Star Anise, makes biriyani what it is, Phó, the Vietnamese noodle soup would not be the same without it. The Chinese five spice powder would lose a major portion of its flavour profile without star anise.
Star anise and anise are NOT the same. But to have a similar flavour therefore star anise is a less expensive option in place of anise when it comes to baking.
Considering how little we use it in out daily lives the nutritional make up of it is almost insignificant but we cannot discount its flavour and medicinal properties. It is rich in bio active compounds like Quercetin, Anethole and Shikimic acid.
Fun fact – Star anise is an important source shikimic acid, a key component in the pharmaceutical synthesis of the antiinfluenza drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu).
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