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Salmon Salad with Fennel, Orange, and Mint

['1/4 cup sugar', '1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar', '2 whole star anise*', '4 cups cold water', '1 1-pound salmon fillet with skin', '2 navel oranges', '4 cups very thinly sliced fennel (from 2 medium bulbs)', '1 cup small fresh mint leaves', '2 tablespoons olive oil']

Place sugar, vinegar, star anise, and 4 cups cold water in large deep skillet. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to boil over high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Add salmon fillet, skin side up, to skillet. Cover skillet and remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes. Using slotted spoon, turn salmon over; cover and let stand until salmon is just opaque in center, 5 to 6 minutes longer. Remove salmon from liquid and cool. Coarsely flake salmon into medium bowl, removing bones and skin; set aside.
Cut top and bottom 1/4 inch off each orange. Stand 1 orange on 1 flat end. Using small sharp knife, cut off peel and white pith. Working over large bowl, cut between membranes, releasing segments into bowl. Repeat with remaining orange. Add salmon, fennel, mint, and olive oil. Gently toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
Star-shaped seedpods; sold in the spice section of some supermarkets and at specialty foods stores and Asian markets.

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