Star anise is the dried fruit of a Chinese evergreen tree. Propagation is done with semi-ripe cuttings and they will grow in well-drained but moist acidic soil, in light shade. Harvest the fruits just before ripening.
This 8 pointed star shaped spice is an essential ingredient in many Asian cuisines. In Vietnamese cookery it is used to flavour the noodle soup known as pho. Along with Sichuan pepper, cloves, cassia and fennel seeds, it is a component in Chinese Five Spice Powder and in Indian Garam Masala. You can use the spice whole, broken or ground. Add it to pork, chicken or duck stews. Insert a whole star anise into the cavity of a duck or chicken before roasting.
Recipes with star anise include the very popular lamb shank curry
information sourced from The Complete Book of Herbs