Star of Anise Substitute

4 Spice Mixes to Substitute for Star Anise

From Chinese traditional medicine to bakeries; star anise has always been a classic spice for any kitchen. Star anise seeds are used to give warmness and richness to many Vietnamese recipes like Pho. 

In fact, anise is such a comforting spice that people love to drink it too! It’s basically nostalgia in a cup.

Its impact may be huge, but it’s not hard to find a substitute for star anise. So, if you’re looking for herbs to replace anise in today’s dinner, this article’s for you! 

Get ready to substitute anise with 4 simple spice mixes in your pantry.

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What does Star Anise Taste Like?

Star anise brings together a sweet and spicy balance. Anise is a warm spice with undertones of licorice, nuts, and black pepper.

Fresh star anise has a fragrant aroma. That’s why it’s used in many sweet and savory baked dishes.

4 Brilliant Substitutes for Star Anise

Star anise seeds are ideal for soups and spicing larger pots where they release and distribute the flavor nicely. Meanwhile, powdered anise can give a more concentrated kick to your dish.

In some recipes, seeds and powder can be interchangeable. Add half a teaspoon of powder for every whole star anise. 

If you’ve just run out of both the seeds and the powder, there might be a few spice mixes that can save your dish in a pinch.

Chinese 5 Spices Premix Powder

Guess what the five spices are in the Chinese premix? Well, star anise is one of those. The other four are cloves, cinnamon, peppercorn, and fennel. On the plus side, Chinese spice mixes are available in most grocery stores.

Allspice Premix Powder

Allspice has a warmness to it that’s similar to anise. It also has an aroma that’s often compared to clove and cinnamon.

If it’s the sweetness that you’re looking for, try adding licorice to your mixes.

Clove + Cassia Cinnamon Mix

When you’re cooking savory dishes, cloves can bring a mild spiciness. Mix that with equal amounts of cassia bark and you’ll get a decent spice mix to use instead of star anise. 

Caraway + Tarragon Mix

Tarragon has a bittersweet undertone that’s comparable to licorice. Just be careful when using caraway seeds, they can be very overpowering. Try smaller portions first, then work your way up according to taste.

If you want to use a single ingredient as a substitute for star anise, fennel is the way to go. Their volatile oil composition is a close enough match. Fennel seeds can be used in equal amounts to substitute star anise in most baked recipes.

How Much Anise Extract to Replace Ground Aniseed?

Use half the amount of anise extract when replacing ground aniseed. Use one tablespoon of anise extract instead of three tablespoons of ground aniseed.

What Is The Difference Between Anise Seeds And Anise Extracts?

Star anise pods contain more than just anise oil; they have seeds inside them too. In addition to being delicious on their own, these little black specks add depth to your favorite recipes by giving off a subtle hint of spice.

Are Star Anise and Anise Different?

Yes, they are not the same! They both come from a completely dissimilar plant family. The difference lies in their size and shape. Anise is much smaller and rounder than star anise.

How Do You Use Star Anise?

You use Star Anise for its flavor and aroma. When you cook with it, it adds a unique taste to your food.

Capers can easily be substituted.

Wrapping Up

So now you know – What are some good substitutes for Anise extract.

While anise has a long list of components, it’s mostly used for its mild spiciness, rich aroma, and earthy flavor. That’s why it’s a good idea to find a substitute for star anise that’s sweet like licorice, spicy like clove or cinnamon, and earthy like fennel. 

Premixes like the Chinese five spices can be a lifesaver! They combine these flavors together and are really easy to find.