Thursday, 9 October 2014

Star anise

Jonnie Boer*** uses star anise in one of the compositions he shares with us. He uses it to make a glaze and crème. In the variation that we created on this dish, we used star anise oil. Star anise is a special flavour enhancer we'll tell you more about today!

Star anise – not to be confused with aniseed – comes from yellow, pink or red narcissus-type flowers that grow on a small tree. The fruits open out in the shape of an eight-point star. They are picked before they are ripe, while they still contain the seeds.

Star anise is particularly indispensable in Chinese cooking. Five spice, for example, is a well-known spice mixture that has star anise as one of its ingredients. Star anise is also used profusely in India, Vietnam and Thailand, to flavour ice tea, for example, or to incorporate in garam masala.

It is used in the kitchen in a variety of different ways. Heston Blumenthal, for example, swears by star anise in stewed meat, marinades, gravy, and other dishes in which you want a more meaty flavour. He uses half a star anise for each onion that he caramelises or fries as a basis for a sauce.

Want to know how else you could use star anise in the kitchen? At Gastronomixs you'll find various components using star anise as a flavour enhancer!

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