6 Best Star Anise Substitutes for Cooking (Updated 2024)

Star Anise Substitute

Star anise is not always readily accessible and is an expensive spice. That’s why you should know some decent star anise substitutes in case you have to use them. This article will provide you with options you can consider.

Asian cuisine commonly uses star anise. It has a licorice and nutty taste that adds authenticity to dishes.

To have the same effect in your recipe, check out the top substitutes you can use in place of star anise.

Best Star Anise Substitutes

1. Anise Seeds

Anise Seeds - Star Anise Substitute

Anise seeds have an overall flavor profile that is close to star anise. They have a licorice taste that many people like. Anise seeds come in various types: whole anise seeds, crushed anise seeds, and anise seed essential oil.

Whole anise seeds have a milder taste than crushed anise seeds and essential oil. The taste of anise seed essential oil is the most intense of the three.

Since anise seeds do not have as intense a flavor as star anise, you might need to use a few extra anise seeds in your recipe.

To substitute, use 2 teaspoons of crushed anise seeds for 1 teaspoon of star anise in your recipe. Alternatively, use 1/2 teaspoon of anise seed essential oil for 1 teaspoon of star anise.

2. Chinese Five-Spice Powder

Chinese Five-Spice Powder - Star Anise Substitute

Since it contains star anise, Chinese five-spice powder is an ideal alternative. Star anise is not only one spice in the mix, but it is also the most dominant spice.

When you try Chinese five-spice powder, you will primarily taste star anise, while the other spices act as a backdrop.

Substituting Chinese five-spice powder for star anise will enhance certain dishes because the additional spices balance the star anise.

If you decide to use this option, for every 2 teaspoons of ground star anise called for in your recipe, use 1 1/2 teaspoons of five-spice powder.

3. Caraway Seeds and Tarragon

Caraway Seeds and Tarragon

A mix of caraway seeds and tarragon has a comparable taste to star anise. It can provide a licorice flavor just like star anise.

Keep in mind that caraway seeds have a very intense, bitter taste that can overpower your recipe, so use them sparingly.

When combining the caraway seeds and tarragon, begin with a small amount, then gradually increase until you reach the desired taste.

You can use 1/2 teaspoon of the caraway seeds and tarragon mixture for 1 teaspoon of star anise required in your recipe. It works especially well as a substitute in soups and meat dishes.

4. Fennel Seeds and Anise Seeds

Fennel Seeds and Anise Seeds

Fennel seeds and anise seeds create a fantastic combination that can serve as a suitable alternative. The licorice taste of fennel seeds and the sweetness of anise seeds balance each other well.

Unlike star anise, both fennel and anise seeds have a moderate taste. Therefore, if you want a star anise flavor, you will need to use more of the mixture.

To substitute, use 1 1/2 teaspoons of fennel seeds mixed with anise seeds for 1 teaspoon of star anise in your recipe.

5. Ground Cloves

Ground Cloves - Star Anise Substitute

Do you have some ground cloves? Another excellent star anise replacement is ground cloves. Cloves may not have the same licorice taste as star anise, but they offer some amazingly sweet and bitter hints to your meal.

When combined with cassia bark powder, ground cloves perform well as an alternative. The taste is not as powerful as star anise, but it’s close enough. To produce a taste similar to star anise, you will need to use a bit more of your mixture.

To substitute, add 2 teaspoons of ground cloves blended with cassia bark powder for 1 teaspoon of star anise in your recipe.

This ingredient is recommended for meat dishes in place of star anise. You will love the result. You may even use the blend when preserving your homemade jams.

6. Allspice


Allspice is a useful alternative even though it lacks the licorice flavor. It will add a deep sweetness and distinct flavor to your recipe.

You can use it in a range of foods that call for star anise. You can add a little sugar to the allspice to make it taste more like star anise.

The Bottom Line

Star anise is a vital ingredient in many recipes. But you might need to use a substitute now and then.

These substitutes for star anise ensure you get a taste similar to it, even though it may not be exactly the same. Experiment with the options listed above to find the best match for your taste preferences.


6 Best Star Anise Substitutes

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