Chinese star anise is one of the most beautiful and fragrant
spices in the world. The perfect 8-12 pointed stars are the fruit of the
native Chinese evergreens, boasting a much stronger, sweeter and denser
licorice flavor than the more common Spanish anise seeds. Make sure to
cut back by ½ - 2/3
if you are substituting star anise for seed anise, as it is more potent.
Whole Star Anise is often used in craftwork as it is so beautiful,
on a plate as a garnish or floated in a pot of tea. Since the flavor of
star anise is very strong, most star anise used in cooking is broken or
powdered, as a whole star overpowers most dishes.
Broken Star Anise pieces are used in pickling (2- 3 points per
quart), curry or stir fry (3-5 points per dish).
Powdered Star Anise is great for baking. Use 1/3 as much as recipes
using anise seed call for. Powdered star anise is essential for Chinese
5 spice and many Asian recipes for duck and pork.