I have a question about the recipe "Chinese Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Kale and Apple Slaw" from vvvanessa. If I leave out the star anise (I can't seem to find it in my grocery store), will it make a huge difference?
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I don't say this lightly but Star Anise is essential for a very specific flavor that IS this dish.It can be purchased in Asian markets. you could use anise seeds (a different spice altogether) but it would just not be the same. Just like soy sauce-- not substitutable. My suggestion is- make something else for now, and then find some star anise for the future.
It will be good without it too. But u can instead use a bit of Five Spice powder which u ll find in the slice aisle.
I meant spice aisle
Margie is a trusted home cook immersed in German foodways.
Star anise is not difficult to find. It may not be in the line-up with the usual spices, so if you are at a decent-sized grocery store, ask for it.
Really, it depends on where you live!
I absolutely love star anise and can't imagine there is an acceptable substitute. You might try the spice section of the 'international' aisle of your regular grocery store rather than the regular spice aisle.
June is a trusted source on General Cooking.
There is no substitute for star anise. Anything else you would use would give the dish a very different flavor. I would wait to make this until I had some.
If you have a local india market they carry a wide selection of spices and will have the anise...Also try you local asian restaurants and ask to buy a little they get in large amounts and to sell a little wouldn't hurt
Five Spice powder is obviously not a 100% substitute for Star Anise but a close one. Five Spice powder includes Star Anis, cloves, cinnamon, pepper, and fennel seeds (and a few variations); however, I find that the predominant flavor is the Star Anis. Five spice may be used with fatty meats such as pork and duck as well as chicken and seafood.
Ok I will try to look for it again at my grocery store, I couldn't find it with the spices or in the Asian food section, but I will ask an employee, thank you for your help!
I would play with a substitute, that being adding a splash (or two) or Pernod or Ouzo. Not so much as to overpower the other flavors, but enough to make people say "hmmmm, that's nice...what is it?"