- whole anise
- Chinese star anise
- Chinese anise
About Star anise
Wikipedia Article About Star anise on Wikipedia
anise, or Chinese star anise, (Chinese: 八角, pinyin: bājiǎo, lit. "eight-horn") is a spice that closely resembles anise in flavor, obtained from the star-shaped pericarp of Illicium verum, a small native evergreen tree of N.E. China. The star shaped fruits are harvested just before ripening. It is widely used in Chinese cuisine, and to a lesser degree in South Asia and Indonesia. Star anise is an ingredient of the traditional five-spice powder of Chinese cooking. It is also one of the ingredients used to make the broth for the Vietnamese noodle soup called phở.
Star anise contains anethole, the same ingredient which gives the unrelated anise its flavor. Recently, star anise has come into use in the West as a less expensive substitute for anise in baking as well as in liquor production, most distinctively in the production of the liquor Galliano.
Star anise has been used in a tea as a remedy for colic and rheumatism, and the seeds are sometimes chewed after meals to aid digestion.
A star-shaped, dark brown pod that contains a pea-sized seed in each of its eight segments. Native to China, star anise comes from a small evergreen tree. Although the flavor of its seeds is derived from anethol (the same oil that gives Anise seed its pronounced flavor), star anise has a different heritage -- the magnolia family. Its flavor is slightly more bitter than that of regular anise seed. In Asian cuisines, star anise is a commonly used spice and tea flavoring. It's also widely used to flavor liqueurs and baked goods in Western cultures. It can be found whole in Asian markets and some supermarkets, and as a ground ingredient in Chinese Five-Spice Power.