Video: Star Anise from Spices of Life

Here's another quick video bite from Nina Simonds and Spices of Life. This week it's all about star anise - good for braises, stews, tea, and... chomping?

For more on star anise, read on. Star anise, the eight-pointed star, is great as a flavoring and braising spice for meats, as a digestive tea when smashed and steeped in boiling water, AND has a terrific licorice-y taste. Once only available in Asian markets, you can now buy it in the spice section of supermarkets. I like to smash it before I use it to release its full flavor. It’s great in savory dishes, such as the Braised Pork with Sweet Potatoes or in desserts such as the Poached Pears in Red Wine. (Go to the recipe section.) It’s also great paired with cinnamon sticks. And it’s a great seasoning year-round (I also use it in meat marinades), but especially in time for Chinese New Year.

Thanks Nina!

Go visit Nina Simonds and her spice tips at Spices of Life!

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.

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