Healthy Ingredient of the Week – Anise

Anise, a plant closely related to fennel and licorice, is used to flavor everything from Italian cookies to black jelly beans.  While anise extract imparts a nice flavor to sweets, anise seeds are a much better choice, nutrition-wise.  Anise seeds are a good source of iron and a low-calorie way to add instant flavor and crunch to everything from baked goods to savory main dishes.

Grilled Pork Chops with Anise Seed Rub and Mango Mojo

For mango mojo:
¼ cup fresh lime juice
1 large garlic clove
1 tablespoon chopped fresh jalapeño (including seeds)
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
For anise-seed rub:
1 tablespoon anise seeds
¾ teaspoon black peppercorns
1½ teaspoons sugar
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 (¾-inch-thick) loin pork chops, trimmed


  1. Heat grill.
  2. Make mojo: Purée mango, lime juice, garlic, and jalapeño in a blender, then stir in cilantro.
  3. Make rub: Finely grind anise seeds and peppercorns in an electric coffee/spice grinder with sugar. Transfer mixture to a small bowl and stir in oil.
  4. Grill pork: Brush both sides of pork with spice rub. Grill pork on an oiled rack set 5 to 6 inches over glowing coals 2 minutes on each side. Move pork off to side of grill (not directly over coals; moderately low heat for gas grills) and cook pork, covered, turning once, until just cooked through, about 3 minutes more on each side.
  5. Transfer to a platter and let stand, loosely covered, 5 minutes. Serve pork with mojo. 

Recipe adapted from Epicurious


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