Star anise ground - Illicium verum
- Star anise ground is an essential condiment in Chinese cuisine
- Widespread spice in Southeast Asia
- Licorice flavor ideal for pork and chicken
- Pairs well with leek, pumpkin, fish, and shrimp
What is star anise ground?
Star anise ground refers to the broken parts of the fruit that cannot be sold as whole spice anymore. It comes from the medium-sized evergreen tree, Illicium verum. The ground spice has a reddish-brown color.
Culinary use of ground star anise
Star anise powder is widely used in Asian cuisine to impart a distinctive and unique licorice flavor to dishes. It is particularly popular in pork preparations and with chicken meat.
However, the culinary possibilities are endless. Star anise can be used to flavor duck, beef, eggs, fish, shrimp, and various vegetables such as leeks, pumpkin, and tomatoes. Bakeries use it to add flavor to biscuits and sweets. In Chinese cuisine, it is often used in marinades with soy sauce.
Additionally, star anise can be used to flavor teas, infusions, jams, fruit compotes, and fine liqueurs. In Italy, it is a key ingredient in various liqueurs. It is important to use only a small amount of this potent spice, as a little goes a long way in terms of taste.
Good to know about star anise
This spice is a fundamental component in the preparation of spice mixes, including the famous Chinese five-spice powder. It is not limited to Christmas baking and Glühwein but can be used in daily cooking. Chinese cuisine incorporates star anise in curry varieties and broths.
Star anise pairs well with cinnamon powder Ceylon, vanilla, tonka beans, licorice, anise, and fennel. Try adding it to your pasta tomato sauce for a delightful twist.
Virtues in popular medicine
From a macronutrient perspective, star anise ground is a source of carbohydrates and contains various proteins. It is a fat-free spice and provides vitamin C, calcium, and iron. One of its key compounds, linalool, contributes to its distinctive aroma and possesses antioxidant properties that help combat oxidative stress.
Star anise is known for its anti-aging properties and its ability to prevent stress-related diseases. It contains an active ingredient used in flu medications and works in alliance with vitamin C to support the immune system. The spice is also credited with carminative properties to alleviate bloating and colic. It aids digestion, stimulates appetite, and may help with abdominal pain, flatulence, rheumatism, and stomach discomfort, thanks to its anti-inflammatory effects.
How to store ground star anise?
After use, it is recommended to store the ground star anise in airtight containers, ensuring they are well-sealed to preserve the fragrance over time.