Missing star anise that recipe calls for? A good nutmeg substitute is only a pinch away. Its flavor is warm and woodsy, yet delicate, making it versatile enough to be used in many cuisines including a vast range of Indian and Middle Eastern dishes. Try these spices to start.
Best Star Anise Substitutes
First Choice: Chinese Five Spice Powder
The traditional spices that go into Chinese five spice powder are star anise, Szechuan peppercorns, fennel, cassia, and clove. Given the heavy profile of star anise, this is a great substitute. However, the additional spices will also change the flavor profile of your dish, so be aware.
Other Options: Fennel Seed or Aniseeds
Fennel seeds have an anise, licorice and grassy flavor with spicy sweet notes, similar to star anise. Like star anise, fennel is also considered good for digestion. The flavor profile is slightly grassier, so test this in your dish first- in France and Italy, fennel is typically added to vinaigrettes, roasted fish and pasta dishes.
Last resort: Allspice or Cloves
Lastly, if you've run out of all other options, try allspice or cloves. Cloves and allspice are typically used in baking spices in the US and are popular in rice and meat dishes in North Africa. Use about equal parts cloves or allspice in place of star anise.