Ingredient Name: Star Anise
Traditional Chinese Name: 八角 (bā jiǎo)
What is this?
- Star anise is a star-shaped spice commonly used in Asian cooking
- Also known as illicium verum, it is a star shaped fruit from an evergreen tree that is native to China and harvested from March to May
- It is very popular and is one of the spices in Chinese “five-spice powder” and in Pho vietnamese soup
- Similar to its cousin anise, the star anise has a strong licorice flavour and only a few are needed to spice an entire pot of soup
How do I prepare it?
- These is no preparation required for this dried spice
Where can I buy this?
Star anise is a moderately priced spice and can be purchased in most Asian grocery stores and some Western supermarkets
- Anise seeds / oil
- Fennel seeds
- Chinese five-spice powder
- Star anise has been used in a tea as a remedy for colic and rheumatism
- The seeds are sometimes chewed after meals to aid digestion
- Chinese star anise should not be mistaken with Japanese star anise which is highly toxic and may cause severe inflammation of the kidneys, urinary tract and digestive organs
- Some parents believe star anise to be a remedy for colic is children. However, there are studies disputing this who claim it is actually dangerous for children.