You may be familiar with star anise. Star anise is loved thanks to its aromatic smell, hot and spicy taste. Star anise can be found in some countries in Asia. However, a large number of people are confused between Japanese star anise vs Chinese star anise. This article is written to give you full information about Japanese star anise vs Chinese.
An overview of Japanese star anise vs Chinese star anise
Star anise is a unique spice due to its floral spicy fragrance and warm taste. Star anise is grown in many countries such as Vietnam, India, China and Japan. Among them, Japanese star anise vs Chinese star anise is often confused by its external shape. Chinese star anise (Illicium verum) is mainly cultivated in China’s southern regions. Japanese star anise (illicium anisatum) is known as Shikimi in Japan and is found in Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
Japanese star anise vs Chinese star anise: A comparison
Below are four prominent signs to distinguish Japanese star anise vs Chinese star anise. We hope that you will find these signs useful to recognize the right type of star anise.
Japanese star anise vs Chinese star anise: Height of the tree
We can tell apart the Japanese star anise vs Chinese star anise tree by looking at its height. The Japanese star anise tree is shorter than the Chinese star anise tree.
The maximum height of Japanese star anise tree is only 6 metres, while that of Chinese star anise tree is 15 metres.
Japanese star anise vs Chinese star anise: Shape of the leaves
Japanese star anise trees have leathery, slender, oval-shaped leaves that are about 5cm long and 2cm wide. Meanwhile, Chinese star anise trees have leathery, lance to oval-shaped leaves with tapering points that are grouped in groups of three to six.
Above is the difference between Japanese star anise vs Chinese star anise leaves
Japanese star anise vs Chinese star anise: Flowers
The flowers of Japanese star anise vs Chinese star anise can be distinguishable by their colour.
Japanese star anise trees produce clusters of little cream to light yellow-green flowers. The flowers bloom in the spring and have many narrow, twisted petals. As for Chinese star anise trees, they produce small flowers in light yellow-green or pink-red colour. They have numerous petals that are arranged in rows.
Japanese star anise vs Chinese star anise: Fruits
Both Japanese star anise vs Chinese star anise trees have red-brown coloured and star-shaped fruits. However, the size of the Japanese star anise fruits is a bit smaller than that of Chinese star anise fruits. The aroma of Japanese star anise is light, mild and weak, not as strong as Chinese star anise, and quite close to the aroma of cardamom.
Because of their physical similarities, it is hard to identify Japanese star anise vs Chinese in the form of dried or processed star anise just by sight. They can only be identified unambiguously by botanical microscopy
Japanese star anise vs Chinese star anise in daily life
Did you know these different usages of Japanese star anise vs Chinese star anise in our daily life? Let’s discover how they can be used differently and which ways you can use Japanese star anise vs Chinese star anise properly.
Japanese star anise vs Chinese star anise in cooking
Japanese star anise cannot be eaten or drunk due to its high toxicity. Anisatin, Shikimin, and Shikimitoxin are compounds found in Japanese star anise that induce an inflammatory reaction in the kidneys, urinary system, and digestive organs. Other chemicals found in hazardous Illicium species include eugenol and safrole, which are not found in edible Chinese star anise. Japanese star anise is an extremely poisonous herb that, if consumed, can result in poisoning, significant nerve damage, seizures, breathing difficulty, and other complications.
The usage of Japanese star anise vs Chinese star anise in cooking is completely opposite. In Chinese cuisine, the star anise is a pillar and common spice that are popularly used in many Chinese dishes. The uses of star anise in cooking Chinese dishes make the food much more fragrant
- Star anise is one of the key tastes in the five-spice powder
- The bittersweet aroma and flavour of star anise pair beautifully with fatty meats like goose, hog, and duck.
- Star anise can flavour slow-cooked beef and chicken, such as Chinese Braised Oxtails or Soy Sauce Chicken.
Japanese star anise vs Chinese star anise in medicine
In spite of their similar appearance, the compounds inside Japanese star anise vs Chinese star anise are totally different. As I have written above, Japanese star anise should never be swallowed in any way. However, Japanese star anise, or shikimi, can be used as an ingredient in folk medicine to treat toothaches and skin inflammations. For warts and eye diseases, shikimi leaves should be soaked in water and applied to the wounds. For seasickness, shikimi leaves should be placed on the navel of the patient.
The medical benefits of Chinese star anise are also popular. So, what is star anise good for our health?
In comparison to current medical techniques, traditional Chinese medicine takes a more holistic approach to treatment. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, star anise is regarded as a warming, spicy herb that improves the spleen, stomach, kidney, and liver. Warming meals are especially beneficial in cold weather and for persons who have an excess of “cold energy” in their bodies. Star anise also increases blood and life energy circulation due to its strong flavour.
Japanese star anise vs Chinese star anise in religion
You have known that people in Japan call the star anise as shikimi. Shikimi is mainly used for Shinto rituals, Buddhist and funeral ceremonies, such as making offerings in front of Buddha or placing it in a coffin. The leaves and barks of shikimi trees are used to make incense. Because the Shikimi fruit is poisonous and has a strong aroma, it is also planted in new graves and mountain fields to prevent pest infestation.
In some places, the growth of shikimi planted in the grave is a sign that the dead are happy in the underworld. In this way, Shikimi is considered an unlucky plant as it is closely associated with Buddhist and funeral practices, and it is not preferred to grow at home.
How to choose high-quality Japanese star anise vs Chinese star anise?
You may care about the quality of Japanese star anise vs Chinese star anise. In this section, I will not mention the way to choose high-quality Japanese star anise as it is inedible. I will only show you how you can choose the best and the tastiest Chinese star anise that will perfectly add flavour to your food.
Star anise is a perennial plant, with older plants producing more fragrant and fragrant star anise fruits. In particular, the older the trees, the more aromatic the taste of star anise will be. When making a star anise bulk buy, you should notice that the pods are not damaged or broken. The star anise, whether whole or crushed, should have a strong aroma.
Apart from Japanese star anise vs Chinese star anise, star anise from Vietnam is also famous. Vietnam is globally renowned for its huge star anise export volume and high quality of star anise. K-Agriculture is proud to be one of the best agricultural factories that produce the best quality star anise in Vietnam.
Our star anise is harvested from Lang Son, Quang Ninh growing areas. High oil content, strong fragrance and hot, spicy taste in our star anise can make the most demanding customer feel satisfied. This is our current price of star anise (updated in September 2022)
[maxbutton id=”2″ url=”https://wa.me/84855555837″ ]
Phone number: +84 84 4444 867 (Ms Camila)
or fill the below form: