Bulk Star Anise Whole

Illicium verum
Star anise, whole image
[ 298 ]Illicium verum

Star Anise Whole

1/4 Pound:  $9.59 Pound:  $21.32 buy now  

Star Anise, also called Chinese Star Anise and Star Aniseed, is a spice obtained from the fruits of an Asian shrub. It is so-named because the seed pods are star-shaped and contain a highly aromatic compound called anethole, which is responsible for the anise-like flavor of the spice.

As a component of garam masala and Chinese Five-Spice Powder, star anise is a common seasoning in Indian and Asian foods. Whole star anise is also used in potpourri mixtures and tea blends.

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quick look

information at a glance

approximate cups to one pound8
active compounds1,4-cineol, shikimate (shikimic acid)
plant part usedseed pod
why buy star anise?The star pods are fragrant and attractive. Just one gives a lot of flavor, so use sparingly.

buying & keeping

general guidelines and tips

storage tipsStore in an airtight container away from heat and light.
appearance & aromaPods are a deep amber color with a scent reminiscent of licorice. Each pod holds 3 to 5 glossy seeds.
good vs badWhole star anise will keep for a year properly stored. Grind just before using as a baking spice because the powder only lasts a few months.


try something new

decorativeAdd the whole pods to potpourri and simmering spice mixes.
culinaryFeatured in Asian cooking. Infuse whole star anise pods in wine, gin, vodka or brandy. Add to custom tea blends, especially chai recipes. Use the ground spice in baking.
aromaticStar anise contributes a spicy note to perfumes.
wellnessA whole pod may be chewed to fresh breath.
industrialStar anise is a flavoring agent in chewing gum, candy and cough syrups. The seed is used to manufacture the antiviral drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu).

flavor profile

star anise

Star anise has a warm, spicy, licorice-like flavor.

culinary companions

Star anise flavor goes well with beef and pork as a component in marinades and BBQ sauces.

what else you should know

star anise

Star anise is indigenous to southeastern China, but is also cultivated in Vietnam and in India, where it is known as ba jiao and badian khatai, respectively. Oddly, this species of tree is also found in New South Wales along the eastern coast of Australia. However, this spice should not be confused with Japanese star anise (Illicium anisatum), which is highly toxic.

In China, star anise is a key ingredient in savory dishes and in foods prepared using a method referred to as “red” cooking. Typically, these are stews that consist of meat and vegetables (and sometimes boiled eggs) that are braised for 20 minutes to produce hongshao or for several hours to achieve lu. In either case, and as the cooking term suggests, the end result is tender, flavorful and takes on a red color from the combination of soy sauce, fermented bean paste and spices.

Star anise is also used to flavor several types of liquors, such as French pastis and sambuca and Galliano from Italy.

Although the small tree that star anise is harvested from can continue to produce fruit for as long as 100 years, it takes at least six years before the first pod appears.

Frequently bought together

for educational purposes only

This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

please be advised:  Before making any changes to your diet you should always consult with your doctor, especially if you are pregnant, nursing or have existing conditions.

All reviews solely reflect the views and opinions expressed by the reviewer and not that of Monterey Bay Herb Co. We do not verify or endorse any claims made by any reviewer. None of these statements have been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition.