Stewed Rhubarb with Star Anise and Ginger

This past weekend, I picked up some fresh rhubarb from our local farmer's market. I have never cooked rhubarb before, but have been meaning to try it for a while.

The rhubarb I usually see in the supermarket is red, but the ones at the farmer's market were light green speckled with pink. As I stood in line, there were several woman talking about the rhubarb "sticks." I joined in on the conversation to find out how these ladies cooked their rhubarb. Both of them suggested simply cooking the rhubarb in just a little bit of water and sugar for 20 minutes. They said they enjoyed eating rhubarb just like that. I thought how simple, and what an easy way to try cooking rhubarb for the first time. Although strawberry rhubarb pie seems to be quite popular, I wanted to taste rhubarb on its own since this was the first time I was cooking with it.

I decided to spice up the rhubarb a bit and add an Asian twist with some star anise and ginger. Since the rhubarb I picked up was not very red, I cooked it with some pomegranate juice, hoping to add some color. I also added a squeeze of fresh orange juice and orange zest to compliment the star anise and ginger. I started with just 1/4 cup of jaggery, but it was too tart for my taste, so I added more until it was just sweet enough, but still tart.

Although the ladies at the market said to cook the rhubarb for 20 minutes, I ended up cooking it for about 35 minutes and ended up with a velvety smooth consistency. After refrigerating it, I served it with some sweetened coconut milk to round out the tartness in the Stewed Rhubarb. The flavors of the star anise, ginger and orange juice combined with the tartness of the rhubarb reminded me of a Chinese preserved plum that I used to eat as a kid, with a licorice taste. Next time, I might try making a Gluten-Free Crisp using rhubarb.


Stewed Rhubarb with Star Anise and Ginger 

If you like some pieces of rhubarb left in the Stewed Rhubarb, reduce the amount of pomegranate juice to 1/4 cup, and cook for 20 minutes only.


5 rhubarb "sticks", trimmed and cut into 1" pieces

1/2 cup pomegranate juice

1/2 cup ground jaggery or coconut sugar

2 star anise

1 one-inch piece ginger, peeled, sliced

juice and zest of one orange

1/2 cup coconut milk

honey or agave nectar, to taste

toasted almonds, for garnish


Place rhubarb, pomegranate juice, jaggery, star anise, ginger, orange juice and orange zest in a saucepan. 

Bring to a boil; then reduce heat to low and cook for 30-35 minutes until rhubarb breaks down into a thick sauce.

Whip coconut milk with honey to taste until well blended.

To serve, spoon stewed rhubarb into glasses. Top with coconut milk. Garnish with toasted almonds.

Jeanette from Jeanette's Healthy Living