The Grocer: Star Anise
This distinct spice has a variety of uses that you may not have ever considered. A pinch of star anise can add a unique element to your home-cooked dishes and kitchen experiments.
Spice-fiends may already be familiar with star anise, but for the uninitiated, this oddly shaped, aniseed-flavoured fruit may seem intimidating when it comes to incorporating it in the kitchen. However, one of the most rewarding parts of cooking is stepping outside of your comfort zone and experimenting and star anise might be the perfect ingredient to jumpstart your cooking curiosity.
Here is the rundown – star anise is a distinct spice with a taste is strikingly similar to that of liquorice. It is notably stronger than regular anise and is frequently used in Vietnamese, Chinese and other Southeast Asian dishes, as well as being one of the spices found in five-spice powder. Odds are you’ve tasted star anise many times before and you’d be amazed what you can make with a pinch or two.
To start, try incorporating star anise into a simple slow-cooked dish or stir-fry, then work your way up to jams, curries and soups – if you are feeling really creative you can even create your own spicy wine punch or desserts with it. Star anise has a myriad of uses that you might not have ever considered, but incorporating it regularly can do wonders for the flavours of your home-cooked meals.
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