Star anise is one of the central spices in Chinese cooking. It has a strong anise flavour, with a liquorice-like aroma. The dominant flavour in Chinese five-spice powder, star anise is also used to flavour alcoholic drinks such as pastis. The whole spice is an attractive eight-pointed star, but star anise is more often found ground to a powder.
Use ground star anise in baking or with duckling, or put the whole spice in a slow-cooking casserole.