I remember the first time I encountered star anise! It was like a shot to the heart of my nasal pharyngeal cavity! I’ve never quit recovered! The exotic and somewhat toxic aroma of star anise will either turn you completely off or send your senses soaring. In my case, I fell hard and to this day I’m still completely enamored with the spice!
Star anise or Illicium verum (as it’s know in Latin) is a dark eight point flower like spice that is native to China. Named after it’s star shape, the spice comes from a small evergreen tree and is slightly more bitter that a regular anise seed. I love the spice because it gives an amazing licorice flavor and aroma to dishes. My dad always enjoyed black liquorice when I was a kid so I guess the flavor profile is in my blood. My signature sauce, Honey Plum Soy, steeps with a single star anise. It’s potent and somewhat wild so you don’t want to add to much to any dish!
Star Anise pairs well with poultry, pork, duck and beef. I also like it with eggs, fish, pumpkin, plums, apples and in some candies. I’m ashamed to say it but I also keep some in my kitchen window at all times. When I’m having a rotten day, I simply take a big whiff of my star anise and WHAM………. I am majestically transported to my happy place. Ahhhhhhhhh!
To create my fabulous Honey Plum Soy Glaze visit this post and follow the tutorial.
Get you own cup of star anise today!