|Homemade Chen Pi|
Recipe by Robin
A while ago I became obsessed with traditional Chinese herbal ingredients and their health benefits. Much of this interest came from reading The Chinese Herbal Cookbook by Penelope Ody, Alice Lyon, and Dragana Vilinac. The authors, according to the introduction, are trained herbalists in European and Chinese traditions, with medical rather than culinary training. Still, these “enthusiastic amateur cooks” have invented some unusual and intriguing recipes for specific health purposes. Their cookbook is one of my favorites, with sections about eating foods in season, immune-boosting, women’s health, and much more. Read my complete review on Goodreads.
|Drying Chen Pi|
|Keep the Peels!|
According to the authors, chen pi is a rich source of Vitamin C, tonifies spleen Qi (life force), and can ease indigestion and nausea. Traditional Chinese medicine considers chen pi bitter, pungent, and warm. You can use it in bean soups, minestrone, and confectioneries such as yam muffins and puddings. It’s also used as a Chinese medicinal herb in healing tea decoctions, and you can experiment with teas of your own. I’d like to boil some up with chai spices for an unusual and warming winter blend. If you have another idea for using chen pi, please post a comment.
3 – 5 large tangerines
You will need to dry the chen pi in a somewhat warm room, but it only takes 2 – 5 days, and shrinks during the process. Air needs to circulate around the chen pi as it dries, so only cut up what you have room to dry. I’ve found the “broiler” pan on my toaster oven useful, also baskets lined with very lightweight kitchen towels. Wire cooling racks covered with a lightweight towel is another good choice.
|It's Easy to Remove the Pith|