About Star Anise
Star anise - the fruit of a Far Eastern shrub (Illicium verum), star anise is shaped like an eight-pointed star and contains shiny seeds with an aniseed flavour. It's used widely in Chinese cooking and is one of the five spices in Chinese five-spice powder, but also a real depth of flavour to any tomato based sauces.
Certain Thai curry pastes and soups use star anise, and authentic Thai iced tea uses this as a flavouring. The anise should not be eaten whole, but it looks pretty in the dish and imparts a wonderful aroma. Star Anise is also used very effectively in making aromatic pot pourri and treat infants for colic.