The Spice Trade

Industry insider knowledge, and usage tips on spices and other ingredients

Tag Archives: Star Anise

Recipe: Zongzi (chinese style dumplings)


Both my Chinese and Japanese grandma make zongzi (or chimaki in Japanese). Yet, they differ quite a bit. The ones made by my Japanese grandma are very simple and eaten with sweetened kinako (roasted soy bean powder). On the contrary, the ones made by my Chinese grandma contain lots of seasoned ingredients. Today, I’d like to share the recipe for a Chinese version. It takes a bit of preparation time but it’s worth it 😀 Photo: Raita Futo Recipe: Zongzi Yield: About 10-12 zongzi Ingredients 300g glutinous rice (the same kind used for making sticky rice or mochi) 200g pork shoulder loin ∗ … keep reading

Recipe: Star Anise Panna Cotta

Star Anise Panna Cotta

A few weeks ago, when I told my friend that I’d be writing recipe articles for Regency Spices, her immediate reaction was, “It must be difficult to come up with a recipe everyday using spices. I don’t even know how to use star anise!” Star anise. Yes, star anise, a lovely looking star shaped fruit, is not a common spice in everyday cooking. In Sichuan where my husband is originally from, star anise is used frequently including their famous Sichuan hot pot. But for now, for my friend and those who love sweets, I like to share one easy dessert recipe using … keep reading

Recipe: White Wine Jelly

White Wine Jelly

This is for white wine lovers. I have never used white wine for dessert making in the past. But I found the use of various spices along with white wine to make a splendid dessert was so unique and that I thought I would share this alluring jelly recipe invented by a chef from Hakkakuan in Osaka, Japan, in English 😀 Tips: The original recipe calls for mango ice cream to go with this jelly. Recipe: White Wine Jelly Serving: 4 Ingredients 750ml white wine 210g granulated sugar 3 star anise 15 cloves 15 black peppercorns 1 thai red ruby 1 grape fruit … keep reading

Recipe: Annin Tofu

Annin Tofu

When I was working in Yokohama, Japan, I would sometimes go to a nearby Chinese restaurant for lunch. Sometimes alone. Sometimes with my colleagues. They had a lunch set which changed on a weekly basis. But there was always annin tofu for desserts. And I liked it very much. There are instant mix available in a supermarket for annin tofu, but ones you make at your home are a lot creamier. The sweet flavor of star anise will linger in your mouth. Tips: This recipe involves two processes: (1) Make milk tofu; (2) Make star anise syrup. It is best to start making … keep reading

How to make your own pickles with raw spices

homemade pickles in a jar

It’s that time of year when pickles seem so attractive to eat. Put some in burgers, wraps and sandwiches, just eat them on the side as a snack, or use to top a salad or pasta. It’s a great way to get in some fun textures, flavours and a lot of nutrients! Here’s how you can make your own homemade pickles using whatever you have on hand, plus some staple spices. Recipe: Homemade pickles Ingredients 4-5 thinly sliced cucumbers 1 sliced bell pepper 1 thinly sliced carrot 1 thinly sliced celery 1 diced onion (optionally add or substitute any of … keep reading

Chicken Xacuti from Goa – not your traditional Indian food.

xacuti chicken curry spices goa

Food from Goa is not your usual indian fanfare of explosive spices. Owing to it’s portuguese heritage, much of the region’s cuisine is imbued with new sour-spicy and sweet flavours. It’s less about pure spice and deep warmth from garam masala. That said, Xacuti (pronounced Shakuti) masala is a fiery curry base, paired with sweet cool coconut giving a delicious fresh portuguese-indian blend of flavour. Chicken Xacuti Ingredients 1 kg chicken, cut into big pieces 5 grams turmeric powder 1 tsp salt 2 inches of ginger 10 flakes garlic 1/2 bunch fresh coriander 5 green chillies 2 tsp oil 2 … keep reading

Full flavoured Vegetarian Pho Recipe

vegetarian pho vietnam spiced noodles recipe

Phở is traditionally made with a strong beef broth, and normal vegetarian renditions which merely omit the meat taste bland and seriously lacking flavour. We’ve put together this full flavoured broth using some great ingredients, fresh spices and herbs that will challenge even the yummiest traditional beef broth pho. It’s now one of our favourite comfort foods, and very customizable to what fresh ingredients you have in your kitchen. The broth and noodles are the only staple, everything else is up to you! Recipe: Vegetarian Phở Serves: 2 Ingredients For the broth – 1 large onion, peeled and halved – … keep reading

All about Aniseeds

aniseed seeds regency spices

Aniseed is the fruit of the flowering plant Pimpinella anisum or known as Anise. Aniseed originates from the East Mediterranean basin. Today it can be found in the temperate climate zone. The Aniseed plant was cultivated originally for its medicinal properties in Ancient Egypt and in the Middle-East. Surprisingly, it belongs to the same family as Parsley and Carrot! Its a small seed that looks much like Caraway or Cumin. Despite the similarities in their name and flavor, anise and star anise are two very different spices. Sometimes they can be used interchangeably. Mind that Star Anise has stronger flavor … keep reading

Super Cooler Lychee Soda

lychee rose sparkling juice recipe

Lychee is now in season and we accidentally bought too much at the market. Here’s a great refreshing party drink that you can make using fresh lychees and some light, sweet spices. You can add more or less of the sparkling / tonic water to suit your tastes. Our ratio keeps it sweet, but not sickly sweet. Some people may like their drink even more diluted than this. In case you don’t want to serve it all up immediately, freeze the lychee juice before adding in the sparkling water. You can mix in the tonic water and serve as needed … keep reading

Five Spice Powder: What’s the real recipe?

Five Spice Ingredients

Five Spice Powder is as famous a foreign ingredient can get, while remaining a complete mystery. Most people know what it is, but if you ask them the ingredients, you’ll be greeted with many blank stares, or incomplete answers. The reason is simple, there is no fixed recipe. In a way, Five Spice is a lot like what Curry Powder is for Indians. Ask any Indian household what curry powder is, and you’ll be quickly told that there are many kinds of different curry powders to suit individual curries. Recipes also vary from house to house, city to city, and … keep reading