Star Anise

250g

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What is Star Anise?

Native to China and Vietnam, star anise is today grown almost exclusively in southern China, Indo-China, and Japan. Star anise, Illicium verum, is sometimes calledChinese star anise. It’s important to distinguish it from Japanese star aniseIllicium anisatum, which is highly toxic. Star anise is not related to the common anise, Anisum vulgare.

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£ 3.90

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Spice Description

Star anise is the unusual fruit of a small oriental tree. It is, as the name suggests, star shaped, radiating between five and ten pointed boat-shaped sections, about eight on average. These hard sections are seed pods. Tough skinned and rust coloured, they measure up to 3cm (1-1/4”) long. The fruit is picked before it can ripen, and dried. The stars are available whole, or ground to a red-brown powder. 
Bouquet: Powerful and liquorice-like, more pungent and stronger than anise. 
Flavour: Evocative of a bitter aniseed, of which flavour star anise is a harsher version. Nervertheless, the use of star anise ensures an authentic touch in the preparation of certain Chinese dishes. 
Hotness Scale: 3

Preparation and Storage

The whole stars can be added directly to the cooking pot; pieces are variously referred to as segments, points and sections. Otherwise, grind the whole stars as required. Small amounts are used, as the spice is powerful. Stored whole in airtight containers, it keeps for well over a year.

star anise in a jar

Cooking with Star Anise

Star anise is used in the East as aniseed is in the West. Apart from its use in sweetmeats and confectionery, where sweeteners must be added, it contributes to meat and poultry dishes, combining especially well with pork and duck.

In Chinese red cooking, where the ingredients are simmered for a lengthy period in dark soy sauce, star anise is nearly always added to beef and chicken dishes. Chinese stocks and soups very often contain the spice.. It flavours marbled eggs, a decorative Chinese hors d’oeuvre or snack. Mandarins with jaded palates chew the whole dried fruit habitually as a post-prandial digestant and breath sweetener – an oriental comfit.

In the West, star anise is added in fruit compotes and jams, and in the manufacture of anise-flavoured liqueurs, the best known being anisette.

It is an ingredient of the mixture known as “Chinese Five Spice”.

Star anise pairs brilliantly with tomatoes. It’s licorice-like flavor actually bears a close resemblance to that of fennel and basil, tomato’s classic companions. A single pod of star anise  adds a new level of flavour to a tomato-based sauce or stew with a warm, spicy undertone. The same goes for braised beef dishes – from stews to chili to oxtail soup, star anise can be the secret ingredient that elevates the dish to a whole new level.

Health Benefits of Star Anise

Like anise, star anise has carminative, stomachic, stimulant and diuretic properties. In the East it is used to combat colic and rheumatism. It is a common flavouring for medicinal teas, cough mixtures and pastilles. 

In traditional Chinese medicine, star anise is prescribed as an digestive aid, promoting health of female reproductive organs and for lactating mothers to increase breast-milk secretion. It is used to promote appetite, to treat abdominal pain, digestive disturbances including colic, complaints caused by cold weather such as lumbago, and to relieve flatulence.

The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of star anise is useful in the treatment of asthma, bronchitis and dry cough. For this reason, some cough mixtures contain star anise extract. 

Star anise, in its natural form, can help the body’s immune system fight off many strains of flu, as well as many other health challenges. Shikimic acid, a compound present in star anise is used for preparing drug for curing influenza or the flu virus. Star anise can also be used as for its sedating properties to ensure a good sleep.

The oil of star anise is useful in providing relief from rheumatism and lower back pain. Star anise can also be used as a natural breath freshener. Linalool, a compound present in star anise contains anti-oxidants properties

the star anise plantOther names

Anise Stars, Badain, Badiana, Chinese Anise

French: anis de la Chine, anise étoilé, badiane 
German: Sternanis 
Italian: anice stellato 
Spanish: anis estrllado,badian 
Chinese: ba chio, ba(ht) g(h)ok, bart gok, pa-chiao, pak kok, peh kah 
Indonesian: bunga lawang 
Malay: bunga lawang

Scientific Name

Illicium verum syn: I. anisatum F
am
Magnoliaceae

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Summary

  • Product Name:Star Anise
  • Product Reference: 250g
  • Price: £ 3.90
  • Product Width: 0.00 cm
  • Product Height: 0.00 cm
  • Product Depth: 0.00 cm
  • Product Weight: 0.25 kg
  • Description: What is Star Anise? Native to China and Vietnam, star anise is today grown almost exclusively in southern China, Indo-China, and Japan. Star anise,  Illicium verum , is sometimes called Chinese star anise . It’s important to distinguish it from  Japanese star anise ,  Illicium anisatum , which is highly toxic. Star anise is not related to the common anise,  Anisum vulgare .
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