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Recipes for star anise, the influenza fighter

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posted on Apr, 28 2009 @ 02:46 PM
Want to boost your resistance to the currently circulating swine flu, or any future mutation of influenza? Tamiflu, the high-priced drug prescribed within the first 48 hours of flu symptoms, was created from Chinese star anise. So why not skip the high-priced strategy, use the real thing, and give your immune system a powerful boost while fixing some great-tasting meals?

First of all, in order to clarify what Chinese Star Anise is and is not, here is a link to a good summary article (with photo) in Wikipedia:

Both the pod and seeds are used in cooking, but remove them before you serve the meal. Many of these recipes go back hundreds of years or more, and originate in different parts of the world, such as East Asia, India, and Maylasia, for example. Be aware that Chinese 5 spice mix as well as India's garam masala spice mix both contain Chinese star anise.

On the internet, you will also see some recipes for star anise tea, but there are government (FDA) warnings online about such recipes. The adverse effects some have suffered from star anise tea, however, may be caused by the use of the wrong star anise (Japanese star anise), per the above Wikipedia article.

You can buy Chinese star anise (both in whole star-shaped rosettes or in single seed-bearing pods) at larger grocery stores, but prices are higher for a smaller quantity of star anise. I purchase large bags of star anise at ethnic grocery stores such as Indian markets, where the price is incredibly low, the volume generous, and the quality excellent.

Here are some recipes to get you started. And if you have your own favorite Star Anise recipes, please add those.

Simmer sauce

Most often, simmer sauce is used in cooking chicken and other fowl, as well as meats. It also works very well with tempeh or tofu. Add the dry spices together in a small bowl, mix them, then tie them up in a bit of cheesecloth so they will be easy to remove at the end of cooking.

2 whole Chinese star anise
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 stick cinnamon
1 2' square piece of dried tangerine or orange skin

6 cups water
1 cup high quality tamari or shoyu (soy) sauce
1/3 cup red wine or sherry
1 TBSP maple syrup

Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil. Then turn down the heat and simmer for 1 hour. Once the solid ingredients are removed, the simmer sauce is ready for use. If necessary, store it in a covered container in your refrigerator 1-2 days before use.

Marbled Egg Appetizer

Hard-boil 8 eggs in filtered water for up to 10 minutes. Remove them from the water, cool them in cold water, and lightly crack each eggshell all over with a metal utensil.

Replace the cracked hard-boiled eggs in a cooking pot, and add filtered water until the eggs are covered with 1'' of water. Then add:

2 star anise rosettes (star shapes)
2 TBSP high quality tamari or shoyu (soy) sauce
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 heaping tsp of your favorite tea leaves

Bring to a boil, simmer covered for 1/2 hour, then set the cooking pot aside for 2 or more hours. Peel the shells from the eggs and serve them at room temperature. Leftovers, if any, should be refrigerated and eaten within 24 hours.

Side dish of beans

Several different types of beans can be used successfully in this recipe, My favorites are fava (also called Windsor or broad) beans, great northern beans, black-eyed peas and small lima beans, but I'm now trying this recipe with aduki beans ... time will tell! Several types of sprouted beans work even better in this recipe, such as sprouted fava beans, sprouted black-eyed peas, etc. (Post a reply if you want to know how to sprout fava beans.)

2 cups cooked or sprouted beans of your choice
1 TBSP unrefined sesame oil (I use Spectrum brand unrefined oils)
2 TBSP high quality tamari or shoyu (soy) sauce
1 TBSP maple syrup
1 whole Chinese star anise rosette (star shape)
2 cups water
Optional: garnish of chopped parsley, cilantro, or other garnish of your choice.

Using a wok or regular frying pan, add the oil and turn on a medium heat. After 30 seconds, add the beans and stir them for 1 minute. Add the other ingredients and stir until the ingredients are blended. When a boiling temperature is reached, lower the temperature to a simmer, cover the container and let it simmer for 30 minutes or until very little liquid is left in the cooking vessel. Remove the star anise rosette and any loose seeds, and pour the beans into a hot serving dish. If desired, garnish with a little chopped parsley. This dish will serve from 2 to 4 persons, depending on how much other food is served at the same time.

Vegetarian ham

1/2 pound dried soybean curd (sold in Chinatown).
(Note: Dried soybean curd is often called yuba, and looks like a dried rolled-up or curled piece of thick parchment sheets in the form in which it is most often sold, in dimensions of approximately 8 to 10 inches by 8 to 12 inches.)

Soak 1/2 pound of dried soybean curd (also known as yuba) in filtered water to cover it until it has softened, approximately 1/2 hour.

Make up the following seasoning mix:
2 Chinese star anise rosettes, powdered (use a mortar and pestle or spice grinder to grind it into a powder)
5 chinese or other mushrooms of your choice finely chopped
1 tsp freshly grated or powdered ginger
2 TBSP high quality tamari or shoyu (soy) sauce
1/4 cup filtered water
1 TBSP toasted sesame oil

Separately: You will also need one or two large sheets of nori seaweed for the assembly stage. Plan to save two large pieces of rehydratd soybean curd to serve as the bottom and top pieces of the assembled layers.

Marinate the rehydrated soybean curd in the seasoning mix for 1-2 days in a covered container or large plastic bag in your refrigerator.

Assembly stage:
Lay out a plain cotton cloth or large piece of cheesecloth flat across a large cutting board or clean kitchen counter. Place one of the largest pieces of soybean curd on the cloth surface, then add some smaller pieces of soybean curd, followed by a sheet of nori. then any remaining small pieces of soybean curd in a symmetrical layer, followed by the remaining large piece of soybean curd on top. Then use the underlying cloth to begin to roll the shorter edge of this stack into a jellyroll shape. Once the finished roll is assembled, wrap the cloth around the roll, making sure that the cloth is tightly secured.

[edit on 4/28/2009 by Uphill]

posted on Apr, 28 2009 @ 02:50 PM
reply to post by Uphill

Continuation of Vegetarian Ham recipe:

Fold over the ends of the cloth and tie all of the ends with cotton string. Steam for 2 hours, then remove it and let it cool a little. When cool, remove the cloth and cut the "ham" into slices for serving. You can make a large quantity and freeze it, either in large sections or pre-sliced.

Correction to the simmer sauce recipe: I should have said that after first bringing the sauce to a boil, put a cover on the cooking pot, then bring it down to a simmer, etc.

(I ran out of space in the Original Post.)

Also, because I ran out of space, I cannot change the OP name of Swine Flu to what the World Health Organization just now recommended as a name change: North American Influenza.

PS: We just ate the azuki beans (flavored with star anise) with our dinner. Excellent!

[edit on 4/28/2009 by Uphill]

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