Herb Name: Dried Tangerine Peel
(also called Dried Mandarin / Orange Peel, Chen Pi, or Guo Pi)
Herb Name in Chinese: 陳皮 (ChénPí), or 果皮 (GuǒPí)
- As the name implies, Dried Tangerine Peel is the sun-dried peel of the tangerine citrus fruit.
- The best and most valued Dried Tangerine Peel is from a region in China called Xinhui (新會), as they are more fragrant than peels from other regions.
- Dried Tangerine Peel is cherished for their distinct bitter and fragrant taste.
- When dried, the Tangerine Peel becomes brittle. Its exterior side also becomes brown while the pithy side becomes a yellowish beige color.
- Traditionally, Dried Tangerine Peels are made by cutting the whole peel into 3 sections and then sun-dried. Hence, when a recipe calls for a “piece” of Dried Tangerine Peel, that normally equates to 1/3 of the entire tangerine’s peel.
Dried Tangerine Peel Benefits and Uses:
- Dried Tangerine Peel is often used in Chinese soups, stews, desserts, marinades, teas, and even snacks.
- One popular snack is the soft candied tangerine peel. It has a distinct bitter and sweet taste. In addition to its nice flavor, the candied tangerine peel can also help with motion sickness. Hence, the candied tangerine peel is a popular snack in Asia for road trips or boat rides.
- Dried Tangerine Peel is also used in Traditional Chinese Medicine for hundreds of years. This fruit peel is known to have a warming property, with anti-viral and anti-bacterial abilities. Dried Tangerine Peel is also known to help with digestion and wet coughs due to excessive phlegm in the lungs. Additionally, the fruit peel is used for stimulating blood circulation.
- Sometimes, Dried Tangerine Peel is soaked in bitter snake bile before sun-drying. This makes the dried fruit peel even more warming and nourishing(補) from a Chinese medicine perspective. This type of snake-bile-soaked tangerine peel is typically much darker in color. (See photo below)
- Soak and rinse the peel in cold water until soft, but no longer than 30 minutes to retain its flavor.
- Use a fruit knife to gently scrap off the white pith from the softened tangerine peel.
Where to Buy:
- Dried Tangerine Peel can be purchased in Chinese grocery stores or herb stores.
- Quality Dried Tangerine Peel can be rather expensive. Depending if they are from Xinhui and how old the peel is aged, they can cost $40 – $70 per pound. Typically, the older the peel, the more valued and expensive it becomes.
- Store Dried Tangerine Peels in an airtight glass container at a cool dry place.
How do you use your Dried Tangerine Peel? Leave a comment below to share your ideas.
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