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Chinese 5-Spice

Star anise is actually a fruit that grows on the tree,  Illicium verum. The star shaped fruit contains anywhere from five to ten points. Within each point there are seeds that posses the compounds that give this spice its licorice-like scent and flavor. Star anise is often confused aniseed because of its similar flavor profile, but it is a different plant altogether. Aniseed is a relative of the fennel plant.  Star anise is common in Asian cuisine. One of the major compounds found within star anise is shikimic acid. This is the primary ingredient used to synthesize antiviral drug oseltamivir,  commonly known as Tamilflu, which is used in the treatment of avian flu.

• 2 Tbs. ground star anise
• 2 ½ tsp. ground fennel
• 1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
• ½ tsp. ground Sichuan or black pepper
• ¼ tsp. ground cloves

Combine all ingredients well.

Chinese 5 Spice

Chinese 5 Spice