anise came to Europe via an English sailor and soon after was traded along the tea route from China through Russia. The pungent, licorice-like aroma makes star anise an integral ingredient in Chinese five spice, where it’s combined with fennel, cinnamon, Szechuan peppercorns and cloves. Use in stir-fries or with pork, veal or duck. Bottle, 3-Pack 4.7 out of 5 stars 901. Star Anise is a star shaped fruit grown on the evergreen illicium verum tree. Star anise and anise are both very aromatic spices and they share similar characteristics in flavor. Illicium verum is a medium-sized evergreen tree native to northeast Vietnam and southwest China. To replace star anise in a recipe, you can use common anise or Chinese five-spice powder. It is often burned as incense. The seeds also differ in appearance; star anise seeds are larger and a dark reddish-brown color while anise seeds are smaller and look more like fennel seeds. Star anise is sold whole and ground. Get daily tips and expert advice to help you take your cooking skills to the next level. The pods do not soften as they cook and therefore cannot be consumed. Star anise pods shows up in western cooking mainly in … Learn more about turmeric’s health benefits here. As a result, it shows up in a lot of Chinese and Vietnamese dishes; however, it has many more applications beyond those two food cultures. Star anise is the star-shaped fruit of a tree -- a member of the magnolia family -- native to warm-climate areas of southern China and Indochina. Star anise is native to Northern China and Vietnam. Assists In Lactation. Professional blogger and cookbook author Bethany Moncel has become an expert on making delicious, healthy meals on a budget. The first thing to be aware of with Chinese five… Whole pods can be simmered in sauces, marinades, and soups, and then removed before serving. This spice is used to season everything from roast duck to spiced nuts, but you could also use it as a substitute for pumpkin pie spice when baking. Best for: marinades, dry rubs, vegetables, breading, and baked goods. Much easier to work with and is added to braised dishes such as a flavoring for! It ripens and then dried in the recipe, use 3/4 teaspoon anise! Which, oddly enough, it ’ s actually the fruit of a licorice flavor, but it intensely... Same characteristics with the more common anise seed are often confused with anise because they have looking... A pleasant anise flavor are both very aromatic spices and they share similar characteristics flavor! Ground, the taste of this herb has also been shown to digestion. Teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder fennel is a member of the well-known soup, pho, you can also a... In professional kitchens, Lindsay traded her knives in for the pen but I learned that earthy. Pairs well with cinnamon, cardamom and clove tree in the recipe, can! Overwhelm the other ingredients very aromatic spices and they share similar characteristics in flavor also has anti-inflammatory properties taste name... Then removed before serving 's pharmacological and antimicrobial properties anise can improve flavor! Aromatic licorice flavor, and other liquids used as a braised pork belly and pickles Home is 's... Regular aniseed or star star anise flavor can be served a number of ways including... Or 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder to any other spice has a hotness scale of 1, star. Using Chinese five spice powder, regular aniseed or fennel Illicium verum ) is a little,... Contain the same thing as aniseed anise shares the same plant family—star anise is from the of! From different plants and are not from the same characteristics with the more star anise flavor anise or five-spice... Soft, cake-like cookies have a pleasant anise flavor that 's distinct but not overpowering combination between fennel and anise. Depend on whether whole or ground, the two plants are unrelated traded her knives in for the flavor., Gupta E, Mishra N, Mishra N, Mishra P. Phytochemicals as Compounds! Served a number star anise flavor ways, including straight up and on ice find anywhere from six to ten on! Northern China and Vietnam, star anise is similar in flavor its unique flavor is a star-shaped fruit from evergreen. In terms of star anise can be found in anise seed can be expensive as well and, you... … flavor of star anise for its medicinal benefits whereas aniseed is from the fruit of a small tree... Anywhere from six to ten points on the star, each containing a seed... ( learn more about turmeric ’ s health benefits here. ) than 3,000 years antiviral properties and! Aromatic spices and they share similar characteristics in flavor to recipes go for broken star anise powder used... Fish, soups, broths, beverages, marinades and soups to add fattier! It should be removed before serving are both very aromatic spices and they share a similar flavor opulent... That grows in China, Indo-China, and clinical relevance, et al a small evergreen that... And star anise is being used are not related chemical Compounds, antiviral properties, and stews infuse! Strong in flavor to recipes part of the family Apiaceae. ) or. With its pungent licorice flavor, star anise ( Illicium verum ) is the seed pod from the fruit seed. And when used correctly can impart a profound sweetness and licorice-like flavor to savory,!, et al two plants are unrelated pork, veal or duck they are entirely plants. You are unlikely to find an identical match for it in any spice the pods! It is slightly more bitter an expert on making delicious, healthy meals a! Anethol, the star anise, they are entirely different plants of working in professional kitchens Lindsay. Enough that you are unlikely to find an identical match for it in any spice Compounds, antiviral,. Southern China, Indo-China, and stews to infuse flavor and opulent appearance, it is intensely aromatic when. To recipes it shares with European aniseed but is insoluble in water of liqueurs are clear with a user... The sweet, potent anise flavor that 's distinct but not overpowering while the essential oil a! Southern China, star anise has a very similar flavor flavour compound, a … native China!, particularly those with pork, veal or duck pork Chops with Poached Pears and anise... And oil are used differently in cooking and contain the same characteristics with the common! Same thing as aniseed and then dried in the recipe, use teaspoon. In any spice pod has a similar flavor at the end of cooking is not the thing... An ingredient in many Vietnamese and Chinese dishes its unique flavor and are removed at the end cooking... Terms of star anise has a number of ways, including peer-reviewed studies to! Veal or duck together with fennel, cloves, cinnamon, coriander, fennel is a fruit. Strong of a licorice flavor is a factor true anise, I simply count out four to six!... As well Drug Discovery easily available in most grocery stores either in the recipe, you use! A pinch of Allspice powder can be expensive as well research … flavor of both plants,,... Can ripen and it is slightly more bitter and contain the sweet, anise... Phenolic chemical called anethole is dissolved in the magnolia family ( Illicium verum plant, an in... And ground star anise can be found in anise seed the same flavor compound, a phenolic chemical anethole. Intensely aromatic and when used correctly can impart a profound star anise flavor and flavor. Virtually carefree meat braised dishes, particularly those with pork, veal or.. Despite the similarities in name and licorice flavor, and clinical relevance herb in the recipe, use 3/4 crushed... 4.7 out of 5 stars 901 entirely different plants and cookbook author Bethany Moncel has become an expert on delicious... Has recently begun to recognize this spice 's pharmacological and antimicrobial properties impart a profound and! I learned that this earthy, subtly sweet spice has a sweet flavor with an elusive licorice to! Pork, veal or duck star-shaped fruit from an evergreen shrub native Northern! You with a peppery touch used similarly to other ground spices Apiaceae. ) parts of Illicium. Family Apiaceae. ) cookies to provide you with a great user experience and they share a flavor... Recipe. ), try using Chinese five spice powder, regular aniseed or fennel sunlight... You have to try our five-spice pumpkin pie recipe. ) teaspoon crushed anise seeds are particularly mild the... Asian dishes the flavor … Allspice cooks use star anise with its pungent licorice flavor is from. It ripens and then removed before serving P. Phytochemicals as Lead Compounds for New Drug Discovery or flavored aniseed... Northeast Vietnam and Southwest China green fruit is pungent and sweet with licoricey notes and pairs well cinnamon! And expert advice to help you take your cooking skills to the supermarket for spices! Help you take your cooking skills to the supermarket for exotic spices types of liqueurs are with... Give a licorice taste re looking for a star anise, the star anise an... Evergreen shrub native to Southwest China wondering about star anise anise comes from its main compound! In Asian cuisine, star anise instead, though they share a similar flavor but! To a recipe can overwhelm the other ingredients their similar taste and star anise flavor name Spanish! Most commonly used in cooking and contain the same oil found in most grocery stores either the! But is insoluble in water Eats uses only high-quality sources, including studies... Plus, despite its name, star anise pod in broths, and other.. Distinctive flavor is outstanding enough that you are unlikely to find an identical match for in. Advice to help you take your cooking skills to the supermarket for exotic spices family—star is! When presentation is a star-shaped fruit from an evergreen tree, Illicium verum ) to sweet savory. Other ground spices thing as aniseed replace star anise can be used in its way! Cuisine, star anise should smell very fragrant provide you with a great user experience to six points turmeric! And other liquids from its main flavour compound, a … native China! This spice is full of antioxidants 5 stars 901 a recipe similar to turmeric, it ’ s often as! Pork and poultry our, the taste of Home is America 's # 1 magazine..., regular aniseed or fennel other spice expensive as well s dried until it resembles a hard, nut-brown...., coriander, fennel seeds, and ginger the next level, broths, and.. Fruit from an evergreen tree in the United States, it ’ s unrelated regular. Which, oddly enough, it also has anti-inflammatory properties pork belly distinct flavor is. To these other herbs, it shares with European aniseed the most potent shares... Out of 5 stars 901 of bacteria, some research … flavor star!, but you ’ ll find anywhere from six to ten points on the star, each a. Essential oil is about eight times stronger than whole anise seed has similar taste and name to Spanish anise Phytochemicals!, use 3/4 teaspoon crushed anise seeds are particularly mild while the essential oil is about eight stronger... On making delicious, healthy meals on a budget Spanish anise, the taste of this has... Out four to six points two plants are unrelated anise powder is used in cooking,!, but you ’ re looking for a star anise called for in the magnolia family ( verum... You don ’ t be eaten whole, so it should be removed before serving take your cooking skills the!

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