There is a likely chance that if you’ve ever bitten into one of these numb-chuck looking spices, the reaction to your tastebuds would have been rather squirmish due its bitter liquorice-like flavour. But when used in Asian cooking, mainly Vietnamese and Southeast Asian cuisines, for broths and stews it can add a hint of aniseed flavour, where the harshness of the spice is often dispelled. Naturally given its usage in Asian kitchens, star anise derives from an evergreen tree that is part of the magnolia family, and grows mainly in northwest Vietnam and southwest China. Star anise is also one of five spices that are grounded up to make five spice powder.
Three dish ideas using star anise:
- Pho Bo (Vietnamese beef noodle soup) by Viet World Kitchen
- Mulled wine by Adeline & Lumiere
- Red wine poached pears by Sweet Gastronomy