Anise star, sometimes referred to as star anise, is a star-shaped dark brown pod with eight segments. Anise star has been used as a spice and as medicine for over 3,000 years and, similarly to fennel, is known for its anise-like flavor. Anise star is used in Chinese, Indian and Indonesian cuisine and is a common ingredient in garam masala and Chinese five spice blends.
Anise star is a great addition to any mulling spice blend and can add a burst of flavor to any soup. To use in a broth, add 1-2 anise stars to 4 cups or broth to bring out an herbal flavor.
Anise star is used commonly in Traditional Chinese medicine to potentially aid in digestion and boost the immune system.