Star anise is the spice with the funny name that I have come to enjoy using in a variety of different cuisines. From a variety of Asian dishes, to American and Italian inspired cuisine, I have found it to provide a strong licorice flavor to anything I add it to. Recently I added it to Hong Kong-Style Tomato Sauce Pork, to accentuate the complexity of flavors in the sauce, and it was wonderful. I like to fry the star anise in oil along with my trinity of onion, garlic and chili peppers. Here is a list of my star anise uses so far:
I also use it in my Italian Pork Ragu, Sichuan Hot Chili Oil, Malaysian Chicken Coconut Curry and Hong Kong Style Tomato Pork. Recipes soon to come. I hear there exists Anise cookies and Anise gelato as well. I can't wait to give them a try!