Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jul 27, 2011 11:21 AM

What do you use star anise in? Fuchsia Dunlop to the rescue! Other ideas?

I may have already posted this, but in response to jhinwa's search for things to use recently-scored star anise mentioned on another thread, here is a delicious and very easy recipe for braised beef, based on a recipe in Fuchsia Dunlop's "Land of Plenty":

This is the easiest Chinese dish I know.

3 lb chuck with most of the fat cut off, in 2" cubes
6 tb Sichuan hot bean sauce ("la dou ban jiang", I like Kimlan brand but any one will do)
2 (or more) scallions, trimmed, whole
1 2" piece of ginger, smashed with a cleaver or just sliced in 2 longitudinally
1 tsp whole Sichuan peppercorns
1 star anise
2 tsp dark soy
1/4 c rice wine, dry Sherry, or Scotch
1 qt beef stock (I used water + 2 Knorr beef cubes)

She has you blanch the beef in boiling water, I don't bother.
Heat the bean paste until sizzling (she says to add additional oil, no need).
Add all the other stuff, stir up, bring to a simmer.
Bang it in the oven at around 325-350 deg F.
Let cook for about 3 hours (longer doesn't hurt, but reduce temp at the 3 hour point, to 300 or less).

The meat should be as soft as marrow when done.
Delicious as is, also delicious heated up and on noodles.
Can add chestnuts, daikon radish, that sort of thing at the midway point.

What other lovely dishes do you use it in?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Throw a couple of whole ones in your next beef or pork pot roast.

    It adds a great flavor note that will have your guests scratching their heads wondering...

    1. Chinese beef and noodle soup.

      1. If you don't Sichuan hot, star anise belongs in any Chinese (Cantonese) 'red-cooked' dish (chicken, beef, tongue, pork).

        A recently aired episode of Ming on CreateTV paired star anise and cranberries
        is his red-cooked pork with star anise and cranberries

        5 Replies
        1. re: paulj

          love it with cranberries. in fact, i love it with many different fruit preparations, compote, chutney, poached pears, macerated berries, applesauce...

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            I like it with fruit too, ghg. And I had a cocktail at a resto in DC a few years ago that was made up of fresh lemon, tarragon-infused vodka & lillet blanc with star anise that was so delicious I re-created it at home.

            1. re: lynnlato

              Lynn - shaken or stirred, served up in a stem glass? (I never use the word martini unless, well...) not to take this OT but which place? at PX, PS7, other? there weren't that many crafty cocktail places a few years back

              'cause that sounds good, although I might sub rosemary for the tarragon.

              1. re: hill food

                hf, It was served up in a martini glass. I think they used a lemon-infused simple syrup (which is nice just w/ lillet blanc on the rocks and a splash of club soda). I think rosemary would be just as nice - I love rosemary and lemon together. Oh, and they just floated the star anise in the glass.

                I cannot recall the name of the restaurant. We went there for cocktails only and it was in a complex with other restaurants and folks eating outside at the different places. They had an interesting artisinal cocktail menu. Afterwards we went to Poste for dinner (and had steak tartare and a really great rabbit bolognese that I still remember vividly - yum). :)

          2. the STAR's one of our "hall of famers" from Epicurious, Chicken Braised with Mushrooms and Star Anise" --your entire home will have the aroma of anise wafting throughout, so very magical!.....

            2 Replies
            1. re: Val

              Boyoboy does that sound good!!! The Beast would love that.

              1. how about burying it in some sugar for a while, and then using it in any number of cookies/desserts/sauces?