Monday, May 25, 2009

Herbs and How To's - Star Anise

Dear friends,

It's been a while since my last H&HT (Herbs and How To's) segment and I apologize
for that. That is why today, I'm going to give you not 1, not 2 but yea... 3 different herbs and their how to's.

On the menu, we have Star Anise.

Star anise is the fruit of an oriental tree. As the name would have it, it is star shaped and has between five to ten pointed sections. These hard sections are seed pods. Tough skinned and rust coloured, they measure up to 3cm (1-1/4”) long. The fruit is picked before it can ripen, and dried. The stars are available whole or ground.

Bouquet: Powerful and liquorice-like, more pungent and stronger than anise.

Flavour: Evocative of a bitter aniseed, of which flavor star anise is a harsher version. Nervertheless, the use of star anise ensures an authentic touch in the preparation of certain Chinese or Indian dishes.

Spice Scale: 3

ful Information:

The whole stars can be placed directly to the cooking pot with a host of other spices and browned before the main ingredients are added. Another method would be to grind the whole stars as required and used as how you would ground cinnamon or nutmeg.

A note worth remembering is that small amounts are used, as the spice is powerful. Stored whole in an airtight container keeps for well over a year. A good time to toss it out would be when it is no longer

Culinary Uses:
Good to be added in any meaty dish, especially pork and duck dishes. As
for using it in desserts, it is used to flavor compotes and jams

Medicinal Uses:
Like anise, star anise has carminative, stomachic, stimulant and diuretic properties. In the East it is used to combat colic and rheumatism. It is a common flavoring for medicinal teas, cough mixtures and pastilles.

Recipes which use star anise:

Sujee Spice Cake - RM 45/lb (alcohol optional)

Festive Sujee Fruit Cake - RM 45/lb (alcohol optional)

Rich Fruit Cake - RM 45/lb (alcohol optional)

picutres courtesy o
nformation coutesy of

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