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Old 12-12-2007, 10:48 PM   #1
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Exclamation Fennel seed substitute

I have a recipe that calls for 1/2 teaspoon of fennel seed. I have the plant and leaf/leaves instead and want to use them. I know the seeds have a more concentrated flavor, so it would take more of the leaf/leaves.

Does anyone know how much of the leaf/leaves would be an equal substitute to the 1/2 teaspoon of fennel seed.

This is for a dish I have to prepare for a potluck at work tomorrow.

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Old 12-13-2007, 03:07 AM   #2
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Sorry shayne but with out knowing the recipe I can't even judge if a sub. will be any good. Best of luck
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Old 12-13-2007, 06:05 AM   #3
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Welcome to DC Shayne! Oneoffour is right, a recipe would help to get an answer for you.
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Old 12-13-2007, 08:21 AM   #4
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the bulb needs to be sliced finely but even then the flavor is mild. The ground seeds are sweet and tasty and are used for sauces and other dishes. THe leaves are not much use except for a little decor or in a mixed green salad. the stalks aren't used except for flavoring stocks.


If the recipe calls for fennel seed you really need the fennel seed. Other herbs have a slight anise flavor too but not the sweet topuch of fennel. Depending on the recipe, I don;'t want to suggest a substitution.
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Old 12-13-2007, 08:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shayne_civic View Post
I have a recipe that calls for 1/2 teaspoon of fennel seed. I have the plant and leaf/leaves instead and want to use them. I know the seeds have a more concentrated flavor, so it would take more of the leaf/leaves.

Does anyone know how much of the leaf/leaves would be an equal substitute to the 1/2 teaspoon of fennel seed.

This is for a dish I have to prepare for a potluck at work tomorrow.
If you post your recipe, we can give you much better advice. The flavor of the seeds is much more concentrated than that of the vegetable, or the fresh herb (the fronds on top). It's hard to make a guess without knowing what other ingredients are involved.
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Old 12-13-2007, 08:38 AM   #6
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RoBo410 careful there are two different plants your are talking about. Bulb fennel has the thick celery like base to it. Herbal fennel has the habit of a dill plant and no bulbous base. I've grow the bronze form of the herbal fennel in the garden and it never gets a bulbous base. It does reseed like crazy to the point that it has to be weeded out. It is the herbal fennel that is the source of the spice seed not the bulb fennel
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Old 12-13-2007, 01:50 PM   #7
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Odd I went and looked in my herb books and checked some cooking books too and it seems there is one species that is fennel. Maybe there are varieties just as with tomatoes and some bulb while others don't? In any case it seems I am wrong there is one species it is just those in my garden have no bulbous base.
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Old 12-13-2007, 03:44 PM   #8
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Odd I went and looked in my herb books and checked some cooking books too and it seems there is one species that is fennel. Maybe there are varieties just as with tomatoes and some bulb while others don't? In any case it seems I am wrong there is one species it is just those in my garden have no bulbous base.
I'd speculate that soil conditions have a great deal of influence on bulb formation.
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Old 12-18-2007, 01:56 PM   #9
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It's not going to be the same but all I can suggest is anise or caraway.

I'm personally not to big on substitution.
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Old 12-31-2007, 01:55 PM   #10
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There is no way to substitute the seeds with any amount of bulb, but you might get away with a few teaspoons of the fronds if chopped up finely. Even then you will get a much faster dissipation of flavor than you would with the seeds.

And yes, there is only one species of fennel plant, but different varieties that have simply adapted to local concditions. For that reason it is always best to plant using seeds from your own successful plants rather than store-bought.

The only thing I have ever used to substitute for fennel seeds is star anise, which is a really interesting spice in its own right. However, it needs to be shelled to prevent having little wood-like bits in whatever you are cooking.
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