Although this pretty star-shaped spice has a similar smell and taste to anise and fennel, it has a more distinctive sweet not akin to licorice. It matches well with sweet potatoes or pumpkin as well as poultry and seafood. Chinese cuisine often utilizes star anise in poultry or pork dishes; it is also a key ingredient in popular Chinese 5-spice powder. In Vietnamese cuisine, star anise is a power player in beef pho. It is an ideal flavoring for roast chicken and goes well with braised fish, scallops, and in clear soups.