Whole Star Anise is often used in craftwork as it is so beautiful, on a plate as a garnish or floated in a pot of tea. Since the flavor of star anise is very strong, most star anise used in cooking is broken or powdered, as a whole star overpowers most dishes.
Broken Star Anise pieces are used in pickling (2- 3 points per quart), curry or stir fry (3-5 points per dish).
Powdered Star Anise is great for baking. Use 1 /3 as much as recipes using anise seed call for. Powdered star anise is essential for Chinese 5 spice and many Asian recipes for duck and pork.
Star anise is a spice that gets its name from its shape, it is the star shaped fruit of a small evergreen tree native to China. Each point of the star contains a shiny brown seed that is less aromatic than the pod.
Preparation and Storage:The whole stars can be added directly to the cooking pot; pieces are variously referred to as segments, points and sections. Otherwise, grind the whole stars as required. Small amounts are used, as the spice is powerful. Stored whole in airtight containers, it keeps for well over a year.