Ingredients – Chinese star anise

Chinese food ingredients – Chinese star anise(Photo:Star anise fruits)

Star anise is an ingredient of the traditional five-spice powder of Chinese cooking.  In Chinese, it’s called “ba jiao” (八角bājiǎo). meaning  “eight-horn” or “eight-corners”,  is a spice that closely resembles anise in flavor, obtained from the star-shaped pericarp of Illicium verum, a small native evergreen tree of southwest China. The star shaped fruits are harvested just before ripening.

Star anise is widely used in Chinese cuisine. It is a major ingredient in the making of ”红烧肉(Red braised pork)” as it enhances the flavour of meat.

As a warm and moving herb, star anise is used to assist in relieving cold-stagnation in the middle jiao, according to Traditional Chinese medicine.



About Jenny liu

I am Jenny and I come from Northern China, now live in Beijing and Seattle. This site is a place where I share my favorite authentic home-cooked Chinese recipes. Just give it a try if you like what you see here! I strongly believe that food tastes better and healthier when it's homemade!


6 thoughts on “Ingredients – Chinese star anise

  1. Hi,
    Star anise is one of my favourite spices. I actually don’t like aniseed that much (as a sweet) but I love the way the flavour is transformed when you cook it, especially with lots of garlic and ginger.It’s one of those spices you can’t really substitute with anything else. I’ve never seen any pictures of the fresh fruits – do you have any?
    I have a blog on traditional British food if you want to stop by.

    Posted by theweekendartisan | 2011-08-22, 13:18
    • Hi, I’ve never seen any real fresh star anise fruits before, but i have a picture of it, the fresh star anise looks so lovely! Thanks for stopping by and I can’t wait to explore your blog more!

      Posted by Jenny liu | 2011-08-24, 10:35
  2. Wow, the fresh fruit looks amazing. I would never have guessed that was star anise!

    Posted by theweekendartisan | 2011-08-25, 13:15
  3. 这个八角科普挺赞的


    Posted by Chinese Food Blog | 2014-11-09, 09:42


  1. Pingback: Sichuan chicken noodles with sesame sauce川味鸡丝凉面 « My Favorite Chinese Recipes - 2011-09-25

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