Star Anise FAQs

What is Star Anise?

Star Anise is a small star-shaped spice with one seed in each arm.

What kind of Star Anise do we supply?

We stock Ground Star Anise and Whole Star Anise.

Where does Star Anise come from?

Star Anise comes from an evergreen tree, native to China, Indian and Vietnam; it grows to a height of between 8-15 metres. The leaves are alternate, simple, leathery, dark green and obovate with entire margins and 6-12cm in length. The flowers are composed of numerous petals, white to light purple in colour. The flowers give way to distinct star-shaped woody fruits, comprised of 8 separate carpels. Each carpel is hollow and capsule-like with a single, brown, ovoid seed contained within. Our Whole Star Anise is a product of Vietnam and our Ground Star Anise is a product of Vietnam/China and ground in the UK.

How would you describe the flavour and aroma of Star Anise?

Star Anise has a strong, distinct flavour that is sweet and spicy, similar to liquorice and aniseed.

What are alternative names for Star Anise?

The Latin name for Star Anise is Illicium verum. Other names for Star Anise include Indian Anise, Chinese Anise, Chinese Star Anise, Eight-Horned Anise, Eight Horns, Eight Horned Fennel, Badian Anise, Anis Étoilé, Anis de la Chine, Sternanis, Badayan, Anison Asteroeides, Anice Stellatoe, Anís Estrella, Chan Paetklip and Steranijs.

What is the suggested use for Star Anise?

Star anise is one of the key ingredients in Chinese five-spice. Star anise is used to flavour vegetables, meat, and poultry. Add to Chinese curries, sauces, soups, marinades and salad dressings. Use as a dry marinade for prawns, white fish, chicken, duck, beef, pork and vegetables, stir in to rice dishes and stir fries. Use to flavour fruit salads, pickles and chutneys. The spice can also be used to make deliciously festive mulled wine. Ground star anise can also be added to biscuit and muffin recipes and used to flavour confectioneries, spirits, and puddings. Whole Star Anise can be popped into hot beverages or used for making festive crafts and potpourri!

About the Author


As an animal lover and baking enthusiast, Georgia can often be found experimenting with plant-based recipes in her kitchen.

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