Although this pretty star-shaped spice has a similar smell and taste to anise and fennel, it has a more distinctive sweet note akin to licorice. It matches well with sweet potatoes or pumpkin as well as with poultry and seafood. The Chinese often add star anise to poultry and pork dishes; it is also a key ingredient in five-spice powder. The Vietnamese use the spice in their beef soup, pho. It is an ideal flavoring for roast chicken, and goes well with braised fish, scallops, and in clear soups.