Star Anise Taste: 5 Best Star Anise Alternatives


Have you ever heard of star anise before? Though each pod looks like a perfect wood carving, It is a surprising fact that star anise can really be consumed! So, the question is, what does star anise taste like? This article will give you an overview of the star anise taste and where to buy it in bulk. Visit our blog if you want to find more information about this spice!

What does star anise taste like?

Star anise is a spice made from the fruit of the Chinese evergreen tree Illicium verum. As named, it has star-shaped pods. If you haven’t known of star anise before, you may be surprised and wonder if it can be cooked and what star anise tastes like.

General star anise taste description

In general, the star anise taste is unique, warm, sweet, and spicy akin to that of fennel seed, licorice, clove, and anise seed. If you are still not imagining what star anise tastes like, but you’ve eaten curry before, remember that the sweet, slightly bitter, and mildly spicy taste of curry comes from star anise (one of the main curry spices).


Indian Chicken curry

Although star anise tastes mildly sweet and spicy, you can not use it in place of chili and sugar. You need to understand that the sweet and spicy star anise taste also comes with a bit of bitterness, which is basically unlike the taste of sugar and chili. If you use star anise without actually knowing its flavor, it will turn your dish into a completely different dish. You don’t want to ruin your food, right? If you like the sweetness of star anise, you can learn to make star anise sugar, then use it for cooking.


Star anise from K-Agriculture

Because of the light sweetness of star anise taste, it sometimes works as a sugar alternative in dessert, which brings fresher and healthier flavor to the dishes than regular sugar does. Besides, it is frequently used in savory recipes to balance the taste. However, remember to look out for fake star anise before consuming it to protect your health!

What does star anise go well with?

Star anise tastes good when paired with citrus, coconut, onions, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, different kinds of meat, etc. It is easily mixed with other spices and ingredients to bring awesome flavor to your dish so you can easily come up with your own recipes for star anise. However, be careful with the number of pods you add to your dish, cause star anise taste can easily overwhelms other spices. Otherwise, if you are not sure what spices star anise taste goes well with on your own, let’s try using Chinese five-spice powder instead! The pungent, licorice-like aroma makes star anise an integral ingredient in Chinese five-spice, where it’s combined with fennel, cinnamon, Szechuan peppercorns, and cloves.

Do you know how to make star anise tea from the star anise? Have you ever tried it? Star anise is also a great ingredient to make star anise tea which has a pungent taste. We hope that you will try it once in your life!


China five-spice powder

If you are interested in cooking with star anise and want to find out awesome combinations with this spice, we provide you with the top 5 easy, tasty star anise recipes that are super tasty and easy to make here: Star anise for cooking. They are all famous cuisines in the world and will surely blow your mind.

What to notice when cooking with star anise?

Each type of star anise (whole, powder, and oil) has its own cooking instruction, also including a light difference in star anise taste. Depending on what dish you wanna make, you then choose the most suitable star anise type.


Star anise types in cooking

For example, if you want to stew meats, simmer sauces, marinate meats, or make soups, then you should use the whole version as it is a very strong star anise taste. The ground version is, otherwise, greater for baked dishes as well as desserts since it blends into powder or liquid much easier and we can control how strong its flavor impacts the dish by just using enough amount of powder. The final star anise type in cooking, which is star anise oil, is used in cooking to eliminate fishy and foul odors. Since being a liquid form, it is also easy to blend with liquids, but its taste is not as strong as the whole version’s. Star anise oil is also used in baking and functions like olive oil or regular oil.

The 5 best star anise taste alternatives of all time

If you’re looking to make an awesome recipe with star anise but don’t have one at home, what other spices can you substitute it with?

Star anise taste alternative: Chinese five-spice powder

When it comes to star anise substitute, Chinese five-spice powder is always mentioned first as star anise is one of five spices to produce this powder. Like star anise taste, the Chinese five-spice powder flavor is warm and spicy-sweet. When adding it to your dishes, you should use the amount of Chinese five-spice powder as half the amount of required star anise and taste again for better savor.

Star anise taste alternative: Fennel seeds

Another star anise substitute you should consider is fennel seeds, together with star anise to make Chinese five-spice powder.


Star anise taste alternative: Fennel seeds

Like star anise, fennel seeds also deliver a sweet, strong flavor that is similar to licorice, making it an option for star anise replacement. This substitution ratio between star anise and fennel is about 1:4.

Star anise taste alternative: Licorice root powder

Although there are quite a few distinctions between star anise and licorice, they both have a natural sweetness that allows them to pair well with even desserts.


Star anise taste alternative: Licorice root

If you are in need of some spices to make your foods sweet, licorice root powder can be an ideal choice for you. However, those who are pregnant or have some health problems, don’t use this alternative except under the supervision of doctors.

Star anise taste alternative: Cloves

Have you ever heard of cloves? Whole cloves and ground cloves comprise high levels of eugenol which makes them woody and aromatic. Therefore, you will feel sweet, bitter, dry, pungent, and warm in your mouth when eating them. That sounds like the perfect star anise alternative, right?


Star anise taste replacement: Cloves

You can use an equal amount of ground cloves to replace the required star anise amount in your recipes. However, you shouldn’t use it for dishes where star anise is the main spice as whether you like it or not, the cloves’ flavor is not completely similar to star anise flavor.

Star anise taste alternative: Anise seeds

You may think that the anise seed is closely related to the star anise, but no. They are separately different in their appearances. In general, anise seeds have a licorice flavor akin to star anise taste: sweet, mildly spicy, and extremely aromatic.


Star anise taster substitute: Anise seeds

Anise seeds are considered the perfect star anise alternative. About the ratio to use, notice that the ratio between anise seeds and star anise is about 3:4, but remember to taste again for a well-matched dish.

Where to buy star anise? Top 3 suppliers with the best star anise taste

China and Vietnam are currently the two largest star anise-producing countries in the world. So, if you are looking to buy this spice in bulk, you cannot ignore these 2 markets!

Xinghua Lianfu Food from China

Since star anise is the native plant of China, it is easy to understand that this nation has a powerful star anise market exporting at a cheap price. Star anise taste is considered of good quality in this country.


Xinghua Lianfu Food: The best provider of cheap and fine-quality star anise

With years of professional experience in making and selling agricultural products, particularly star anise flavor in bulk, Xinghua Lianfu Food has been a renowned firm in China. Their products are willing to fulfill diverse consumer requirements, thanks to the newest contemporary equipment and a skilled work team.

K-Agriculture from Vietnam

K-Agriculture Factory, which was founded in 1996, and is backed by the Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade, is today considered a reliable B2-B partner for making and selling Vietnam’s agricultural goods such as rice, spices, and coffee at the best price and best quality. Being a giant in trading star anise products internationally in Vietnam – the biggest Vietnamese star anise exporter since 1996, K-agriculture is proud to bring buyers broken cinnamon with uniform quality standards and affordable prices.


K-Agriculture: Top exporter of star anise with the best quality and price!

Star anise is one of the most notable of these products, with a system of huge processing facilities in Hung Yen as well as a new one being developed in Lang Son province. K-Agriculture is renowned for its great star anise bulk, which it exports to major markets including India, China, and America. Their star anise taste is always of high quality at a reasonable price!

If you want to find a reliable star anise supplier, feel free to contact K-Agriculture Factory via our:

  • Website:
  • Mail:
  • Phone: +84855555623 (available on Whatsapp)

Everest Spices from India

Being a pioneer in spices, Everest is now the best agricultural spices supplier in India. Quality is of the utmost essence at Everest.


Everest spices from India – Top well-known provider of high-quality star anise

Everest has been providing Indian spices, including high-quality star anise taste for over 50 years, expanding its market to 58 countries including the U.S, the UK, and Africa. If you are looking for a supplier with great star anise flavor in India, Everest will not disappoint you.

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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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