The flavour of star anise is similar to that of fennel and green anise seed, but sweeter and stronger. Star anise can be used with poultry, pork, chicken, roasts, leeks, squash and soups. It’s a basic ingredient in Chinese cooking. It can also be used to make delicious infusions to help digestion, and liqueurs. The pod contains the most flavour but there is no reason not to use the seed as well. Use whole pieces for infusions and ground with a pestle and mortar for cooking. In south-west France star anise and a fig leaf are traditionally added to the water used to cook chestnuts for extra flavour. A star anise added to a pot of jam gives a wonderful flavour, the same goes for cooked apples. For shellfish lovers - add some star anise to the water used to cook winkles, gorgeous!
Whole and broken pods