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Star Anise: a new flavor from an ancient land


Gifted Gourmet
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I just got my first bottle of star anise and was looking for recipes. This was among the first ones I located: recipe here for poached chicken... and I know Jackal has a recipe for long simmered marbelized eggs ....

Do you have any favorite ways of using star anise? :rolleyes:

Can star anise recipes be both sweet but also sometimes savory?

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Having discovered this wonder a few years ago, it is one of my favorite flavors. I am a sucker for any of the anise family of flavors. However, it seems that its most common use is as a part of a spice or seasoning mixture. One of the classics is Chinese Five Spice. My son and I bought some, sniffed and wondered what to do with it. Then, one Sunday morning, we decided to sprinkle some on a fruit cup of mandarin orange sections, pineapple and mango. A family favorite was born. Don't use too much, though.

Then I got into trying to duplicate a clay pot pork recipe that I had at a very upscale Chinese restaurant here. Haven't quite done it yet, but the broth depends on star anise as one of the main flavor components.

Then, there was this olive oil confit of turkey thighs that came up here. (Sorry, I can't find it to save me.) The seasoning mix added sage to the star anise and fennel flavors. I would have never thought of that. The combo is wonderful.

I also like to drop a pretty one in the bottom of my tea mug. Not ony does it taste great but I enjoy looking at it.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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Funny that you should mention Chinese Five Spice ... it was also part of my order from San Francisco yesterday ... and I was wondering how it might best be used to add new flavors ... just found some dishes made with both ... sea bass simmered in these two spices and beef filets as well ...

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I just got my first bottle of star anise and was looking for recipes. This was among the first ones I located:  recipe here for poached chicken... and I know Jackal has a recipe for long simmered marbelized eggs ....

Do you have any favorite ways of using star anise?  :rolleyes:

Can star anise recipes be both sweet but also sometimes savory?

I saw a recipe/cooking technique (an exchange mostly between Grub and Wazaa) here for pork vindaloo. I tried it and it came out great. In this, star anise is used as one of a set of spices for the Indian "vindaloo".

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handle with care!! a great ingredient that can destroy a dish as easily as making it.

Store it in glass or it may taint everything near it.

Just an idea, but a panna cotta or ice cream flavoured with star anise would work well

I think that anise would work well with stewed apricots or plums too

Edited by fatmat (log)
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a great ingredient that can destroy a dish as easily as making it.

I think that anise would work well with stewed apricots or plums too

Have seen lots about poaching fruit in it ... one with a jasmine tea .. but it smells as if it might be overpowering .. and you have to enjoy the licorice taste, I would think .. might use one less star anise when I first begin ... managing that overpowering issue ... thanks for your warning here though ....

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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I use star anise to flavor duck stock for a simple noodle soup with duck. Make the stock normally and then heat the stock with the star anise to serving temperature, ladle over a bowl with pre-cooked noodles, bean sprouts, sliced pre-cooked duck meat, cliantro and fresh jalepenos.

Star anise is also a component in the dry brine I use for duck confit. I grind it and mix it with salt/sugar/fresh bay/pepper/juniper berries.

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One of my favorites, and one that is always a hit, is the simple recipe by Donna Hay available on MarthStewart.com for Star Anise Pork. Very good, flavorful and simple!

John DePaula
formerly of DePaula Confections
Hand-crafted artisanal chocolates & gourmet confections - …Because Pleasure Matters…
--------------------
When asked “What are the secrets of good cooking? Escoffier replied, “There are three: butter, butter and butter.”

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Star Anise, cloves, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes steeped in still hot simple syrup makes for a lovely spiced simple syrup for cocktails and sangria.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Melissa, your query prompted me to enter a recipe for Dottie's Chicken into RecipeGullet.

I also remember having a star anise sorbet somewhere within the last two years.  It was wonderful.  But, I most associate it with savory dishes.

Had a look at the recipe and wonder if you can edit it to show quantities - 1/2 soy - is that 1/2 cup? Similarly with other ingredients - the quantity is there but the unit is missing - no doubt a slip of the finger typo! I have them all the time. :biggrin:

Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

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Star Anise, cloves, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes steeped in still hot simple syrup makes for a lovely spiced simple syrup for cocktails and sangria.

Katie . . . I am really interested in this one. Do you have a recipe? Is it in RecipeGullet? :biggrin:

Sangria is a big favorite of my friends and family for big gatherings and we make a pretty good one. But I will bet that the addition of the star anise would knock it out of the ballpark. I could wing it on the syrup but am curious as to your proportions for the sangria.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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What absolutely divine recipes and ideas everyone has come up with! I can't make the pork dish because of kashruth issues in my kitchen but can do beef, veal, poultry, etc. I think I will most definitely try Dottie's Chicken from Recipe Gullet though!

Most appreciative of these cool ideas ... off to try that simple syrup, Katie! :wink: even someone as simple as I can see the value in that recipe! :laugh:

Katie's recipe, sort of, from Cocktails for Fall Foliage thread ...

I'm talking about 5 or so cinnamon sticks, a 8-10 star anise, a tablespoon each of cloves and peppercorns and a teaspoon or so of red chile flakes to one quart of 1:1 sugar:water simple syrup. Boil the spices in the syrup for five minutes and allow to cool overnight. Strain. Syrup should be "dessert spicy" with a subtle heat.

Melissa Goodman aka "Gifted Gourmet"

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Melissa, your query prompted me to enter a recipe for Dottie's Chicken into RecipeGullet.

I also remember having a star anise sorbet somewhere within the last two years.  It was wonderful.  But, I most associate it with savory dishes.

Had a look at the recipe and wonder if you can edit it to show quantities - 1/2 soy - is that 1/2 cup? Similarly with other ingredients - the quantity is there but the unit is missing - no doubt a slip of the finger typo! I have them all the time. :biggrin:

Recipe fixed. I should know better than to try to do this when the kids are walking in the door after school...

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
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I swiped one out of the big glass candleglobe tonight---we had had a lovely big white candle in there for the holidays, surrounded by a dump-in of cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, and star anise. I rinsed the star and threw it into the non-stick skillet as I quickly stir-fried some thin-as-threads shredded cabbage with cracked pepper and garlic...it was wonderful alongside a sissy Stroganoff with bow-tie pasta.

Just the THOUGHT of licorice or those horrid pfeffernuse things makes me cringe, but that little hint of the flavor in Chinese dishes...heavenly.

And I always add a couple of the pretties to mulled anything---if the originators had had star anise, they'd have included it in the original recipe with the cinnamon sticks and whole cloves. You use whatcha got.

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Thank you for fishing that up Melissa. I knew I'd written it out somewhere but for the life of me could not recall which thread...

My sangria recipe is basically the same for red or white. The base liquor is inexpensive wine (I use the Vella bag-in-a-box) that's a good "blank slate" on which to layer the flavors. I then add about 1 part orange liqueur (Torres Gran Orange is the best, but even Triple sec works OK) and 1 part brandy (Spanish brandy is best but E&J California will do in a pinch) to five parts of wine. So if a 750 ml bottle of wine is 25 oz. I'd add 5 oz each of orange liqueur and brandy. I'd then add 1 part simple syrup - spiced simple syrup for red wine, plain for white wine. Taste and see if it's sweet enough for you. If not, add a bit more syrup. Mix everything up and chill. Add chopped fruits of your choice (I like pears, apples and oranges) which have also soaked a little in a similar mixture of liqueur and brandy. Just before serving add a nice shot of club soda to thin out the sangria (there's a lot of booze in there!) and give it a slight frizzante. Serve over lots of ice.

I suspect that one could easily create a spiced simple syrup for white sangria that would be complimentary as well. I'm thinking something with sliced ginger and star anise would be delicious.

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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Carrots have an affinity for star anise. A carrot pureed soup infused with star anise is a wonderful treat.

Marc, would you post the proportions for that confit rub? That sounds great. And welcome to a fellow PNWer!

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I'm thinking something with sliced ginger and star anise would be delicious.

Katie: Oriental Ginger Cordial with Star Anise Syrup :biggrin: Looks superb!

Abra: Star Anise Carrot Syrup but what would you use it for? :rolleyes:

Ask and ye shall receive... :laugh:

I like the flavor combination idea, but I'm not sure I'd want to drink a shot of pureed ginger with its own syrup. Besides, I think the star anise needs to infuse into something, not just sit suspended in an ice cube to really come across.

I just received a box in the mail of a bunch of flavored cordial syrups that I got for cocktail experimentation. I just whipped up a drink with coconut rum, overproof rum, orange juice, fresh lemon juice, orange bitters, orgeat syrup and club soda. It's delicious if a bit too sweet and tropical for January. But it would be really delicious with a bit of spice in it like some ginger and star anise. That would make it more autumnal and warming, even on the rocks!

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

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BluePointes masaman curry is a good start and can easily be adjusted to add as much star anise as you like. It is added at the end of recipe so very easy to detect andd adjust.

Ingredients:

1/3 tsp. vegetable oil

1/4 can Massaman curry paste

1/4 tbs. curry powder

2 cans coconut milk

2 ea. star anise

3 ea. cardamom pods

1 ea. cinnamon sticks

1 tbs. palm sugar

1 tbs. fish sauce

3 tbs. tamarind paste, soaked

Method:

Heat vegetable oil. Add curry paste and sweat for two minutes. Add the curry powder and toast for one minute. Add the coconut milk a little at a time. Bring the curry to just under a simmer. Take off the heat and add the spices, palm sugar, fish sauce and tamarind. Strain through a chinois and keep warm.

Edited by blueapron (log)
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Many thanks, Katie. Those are now enshrined in my collection . . . With proper credit, of course.

Linda LaRose aka "fifi"

"Having spent most of my life searching for truth in the excitement of science, I am now in search of the perfectly seared foie gras without any sweet glop." Linda LaRose

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