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.