Wednesday, July 09, 2008

American Ginseng Soup

Clockwise from top: dried longan, dried lotus seeds and American ginseng slices

I was wondering what kind of soup to cook this week when I saw a box of American Ginseng in the fridge. It had been sitting there for almost 2 months now. Usually I will use pre-packed herbs for soups but this time around, none were to be found. So American Ginseng it is.

American Ginseng, unlike its cousin, Korean Ginseng, is the best kind of ginseng to brew and drink as it is not cooling nor heaty. Korean Ginseng is very heaty - it is a tonic after all. My 90 year old Grandmother consumes Korean Ginseng to give her strength and warm up her limbs. At the same time, the Korean Ginseng is helping turn her grey hair black - I am not kidding. I saw her with partially black hair and wondered why. Did she dye her hair? My cousin then remarked that her health (and hair) started to improve eversince she started taking Korean ginseng.

But if you are of the heaty type (which means you have a heated blood system), do not overconsume Korean ginseng.

But if you are looking for a mild ginseng which isn't too cooling or heaty, American Ginseng is good enough for weekly use.

I wrote about American Ginseng sometime back so check this post if you want to learn more.

This time, the soup recipe calls for American Ginseng, Dried Longan Flesh and Lotus Seeds.

It was supposed to be boiled with pig's heart and pork but I doubt anyone sells pig heart if it isn't ordered in advance. So I made do with pork bones.

You need:

2 tbsp American ginseng slices
1 handful of dried longan
1 handful of dried lotus seeds (soaked, split into 2 and remove the green pith)
1 bowl pork bones (blanched)
1.5 liter of water

Bring water to a boil. Add in all ingredients and bring to a furious boil for 10 minutes. Cover pot, lower heat to a mere simmer and simmer for 2 hours minimum. Season with salt to taste when soup is almost done. Serve warm.

That's it. I make it a point to boil a little more so I can freeze the rest for days when I need a good soup to warm the body!
Post a Comment