It has a liquorice-like aroma and taste that is actually stronger than anise, the spice used to flavour liquorice sweets. Star Anise is used in Chinese cuisine, especially in slow-cooked meat dishes. It goes particularly well with sweet and savoury sauces and the sweet, sticky Chinese spare ribs will almost always have been flavoured with Star Anise.
In addition to using Star Anise with Chinese and Asian food, try adding it to meat and fish dishes for a wonderful fusion flavour, it works especially well in a marinade for salmon or pork, and can lift an orange sauce to complement your roast duck. Use it also in fruit compotes, jams, spiced sweet pickles and in baking.