How to Use Star Anise in Cooking? 5 Easy, Tasty Star Anise Recipes


Star anise looks more like a wonderful wood carving than something you’ll be able to cook with! Lovely to look at, but how do we use star anise in cooking? This article will assist you to learn more about this flavor, including where to purchase it and the top 5 easy and tasty star anise recipes you can not miss.

Overview of star anise: Star anise in cooking

Maybe you have seen people use star anise for Christmas decoration, like making Christmas Wreaths or Spice banners, but what more can star anise provide us?

What is star anise?

Star anise is the dried, star-shaped fruit of Illicium verum that is native to northeast Vietnam and southwest China. The characteristic of this spice is that it has a rather small shape, only 6-10 m. The trunk is straight and smooth with a gray-brown color. Usually, the star anise has 6 – 8 petals, arranged in a star shape with a diameter of 2.5 to 3 cm, each wing carrying inside a small egg-shaped seed.


Star anise

Most of the star anise, when harvested, will be dried and exported as dried spice, only a small part is processed into essential oils. Though each pod looks like a perfect wood carving, It is a surprising fact that we can use star anise in cooking!

Star anise in cooking: How is its flavor?

Star anise contains a one-of-a-kind, warm, sweet, and lightly spicy flavor that resembles fennel seed, licorice, clove, and, of course, anise seed.


Star anise in cooking: Making famous curry

Because of its sweet flavor, we often use star anise in cooking, specifically in savory and dessert recipes to adjust the taste.

Types of star anise

  • Whole star anise: Understanding in a simple way, this type of star anise retains its star shape with a 5% broken rate and 12.5% moisture. Once harvested, it undergoes intensive handling to ensure that the final products just contain intact pods, with no stems or leaves. There are regularly two types of whole star anise from Vietnam depending on the seasons: the spring and the fall star anise. Vietnamese star anise price in these two seasons is quite different.

Whole star anise

  • Broken star anise: Broken star anise is fair as flavorful as the full star anise. It is not of a standard size and can range from nearly a whole star down to one of the eight points. Since rarely contains entire stars, you can buy it at a discounted rate.

Broken star anise

Star anise benefits

  • Easy to use in cooking: The flavor is exceptionally sweet and licorice-like, akin to aniseed. Therefore, we can use star anise in cooking to create a fragrant smell and taste. In China, star anise is the main spicy in five-spice powder (with cloves, cinnamon, fennel, and Sichuan peppercorns).
  • Offer medicinal benefits: Not only can we use star anise in cooking but we can also utilize it in traditional Chinese pharmaceuticals and Western medications. In traditional Chinese folk medicine practices, star anise is soaked in water to make tea utilized to treat respiratory diseases, nausea, constipation, and other digestive issues. A study published in Phytotherapy Research revealed that star anise may have microbial properties and may well be successful against microbes and yeast.

Be careful when using star anise in cooking: 3 simple ways to detect fake star anise

Some types of “fake star anise” have appeared on the market as there are more and more demands for them. So if you don’t look carefully, there’s a high chance that you will buy fake star anise. It will be poisonous if we use fake star anise in cooking. Visit here if you want to identify fake star anise.

How to use star anise in cooking?

With its unique flavor unlike most other herbs and spices, star anise can add a wonderful taste and fragrant smell to your dish. However, do you really understand how to use different types of star anise in cooking?

Using star anise in cooking: Ways to use whole star anise/broken star anise

Whole and broken pods can be used in cooking, such as simmering in sauces, marinading meat, adding flavor to soups, and then removing before serving. The pods do not soften as they cook and therefore cannot be consumed.


Ways to use whole star anise in cooking

The pods are extremely strong in flavor so be careful when using star anise in cooking. This spice is very pungent and should be used in moderation to avoid overwhelming the other ingredients. You can use the whole version in stews, curries, and other dishes alongside bay leaves and other whole spices.

Guide to cooking with star anise powder/ground star anise

Like most ground spices, using ground star anise in cooking makes the flavor more subtle. The powder version is better for baked dishes and desserts, sauces, curries, and other dishes. If you are using additional spices, the powdered version will blend in more easily without overpowering other spices, just as simple to use as when you use sugar or salt in cooking. Therefore, star anise powder is often used to marinate meat, making it easier for the spices to penetrate the meat.


How to use ground star anise in cooking

It is best to buy a smaller amount of ground star anise and make sure that it is used quickly as it will gradually lose its flavor in a short time. Storing any ground spices correctly is essential. Make sure that your spices are kept somewhere cool and dry, with no risk of humidity. Remember not to use moldy ground star anise in cooking!

Using star anise in cooking: Ways to cook with star anise oil

It is effective to use this form of star anise in cooking to eliminate fishy and foul odors when processing dishes, and at the same time to create a flavor for dishes to help dishes become more attractive and delicious. You can use star anise oil in any baked item including cakes, cupcakes, muffins, pastries, and biscuits. It is a fantastic way to add that refreshing licorice flavor without having to add dried ingredients or spices. With dishes with the addition of star anise seasoning, you will clearly feel its characteristic flavor.


Star anise oil: Using star anise in cooking

To use star anise essential oil in cooking is very easy, you just need to add a few drops to your dishes or use it in place of your regular oil. If you use a teaspoon or even half a teaspoon, it might become extremely overpowering and ruin the entire product. Be careful with the amount when using star anise in cooking.

Things to avoid when using star anise in cooking

Things to avoid when using star anise in cooking: Don’t use too much

In the event that you want to create a softly sweet and spicy flavor for your dishes, then using star anise in cooking may be a great choice. On the other hand, star anise can also help your soups and curries give off strong and mouth-watering smells. However, if you’re just getting started with using star anise in cooking, you should slowly add it to your dishes slowly with the right amount of it, try using one or two pods to start. This amount is enough to impart a flavor, without obliterating the rest of the dish or making it bitter and unpleasant to eat.
Things to avoid when using star anise in cooking: Don’t cook star anise for too long
Besides being cautious of the amount you add to your food, you have to also be careful about your timing when using star anise in cooking. Star anise will keep infusing its taste right into a dish though it has been cooked for a long time, so you should put off the pods from the dish before it finishes cooking if you have added it early inside the cooking procedure.
Things to avoid when using star anise in cooking: Don’t store star anise in places with a lot of light, moisture, or heat.
Like most other spices, star anise needs a dry spot that is dark and cool for its aroma and flavor to last as long as possible. Whole star anise can last up to years if it’s far stored properly if it is stored properly; ground star anise can last for about a year under the right conditions. If any is moldy, please not use star anise in cooking anymore!

How to use star anise in cooking? Top 5 star anise recipes you can not miss

Add some extra spice this holiday season with a few of our best star anise recipes.

Star anise in cooking: Vietnamese Pho Broth

The unbelievably delicious Vietnamese Pho is made with a nourishing beef broth infused with fragrant spices like star anise, cinnamon sticks, coriander seeds, etc, and chewy noodles, with tender slices of meat. The quality of its broth is regarded as the main part deciding the taste of the Pho bowl. To create the rich, cozy and layered blend of flavors, Pho broth has to be simmered for hours with the support of many materials.


Pho broth recipe with main spicy – star anise

Here is how to make it in a simple way:
Step 1
Pre-boiling the beef bones and meat to take away impurities from them
Step 2
Wash the bones to get all the icky scum off
Step 3
Pop the ginger and onions below the broiler in your oven till charred, in order to add that classic smoky flavor to the broth
Step 4
Toasting the spices. Highly recommend using the whole (not ground) spices if possible, which we can in short toast to bring out more flavor
Step 5
Simmer for 3 hours – bones, red meat, water, onion, ginger, and spices (cinnamon, cardamom, coriander, superstar anise). When you smell the sweet aroma of the broth, take out the dried spices. Avoid leaving them for a long time, it will empower the broth, creating a bitter taste. You then should continue stewing bones best for another 1 hour (4 hours in total).
Step 6
Adding fish sauce (one of the secrets to a splendid pho recipe is to add enough fish sauce to deliver the broth to the right stage of saltiness), sugar, and seasoning to your broth. Now enjoy your meal!

Steps to make Indian Chicken Curry: Star anise in cooking

Curry is a famous specialty of India that everyone should try once in their life. To cook this dish, the indispensable ingredient is star anise. If you’ve read our entire guide to using star anise in cooking, give this dish a go! Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients for this Indian curry. If you comply with the instructions, you will get a fragrant curry with an authentic taste.


Using star anise in cooking chicken curry

Step 1
Puree all ginger paste ingredients in a food processor into a paste. If you don’t have a small food processor, grate ginger, garlic, and onion and add finely chopped red chili with bitten size.
Step 2
Marinate the chicken with a half cup of yogurt, lemon juice, turmeric powder, coriander powder, and ground cumin for at least 30 minutes.
Step 3
Heat oil in a wide skillet and sauté the paste. Add star anise, cardamom pods, and cinnamon stick till fragrant. Then add chopped onion, crushed black cumin seed, and garam masala. Remember not to cook star anise for too long or it will overwhelm other ingredients.
Step 4
Add chicken and stir from time to time for about 10 minutes. Pour in water and coconut milk. Simmer till meat is tender and oil starts to separate (this takes approximately 20 mins).
Step 5
Add salt and chili to taste. Add 1/2 of the fresh cilantro, and stir.
Step 6
Garnish with the reserved fresh cilantro and serve with rice.

Star anise in cooking: Filipino Ribs

Spareribs are glazed with the sweet, tangy taste of the Philippines. One of the honey coating ingredients is star anise, which is native to Vietnam and China.
Ingredients (for 6 servings):


Star anise in cooking Filipino ribs

Step 1
Pour water into a 2 to 3-quart stock pot with the 1 wedged onion, 2 tbsp of the soy sauce, pepper, and star anise. Place ribs and bring all to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let ribs stew until they are tender when pierced (about 75 mins). Remember to stir occasionally.
Step 2
Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add remaining chopped onion and saute, stirring regularly till the onion is soft. Blend in the ginger, honey, sugar, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and the remaining 1 tbsp of soy sauce. Cook all together and stir until well blended. Remove from heat.
Step 3
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Remove ribs from the pot and arrange them in a baking dish. Brush evenly with the honey mixture and bake in the preheated oven, basting often with pan drippings until ribs are well glazed.

How to use star anise in cooking South African Roasted Duck?

Sure, this might not be the traditional Sunday roast we enjoy most of the time, but it is amazingly delicious and worth the try.


Star anise in cooking South African roasted duck

The amount of star anise in cooking this dish is not too much, but the flavor it brings is extremely unique.

Step 1
Score the skin of the duck breasts, rub with five-spice powder and set aside.
Step 2
Add the sugar, 300ml of water, peeled and sliced ginger, and star anise into a saucepan and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Add the plums and simmer for another 5 minutes or till they are tender. Then remove it from heat.
Step 4
Put another frying pan on very low heat. Season the duck breasts and place skin-side down in the pan. Cook slowly for about 15 minutes, and remove all the fat.
Step 4
After the 15 minutes is up, turn up the heat to now brown off the skin side then turn the breasts over and cook on the flesh side for a few minutes to brown. Remove from the pan and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
Step 5
While resting the duck you can stir fry the bok choi for 4-5 minutes in a hot wok with the sesame oil and soy sauce, don’t over-cook them. Then take them out and serve with fragrant boiled rice.

Using star anise in making: Star anise tea

Star anise tea is a simple drink with subtle flavors of star anise and cinnamon, perfect for cold winter evenings or holiday gatherings. This beverage is healthy, low calorie, and as it’s vegan, keto, dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, and soy free, it should be suitable for most dietary requirements.


How to make star anise tea?

Learn how to make star anise tea.

Where to buy star anise?

There are many star anise suppliers in the world. However, we provide you with the top 3 wholesale companies that have the best quality of star anise taste. If you are looking for buying retail items, you can also take a look at the information below.

Where to buy retail items?

You can find star anise in various stores, both physically and online. They are sold in most Asian markets as they frequently use star anise in cooking. Star anise is on the spice shelves, either as a pure ground spice or in whole spice form.
However, some of the common stores to find star anise include:

  • Walmart – Both star anise powder and whole star anise spice may be found here.
  • Amazon – Maybe the most common store online, you can easily find this spice here at a reasonable price.
  • Local food stores – Especially in Ethnic and Asian markets

Where to buy star anise in bulk?

Jining Sunagro Trade from China
Sunagro is a developing supplier of vegetables and fruits in China. For over a decade, the company has been from being a small business to being involved in farm growing, processing, and exporting fresh produce.

K – Agriculture: The standardized supplier of the best wholesale Rice, Coffee, and Spices from Vietnam

K-Agriculture specializes in exporting and importing high-quality Vietnamese agricultural goods, such as Vietnam star anise. Here we provide high-quality star anise in cooking. Modern manufacturing lines, extensive expertise exporting to worldwide markets, and a skilled crew differentiate them.

If you want to find more information about star anise or find a reliable supplier, feel free to contact K-Agriculture Factory via our:
Whatapps: +84855 555 837

Rempah Sari from Indonesia
Rempahsari is the most prominent exporter of Indonesia cinnamon/ cassia. It was established in 1964 that firstly traded in many kinds of commodities such as clove, coffee, nutmeg, essential oils, and cinnamon/cassia.


Rempah Sari from Indonesia

Since a few years ago, they have specialized in the cassia business and have become one of the biggest cassia exporters from Indonesia with an export capacity between 2.500 – 3.500 tons annually.

    Your name

    Your email

    Your phone number


    Share if you like it!
    0 0 votes
    Article Rating
    Notify of
    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments

    May So You Like

    Would love your thoughts, please comment.x