Star anise is a popular spice known for its amazing health benefits. It is especially useful for reducing nausea, killing ailments and alleviating cramps. It is quite common to find star anise in the pantries across homes in many of the Asian countries. One can take inspiration from them for countless culinary uses. While in India it is used in a number of teas and rice preparations, other countries also use it to make accompaniments and condiments. Some of these uses make a whole lot of sense. We list 5 of the best creative culinary uses of star anise here - 

1. Chinese Tea Eggs

The boiled eggs are cracked with a spoon and doused with a syrup made of Chinese tea, peppercorns, star anise, cloves and soy sauce. You may not have heard of Chinese tea eggs yet, but they are sold all over China during the morning hour. Would you try it?

2. Sauces & Garnishes

In countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia and China, star anise is very commonly used to make appetiser sauces. Here’s an interesting 5-minute recipe — blend apricots, mango, Thai chilli, star anise powder, salt, sugar and water. That’s all. You can dip rice rolls in it. But if you only have time for salads, you can sprinkle star anise on pineapple or figs, melons and carrots too. You may also pair star anise with interesting, aromatic herbs such as mint or rosemary.

3. Hot Or Cool Drink

Photo: Lisa Hobbs

Whether you want to make hot cocoa or a cold coffee, try making use of star anise to create a mind-boggling drink. If it sounds really enticing, next time, skip the pumpkin spice and put the star anise in!

4. Chinese Five-Spice

In the Chinese five-spice, star anise is an important component. It beautifully works its way into the meat. You can make a lot of different marinades with Chinese five-spice to be used for ribs and steaks.  

5. Desserts  

Photo: Jonathan Borba

Star anise and maple syrup make a wonderful combination. Star anise can also be used in desserts such as pies, mousses, tarts, cakes and muffins. It lends a beautiful yet subtle flavour to any dessert.

We hope you enjoyed reading about all the ways you can use star anise!