hit counter

What is Fennel Seed Spice?

Fennel Seed Spice


Fennel Seed is a dried green-brown culinary spice derived from the fennel plant with many similar properties.

What does it taste like?

The spice has a light sweet anise flavor with a warm, sweet aromatic scent.

Fennel Seed Uses

Dry, it can be fried then ground fresh for maximum flavor from the fennel seeds. 

The seasoning is best suited infused and cooked in dishes such as tea, spice blends, fish stock, soup, dry rubs, sausages, pasta sauces, bread, biscuits, chutney, and oils.

Fennel Seed Substitutes 

  • Dill seed: substitute in baked recipes and sauces for anise flavor.
  • Anise seed: smaller and more pungent, similar in licorice flavoring.
  • Caraway seed: alike with anise notes, although not as sweet and with a higher level of spice.

Compliments and Pairings 

The light anise flavor of fennel seed spice is suited to ingredients including pork, lamb, fish, anchovy, garlic, honey, coriander, almonds, pear, dough, lentil, tomato, chili, onion, tarragon, artichoke, olive, beans, spinach, and cucumber.

Expiration and Storage

  • Whole seeds: store in an airtight container away from direct light and moisture for up to one year.
  • Ground: store in an airtight container away from direct light and moisture for up to six months.

Fun Facts About Fennel Seed

  • Sugar-coated fennel seed is chewed in India to relieve bad breath. 
  • One of the main botanicals used in liquors such as Absinthe. 
  • They were referred to as ‘meeting seeds’ by American Puritans as they were often chewed to pass time at meetings and sermons.

Where does it come from?

Native to the Mediterranean and popular in cuisines including Italian, Indian, and Middle Eastern. The seed of the fennel plant is a member of the carrot family. Check out wikipedia for a more detailed scientific explanation of its origins.

Popular Recipes

  • Fennel and coriander crusted salmon
  • Peshwari lamb kebab
  • Fennel seed cornbread
  • Honey and fennel milk
  • Fennel infused tea
  • Italian fennel sausage
  • Pear and fennel muffins
  • Roast porchetta
  • Panch poran
  • Lamb, anchovy and fennel meatballs

Chef Max

Michelin trained professional chef with a passion for recipe writing and all things food. I have worked for over five years at top restaurants across the UK and have gained an ability to create any recipe you desire, from comfort food recipes to fine dining recipes. My experience in food writing includes a placement at Delicious Magazine which involved feature writing, recipe testing, article research, and content creation.

Recent Posts