The whole stars are used to infuse stews and soups, but ground star anise is a part of the popular Chinese five-spice powder. Photos taken by Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa . As you see, the Japanese (top) and Chinese (bottom) can look practically the same when dried. Star Anise (Illicium Verum) is a star-shaped fruit from an Evergreen tree that is native to China. Anise and star anise are both very well-known for their many medicinal benefits. Star anise is native to northeast Vietnam but not to be confused with the western aniseed or the poisonous Japanese star anise. Medicinal Benefits . Star Anise vs. Anise Seed. Don't confuse star anise with the more common anise seed. Star anise is often confused with anise seed, due to both its similar name and flavor profile. According to WebMD, star anise seeds contain ingredients that… Use in stir-fries or with pork, veal or duck. Because both contain anethole, they share a licorice-like taste and aroma. Anise is most used ground or dried, but is also sold whole. However, these two spices belong to completely different families of plants and have many differences that set them apart. It is most often used in Asian cooking and is the main ingredient in Chinese “five-spice” powder. The Anise® namesake is derived from star anise, which is a seed pod of a medium-sized evergreen tree in the magnolia family (illicium verum). There is a big difference between these two types. Japanese star anise vs. Chinese. However, with star anise whole stars are used more. Star Anise is the star shaped fruit of a tree that is a member of the magnolia family. Star Anise is a spice most commonly used in Chinese and Vietnamese cooking. It has a similar licorice flavor as Common Anise but the flavor is stronger and more potent.
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