Where does the star anise come from?
Star anise has its origins in Southeast Asia (southern China and northern Vietnam). Its Chinese name is ba jiao and translates into English as eight corners. For this reason, it is also called Badian. In 1588 Thomas Cavendish brought it to Europe from the Philippines. Since the end of the sixteenth century, we use this fruit as a spice.
What does star anise taste like?
Star anise smells like aniseseeds and has a spicy-sweetish taste like licorice. It also has a distinct sharpness and a fresh and pleasant aftertaste.
How do I use Badian?
Star anise contains essential oil which unfolds during cooking. You can cook whole fruits or grind them before use in a coffee grinder. As a rule, 1-2 star anise for 4 servings is sufficient.
The star anise is a typical spice of the Chinese cuisine. It is an ingredient in the famous five spices blend. In combination with rice wine, they marinate meat. You may even season Chinese poultry, pork dishes, as well as baked pork ribs with it. It flavors fish, seafood, but also fruit syrup, or fruits like figs, and pears. For canning, you can use whole fruits.
- Soups and broths
- Marinades for a chicken, duck, pork in conjunction with soy sauce
- Pastis, Anisette
- Chewing gum
- Fish and seafood
- Root vegetables, pumpkin, leeks
- Sweet and sour plums
- Plum jam
- As cough tea
- As a cough syrup
Which other spices can you combine with badian?
Badian is compatible with fennel, chili, coriander, lime zest, Szechuan pepper, lemongrass, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and ginger. It goes well with the salty, spicy taste of soy sauce.
Extra tip: This spice raises the sweet aroma of pumpkin, carrots, and leeks. Please try it.
Botanic: Illicium verum
The plant of the staranise belongs to the family of the Illiaceae family (in Latin Illiaceae), a far-known of the magnolia plants. The evergreen tree is about 10-20 m tall and has white bark. Its leaves are similar to the magnolia about 15 cm long and 5 cm wide. It has white, yellow to pink flowers with a size of 1 cm. From the flowers arise eight bellow capsules that burst in a star shape when ripe.
How is the star anise grown?
The medium-sized plant grows at an altitude of 2000 m in the mountains of China, North Vietnam, and the Philippines. It grows in a tropical to subtropical climate. Here they cultivate them on plantations. The tree can live up to 100 years, and from the seventh year, they bear fruit. Per year and tree, about 10 kg of badian they pick. The harvest is performed manually. The immature badian's are picked and dried under the sun.