Star Anise

Star anise comes by its name honestly, with its star shape and a licorice taste similar to regular anise, only stronger. Like regular anise, star anise gets its distinctive licorice taste from a chemical compound called anethol. Star anise plays a key role in the slow cooked dishes that characterize Eastern Chinese cuisine. Its licorice flavor enhances red cooked dishes, as well as eggs simmered in black tea. Star anise is one of the spices in five-spice powder. Outside of China, star anise is featured in several of Vietnam’s signature dishes, such as Pho Bo soup. It is also the secret ingredient in many Indian stews and curries. Star anise can replace regular anise in western recipes.

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