How To Use Whole Star Anise: 5 Ways


Do you exactly know how to use whole star anise? With its distinct star-shaped appearance and captivating aroma, whole star anise has long been cherished in kitchens around the world, particularly in Asian cuisines. 

  1. How To Use Whole Star Anise: An Overview

Whole star anise stands out as a highly fragrant and prized spice that finds extensive usage in recipes across various countries, including India, the United States, and China. Depending on the method of utilization or preparation, it has the ability to accentuate and enhance a diverse range of scents and flavors.

What is a whole star anise?

Star anise is a spice that comes in the shape of stars and is derived from the dried fruit of the Asian evergreen tree known as Illicium verum. It is commonly used in Chinese cuisine and has a sweet flavor reminiscent of licorice. Whole star anise, which resembles tiny rust-colored stars with six to eight points, is the most distinctive form of this spice. Each point contains a small seed that imparts the primary flavor. Similar to cloves and anise, star anise adds a sweet licorice-like taste to dishes.


The highest quality and most expensive variety of star anise is the whole star anise. To ensure a superior product without any stems or leaves, thorough processing takes place after harvesting. Star anise manufacturers take great care to preserve the intact shape of the spice, primarily to maximize profits. As a result, whole star anise dominates the market, while broken star anise accounts for only a negligible proportion.

Types of whole star anise

There are generally two types of whole star anise based on the seasons: spring and autumn. While they may differ slightly in size and oil content, both types are of high quality and fall within a similar price range.


Spring whole star anise is collected from January to the end of April. It is more expensive and of superior quality compared to autumn star anise due to its higher essential oil content.

Autumn whole star anise is harvested annually from July to September, at the beginning of the rainy season. Its pods, measuring around 2.5 cm in diameter, bloom attractively and uniformly. Autumn star anise is of slightly lower quality and is more affordable because it contains less oil than its spring counterpart.

Whole Star Anise Nutrition

Whole star anise, apart from its robust flavor, contains a range of beneficial compounds that can exert a significant impact on health. Some of these compounds include:


  • Linalool: This naturally occurring terpene alcohol possesses antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Vitamin C: Star anise is rich in antioxidants and contains vitamin C, which supports immune health, guards against infections, and helps protect against diseases.
  • Shikimic acid: Commonly found in many flu medications, this compound may exhibit potent antibacterial properties.
  • Anethole: Present in anise seed and fennel as well, this aromatic compound is believed to contribute to fighting cancer, diabetes, and inflammation, while also preserving brain health.
  1. How To Use Whole Star Anise: Instruction

Whole star anise is typically used as a spice in cooking and can add a unique flavor and aroma to various dishes. Here are some common answer for the question how to use whole star anise:

How to Use Whole Star Anise: Star anise tea

This tea is highly beneficial for overall well-being and is particularly soothing for a sensitive stomach. 


Take one star anise and a teaspoon of high-quality honey, then combine them with boiling water. Allow the mixture to infuse for at least 10 minutes. Afterward, strain the star anise tea and savor its delightful flavors.

How to Use Whole Star Anise: Infused sugar

Infusing sugar with star anise, a vanilla pod, and a cinnamon stick can greatly enhance its flavor and bring about remarkable results in baking. Combine the sugar with these ingredients and store them in an airtight container. It will take approximately two weeks for the flavors to infuse, and the infused sugar can be kept for about three months. This infused sugar can be used to create a luscious fruit cake or flavorful cookies.

How to Use Whole Star Anise: Roasted sweet potato

Prepare your sweet potatoes by peeling them and cutting them into chunks. Drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle some sea salt. Roast the sweet potatoes until they turn crisp. Just before they are done, add a squeeze of lime, star anise, and ginger to infuse the flavors further. 


Continue roasting for another five minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.

How to Use Whole Star Anise: Carrot and star anise purée

For a delightful carrot purée, cook your carrots in a mixture of carrot and orange juice. Add a whole star anise to the pot for half of the cooking time. Once cooked, remove from heat and blend the carrots in a high-speed blender for at least five minutes. The longer you blend, the smoother the purée will be, resulting in an ultra-creamy texture.

How to Use Whole Star Anise: Poached pear slices

Prepare a stock syrup by combining sugar, water, lemon, a cinnamon stick, one star anise, and a squeeze of fresh orange. Poach slices of pear in this syrup for approximately 3-4 minutes. Once poached, allow them to cool and then store them in a Kilner jar, ensuring they are properly sealed to preserve their flavors. 

  1. How To Use Whole Star Anise: Tips and Consideration

When discover how to use whole star anise in your culinary creations, it is important to keep in mind a few tips and considerations to make the most of this potent spice:

  • Use whole star anise sparingly: Whole star anise possesses a strong and distinctive flavor that can easily overpower other ingredients in a dish. Therefore, it is recommended to use it sparingly to avoid overwhelming the taste of your dish. Start with a small amount and gradually increase as per your preference, keeping in mind that a little goes a long way.
  • Remove the whole pods before serving: Whole star anise pods are not meant to be consumed directly as they have a strong and woody texture that may not be enjoyable to bite into. It is advisable to remove the whole pods from your dishes before serving. This can be easily done by locating the pods and either fishing them out or straining the dish to separate them.
  • Note the strong and woody nature of the pods: Whole star anise pods have a robust and woody characteristic that adds depth to dishes. It is important to consider this flavor profile when incorporating them into your recipes. Their flavor pairs well with citrus, poultry, and beef, creating a delightful contrast. However, if you are not fond of a pronounced licorice-like taste, it is best to use them in moderation or explore alternative spices.


By being mindful of these tips and considerations, you can harness the unique flavor and aroma of whole star anise to elevate your culinary creations while ensuring a balanced and enjoyable dining experience.

  1. How To Use Whole Star Anise: Conclusion

In conclusion, whole star anise is a remarkable spice that adds a unique and intense flavor to a wide range of dishes. Its aromatic and distinctive qualities make it a versatile ingredient in both sweet and savory recipes. By using whole star anise sparingly and removing the pods before serving, you can ensure a harmonious balance of flavors in your culinary creations. So where to buy whole star anise


To experience the exceptional quality of whole star anise, I recommend purchasing it from K-Agriculture. As specialists in exporting and importing high-quality Vietnamese agricultural goods, such as Vietnam star anise, K-Agriculture provides a reliable source for this prized spice. Their commitment to modern manufacturing processes, extensive expertise in worldwide markets, and a skilled crew sets them apart in delivering top-notch star anise for your cooking needs.


Visit K-Agriculture today and embark on a flavorful journey with this exceptional spice.



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About author Camila Nguyen

She has 13 years experience in connecting B2B customers around the world and provide best-quality agricultural products from Vietnam to them. She would love to share her knowledge about agricultural products through the blogs. You can contact her on Whatsapp via number: +84 84 4444 867 to get the free consultancy

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