Smoked Star Anise

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This star anise is picked by hand in the mountains near the border between Vietnam and China. It's grown by partner farmers (and cousins!) Chu Thi How and Hoang Thi Keo. The star anise fruits grow on tall, straight trees. They start out as fibrous green fruits with a tart, underripe-peach flavor when they're picked, and they turn reddish-brown as they dry.

The winter harvest of this incredibly flavorful ingredient yields slightly smaller fruits that are first dried over a wood fire and then being sun-dried. This process concentrates the natural sweetness of the fruit and highlights the rich, nutty licorice essence while also imparting a light smoked aroma.

This Smoked Star Anise has a beautiful flavor and aroma perfect for both sweet and savory dishes. Add petals to stocks, braised meats, rice, teas and cocktails, or grind them up for desserts and baked goods.

Hint hint: Chew on a petal before cooking with it so you can experience the whole range of flavors. It's a wild ride!

  • Origin: Lang Son, Vietnam
  • Processing: Dried over a fire, then sun-dried
  • Ingredients: True star anise fruits (Illicium verum), smoked
  • Tasting Notes: Licorice • Tart Fruit • Honey


  • Add petals to homemade stocks, broths and braises
  • Throw 1-2 pods into a pot of rice after adding water
  • Add to your mulling spice mix for wine, pears, cocktails and teas
  • Grind and add to spice cookies, holiday cakes and homemade frosting or whipped cream
  • Shazia's Kabuli Pilau: Afghan Spiced Rice
  • Savory Kabocha Coconut Soup
  • Pho-Style Stock
  • Pairs well with: Royal Cinnamon, Pemba Cloves, Buffalo Ginger


This Smoked Star Anise is grown by members of the Muong ethnic group in northeastern Vietnam. It's picked by two cousins Chu Thi How and Hoang Thi Keo, who own a vertically integrated star anise company. They grow the fruits on their own farm and buy fresh fruit from their neighbors and community members, and they have a drying facility set up on the hill behind their home. Before their partnership with Burlap & Barrel, everything that they grew was shipped to China (the border is only about 15 miles away), but Burlap & Barrel is their first and only US partner.

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