Sep 102012

[photo-dried tangerine peel, dried mandarin orange peel, citrious peel,chenpi]

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)
    [photo-dried tangerine peel soaked in snake bile mandarin peel citrus peel]

    Strips of Snake-Bile-Soaked Dried Tangerine Peel


  • 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.
  • Rinse.

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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Disclaimer: Content on this site is for informational purposes only, not medical advice. Do not use site content in place of a medical doctor.

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  12 Responses to “Herb: Dried Tangerine Peel”

  1. I never know there is dried tangerine peel! This is going to be pretty convenient and I can use it for desserts and tea. I love citrus flavor!

  2. That’s impressive because those dried peels look like morels or mushroom caps!

  3. Hi Sharon,

    These are the same wonderful peels that are being used on beef or chicken as in orange flavored dish, right? They add a lot of flavor to the dish. Hey, I’m glad to see you posting again, Sharon! :)

  4. I can imagine that this would be so good in tea!

  5. Hi Nami, YummyChunklet, Ray, and Kiersten,

    Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment! The dried tangerine peel does make good tea and imparts really good flavor in savory dishes or sweet desserts. I want to clarify that dried tangerine peels taste more bitter than they are citrus-like. (Just so you are not in for a surprise if you had a different expectation). The bitterness resembles the bitter flavor you get from marmalade which is also made out of citrus peels. Dried tangerine peels remind me a bit like a cross between the lightly bitter marmalade and licorice. And I LOVE how dried tangerine peels taste!!

  6. I have not used dried tangerine often in my cooking but now after reading your page I can think of a many uses. I did not know that the black colored tangerine is soaked in snake bile. Have you seen the black colored candied ginger, is it black because it is also soaked in snake bile? Take care, BAM

  7. Hi BAM, thank you for visiting! I am not sure if I have seen or know which type black colored candied ginger you are referring to. Frankly, I don’t think I have heard of ginger candies soaked in snake bile either. So my guess about the candy you’re asking about is not prepared with snake bile. But that is only my guess. I hope that you will enjoy dried tangerine peels though. Have a great time cooking with them! I really love how they taste and smell! =)

    Sharon | Chinese Soup Pot

  8. I had no idea that dried tangerine peel had so many healthy benefits. I really like the one about it improving blood circulation. That’s something I could use! One tangerines start hitting the markets here you can bet I’ll try drying some. Thanks for the information!

  9. [...] medium Fuji apples, peeled, seeded, cut into large chunks 2 sections (each about 1 ½-inches long) dried tangerine peel (optional, but [...]

  10. I’m an American living a few minutes drive from Xinhui. Although I have known about the Chinese love of Mandarin orange peals, especially from Xinhui for a long time (you can’t escape noticing them being dried everywhere) I wasn’t aware of the medicinal qualities or the orange peal culture until just recently when I was asking a friend about Chinese herbal remedies for bronchial problems. She told me that the only thing that cures her husband are aged (about ten years) Mandarin orange peals. So, I went to my tea dealer who is also a friend and we chatted for about an hour about this and I learned a lot. He called around to his dealers and I ended up buying some nine year old orange peals–luckily it was someone I could trust–because you can easily get ripped off. I bought some old and new (a couple years old) so that I can keep it and age my own (aged is really expensive), which is what the locals do. The brew is not for enjoyment, or pleasant, very bitter–wash the peal, boil it for 20 minutes in a couple cups of water, keep the water. Then mash the peal up well, put it back into the water and boil it down to about half a cup. I did this last night and today and the results were immediately dramatic–really, I was astounded. The dripping phlem which is the root of my problem just disappeared. Actually, it was a coincidence that before all this I had decided to buy some dried Mandarin orange peals to mix with some very good Pu-er tea, just for the taste. But I was warned that I had to get good quality peals, and I was planning to talk to my tea dealer about this anyway. You can buy them mixed together–they stuff Pu-er tea into a dried orange peal left in tact, but the quality of the tea is not always that great–so that’s why I wanted to mix my own. So, when I got home with the orange peals I also mixed my good Pu-er tea with them in a clay tea storage container, and was delighted with the taste. When it’s not brewed in the medicinal way, it’s delicious with tea.

  11. I’ve seen dried tangerine peel at the Asian food store but haven’t used it yet. But I know it’s ingredient in shichimi togarashi, my favorite Japanese spice mix. :)

  12. Hi Sharon,

    Thank you for introducing dried tangerine peels. However, I think $40 – $70 per pound is very much an underestimate. Quality tangerine peels, peels from Xinhui (新會) aging 7 years more, are valued much more. The value of these peels have been climbing, especially after featuring in a well received documentary series, A Bite of China. I know there are some peels that are currently at the aged of 40+ years, peels that survived the Cultural Revolution in China. I doubt if I want to know how much these peels are priced at.

    For those who are interested in the documentary series, A Bite of China, it is available on YouTube. Episode 6 in the series contains some information about the quality tangerine peels from Xinhui (新會).

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