Sunday, January 29, 2023
HomeHealthy FoodMethods to Make Ginseng Tea (花旗參茶)

Methods to Make Ginseng Tea (花旗參茶)

Like many Chinese language children, I needed to drink ginseng tea each time I ate too many fried or greasy meals. Fried meals are thought of to be 熱氣 (yeet hay in Cantonese), which accurately means “sizzling air.” The concept is that when you eat too many meals that set off heat vitality your physique will likely be imbalanced. Consequently, it’s worthwhile to eat issues which are cool, 涼 (leung in Cantonese), to steadiness out the vitality. Ginseng tea is a sort of 涼茶 (leung cha) that has cooling properties.

Mama Lin holding a bowl of ginseng tea

Mama Lin would boil American ginseng root (花旗參) with water for an hour or so after which pour the tea into small bowls for me to drink. Though I had an aversion to bitter Chinese language natural teas once I was younger, I realized to like ginseng tea. The bitterness of ginseng is comparatively delicate in comparison with different Chinese language herbs. 

Ginseng teabags

These days, Mama Lin offers me containers of ginseng tea luggage which are handy to organize. All I must do is steep the tea bag in sizzling water for a cup of ginseng tea. Though handy, my mother insists that making ginseng tea from dried roots is best. She defined that the ginseng used for tea luggage are often the chances and ends of the bigger root and are often decrease high quality. 

That’s why I lastly bought her to point out me methods to make ginseng tea from the dried roots. In any case, it was time for me to study!

Dried ginseng root


Ginseng are natural roots from crops of the genus Panax. The highest portion of ginseng vaguely resembles a carrot however with mild brown pores and skin and white flesh. Springing out from the underside is a community of lengthy and skinny twisting roots. 

There are a number of forms of ginseng, the most typical being Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) and American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius). Whereas there are different forms of roots labeled as “ginseng,” they’re not thought of true ginseng as a result of they don’t include the energetic ingredient ginsenosides. 

Ginseng is usually cultivated for a minimum of a number of years earlier than it’s harvested. Though the recipe under is for ginseng tea, many Asian households put together ginseng soup manufactured from ginseng, hen, a number of easy herbs and typically jujubes (pink dates). These days, you too can discover ginseng extracts, tablets, and even sweet!


Ginseng has been cultivated in Asia, significantly China and Korea, for 1000’s of years. The range that’s present in China is often generally known as 人參 (yun sum, in Cantonese, ren shen in Mandarin). In Chinese language drugs retailers, Korean ginseng is generally called 高麗參 (go lai sum in Cantonese, gao li shen in Mandarin). (The phrase 高麗 comes from the Goryeo dynastic interval in Korea, which started within the tenth century. 高麗 is usually utilized in Chinese language to explain issues from Korea.)


American ginseng is usually grown in the US and Canada. Ginseng from the US is called 花旗參 (fa kay sum in Cantonese, hua qi shen in Mandarin). The phrase 花旗 refers back to the American flag and it’s typically used to explain issues from the US. My mother tells me that Wisconsin is understood for rising good high quality ginseng. When my siblings visited our ancestral village in Taishan (台山), they introduced again Wisconsin ginseng as items to outdated neighbors. 


Generally you’ll see ginseng described as “white ginseng” or “pink ginseng.” The distinction between these two varieties comes all the way down to the processing of the foundation. White ginseng is peeled and dried beneath the solar. Purple ginseng is peeled and steamed earlier than they’re dried. Plenty of ginseng merchandise from Korea are pink ginseng. The distinction in processing impacts the chemical compositions of white and pink ginseng, and they could have an effect on how our our bodies react to the foundation.


In conventional Chinese language drugs, ginseng has many helpful properties: boosting the immune system, strengthening the lungs, aiding digestion, and soothing illnesses basically. For extra details about how ginseng is utilized in conventional Chinese language drugs, try Historical Knowledge, Fashionable Kitchen by Yuan Wang, et. al. This guide is my go-to useful resource for details about conventional Chinese language drugs.

Ginseng root and tea in bowls


My favourite technique to devour ginseng is to make tea from the foundation. I fairly benefit from the delicate bitterness of ginseng. Every time my mother makes ginseng tea, she’ll boil sliced ginseng with water and a tiny little bit of rice. Mama Lin defined that ginseng could be too 寒 or chilly for youthful kids or the aged to deal with. The grains of rice balances out the cool vitality of the ginseng in order that weaker-bodied individuals can course of the tea. (Notice: 寒 is pronounced hon in Cantonese and han in Mandarin). 

Ever the Chinese language mom, Mama Lin by no means measures substances exactly. She usually grabs a small handful of ginseng and muscle groups her method by slicing the roots into 1/4 to 1/2-inch slices. Ginseng root may be very laborious and banging your knives into the roots is a surefire technique to uninteresting your knives. 

After my mother dented my chopping board by hacking away at dried ginseng, she instructed me that I might additionally steam ginseng for a couple of minutes earlier than slicing. The steaming softens the foundation, making it a lot simpler to work with. 


Wok and steaming rack

To steam ginseng, place a steaming rack within the heart of a wok (or pot). Fill the wok with water, leaving a few 1-inch hole between the water degree and the highest of the steaming rack. Convey the water to boil.

Steamed ginseng

Put the ginseng on a heat-resistant plate and relaxation the plate over the steaming rack. Cowl the wok, and steam the ginseng for five to eight minutes. Let the ginseng cool for two or 3 minutes earlier than slicing.

Boiling ginseng and rice


Give the ginseng slices a fast rinse and place them in a big saucepan. Rinse 1 teaspoon of rice to do away with the starch. Then, add the rice to the saucepan, together with 5 to six cups of water. Convey the water to boil. Scale back the warmth to a low simmer and proceed cooking the ginseng tea for 1 hour. 

Let the tea cool barely earlier than consuming. It’s nice to drink whereas it’s nonetheless heat or fully cool. Retailer leftovers in a jar and refrigerate for as much as 3 to 4 days. I prefer to heat up refrigerated ginseng tea within the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds earlier than consuming.

Rising up, I bear in mind my dad reusing the roots to make one other batch of ginseng tea. As a result of the ginseng isn’t fairly as sturdy, he’ll use much less water for the second batch.


You may usually discover dried ginseng in Chinese language drugs retailers. I’ve seen it often in Chinese language grocery shops too. I’ve by no means purchased them on-line, however I discovered this Wisconsin ginseng on Amazon.


Mama Lin holding ginseng tea


Servings: 4

Creator: Lisa Lin

Methods to Make Ginseng Tea

To make the ginseng tea, you’ll must slice the ginseng into 1/4 to 1/2-inch slices. My mother often hacks away on the ginseng with a cleaver, however dried ginseng could be very troublesome to slice by. I like to recommend steaming the foundation first to melt it barely earlier than slicing.

Prep Time15 minutes

Prepare dinner Time1 hr 15 minutes


  • 6 (2 to 3-inch) items of dried ginseng (about 30 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon (4 grams) jasmine rice, can sub with any white rice
  • 5 to six cups (1.2 to 1.4 liters) water, relying on how sturdy you need the tea


  • Get your steaming setup prepared. Place a metallic steaming rack inside a wok, pot, or a sauté pan. Fill the cooking vessel with water, leaving a few 3/4 to 1-inch hole between the water degree and the highest of the steaming rack. Cowl the cooking vessel and convey the water to boil over excessive warmth.

  • Add the ginseng to a heat-resistant plate or pie dish and relaxation atop the steaming rack. Cowl the cooking vessel with the lid and steam the ginseng for five to eight minutes. Flip off the warmth and thoroughly take away the ginseng. Let the ginseng cool for two to three minutes.

  • Slice the ginseng into 1/4 to 1/2-inch thick items. If the ginseng nonetheless feels very powerful, you possibly can steam it for one more 5 minutes earlier than slicing once more. Switch the sliced ginseng to a big saucepan.

  • Give the rice a fast rinse and add it to the saucepan. Pour the water into the saucepan.

  • Convey the water to boil. Then, scale back the warmth to a low simmer and proceed cooking the ginseng tea for 1 hour. Let the tea cool barely earlier than consuming. You may drink it heat or at room temperature. Retailer any leftovers in a jar within the fridge for as much as 4 days. I prefer to heat up refrigerated ginseng tea within the microwave for 30 to 45 seconds earlier than consuming.


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