Star anise - Badian - Illicium verum
Star anise is also called Badian. Its Latin name is Illicium verum, and it originates from China. Explore our online store and buy this exquisite spice.
Where does star anise come from?
Star anise has its origins in Southeast Asia, specifically southern China and northern Vietnam. Its Chinese name is "ba jiao," which translates to "eight corners" in English. For this reason, it is also called Badian. It was brought to Europe from the Philippines by Thomas Cavendish in 1588. Since the end of the sixteenth century, this fruit has been used as a spice.
What does star anise taste like?
Star anise smells like anise seeds and has a spicy-sweetish taste, reminiscent of licorice. It also has a distinct sharpness and a fresh and pleasant aftertaste.
How do I use Badian?
Star anise contains essential oil, which is released during cooking. You can use whole fruits or grind them before use using a coffee grinder. As a rule, 1-2 star anise for 4 servings is sufficient.
Star anise is a typical spice in Chinese cuisine. It is an ingredient in the famous five-spice blend. It is used to marinate meat with rice wine and is also used to season Chinese poultry, pork dishes, and baked pork ribs. It adds flavor to fish, seafood, fruit syrup, figs, and pears. Whole fruits can be used for canning as well.
- Soups and broths
- Marinades for chicken, duck, and 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 pairs well with fennel, chili, coriander, lime zest, Szechuan pepper, lemongrass, pepper, cinnamon varieties, cloves, and ginger. It complements the salty, spicy taste of soy sauce.
Extra tip: This spice enhances the sweet aroma of pumpkin, carrots, and leeks. Give it a try!
Botanic: Illicium verum
The star anise plant belongs to the Illiaceae family, a well-known family of magnolia plants. This evergreen tree can grow up to 10-20 meters tall and has white bark. Its leaves, about 15 cm long and 5 cm wide, resemble those of magnolia. The plant produces white, yellow, or pink flowers measuring about 1 cm. From these flowers, eight bell-shaped capsules emerge, which burst open in a star shape when ripe.
How isthe star anise grown?
The star anise plant is cultivated in the mountains of China, North Vietnam, and the Philippines at an altitude of around 2000 meters. It thrives in a tropical to subtropical climate. The plant is grown on plantations, and it can live up to 100 years. It starts bearing fruit from the seventh year onwards. Each year, approximately 10 kg of star anise are harvested from each tree. The harvesting process is done manually, and the immature star anise fruits are picked and dried under the sun.