Oh my, it is cold these days in Los Angeles with daily highs only at around the 50s fahrenheit and below freezing in the early morning hours in many parts of Southern California. Jackets, sweaters and scarves are flying off the shelves in stores. Hot pots and clay pot with rice are very popular foods in many Asian homes in the winter. Warm food and soup can really warm not just the body but the soul.
What usually accompanies winter is a cold or flu. Therefore getting enough sleep, and having good, nutritious food are very important to boost the immune system. Ginger is a treasured food that promotes blood circulation and helps fight infection. Together with tangerine peel, they are two of the three "Treasures from Guangdong," the third being straw grass.
For more about the nutritional values of ginger, click here.
Recipe modified from: Great Taste of Hong Kong Street Food by Kitty Choi 美味在街頭，蔡潔儀編著
1 pound ginger 薑
3-4 dried tangerine peel, soak to soften 陳皮
2 fresh lemon, juice removed 檸檬
300ml black rice vinegar (unsweetened) 八珍黑酸醋
450g cane sugar 片糖
1 cup water 水
1 tbsp salt 鹽
1) Peel the ginger and smash it slightly. Cut into small chunks.
2) Add salt and mix well. Rinse off the salt after 20 minutes. Drain well.
3) Cut lemons in half and squeeze out the juice. You can reserve the juice for other uses. Cut the peels into small wedges.
4) Put the ginger in a wok over medium heat. Stir occasionally for about 10 minutes or until they look dry.
5) Put the ginger, tangerine peel, and lemon wedges in a clay pot.
6) Pour in the vinegar and water and heat until it boils. Adjust the heat to medium low and cook for 40 minutes.
8) Return the pot to a boil under medium heat. Let it reduce until the liquid is half its original volume.
9) Strain it well after it cools down and discard the liquid. Serve and store at room temperature in a glass container.
1) Other brand of vinegar can be used as well. Cane sugar can be substituted with brown sugar.
2) Metal pot is not recommended in this recipe because it may react with vinegar. If a clay pot is not available, use a glass or ceramic pot.