I am totally behind on uploading recipes… So it’s nearly spring now (some days it IS spring) and some days the weather tricks us and winter storm Stella hits. Aside from this mid-March winter storm, it’s been a fairly mild winter (knock on wood) in the DC area but that hasn’t stopped everyone around me from coughing or getting sick. One of the best remedies for colds or upset tummies (says Google and Asian moms) is ginger. In the wintertime, Koreans stock up on honey ginger tea but I’ve come to be suspicious of the large glass bottles of this tea that are sold in stores because the first ingredient is always sugar or honey instead of ginger! Ginger is very strong in flavor and can give a strong kick of spice which is one of the reasons it’s mixed in with a lot of sweetness but I also don’t want to be drinking too much sugar when I want to enjoy a cup of tea.
Many of the homemade Korean recipes also use a ratio of 1:1 for sugar and sliced ginger but with a bit of scrummaging around Korean blogs I found a perfect little recipe – it does require a juicer or blender but is very simple. I made a large batch and gave my in-laws a jaw as well as a husband’s friend who is always sick. Enjoy a warm cup of tea with a kick of spice from the ginger and a hint of honey sweetness. Keep your body warm and the sickness away!
Korean Honey Ginger Tea (Saenggang Cha)
Enjoy a hot cup of tea with a kick of spice from the ginger and a hint of honey sweetness. Keep your body warm and the sickness away!
Honey Ginger Tea
Wash the ginger a few times in running water and place in a bowl of cold water for 30 minutes. Once the skins of the ginger becomes moist, the skin will easily rub off with a small spoon or cloth. If you prefer, you can also peel the skin with a potato peeler. Wash and peel the skin of the asian pear and cut into pieces.
If you have a juicer, juice all of the ginger and pear. I re-juiced the pulp of the ginger a second time to squeeze out even more! If you don't have a juicer, you can run the ginger and pear in the blender, place the blended concoction in a cloth and manually squeeze out all of the juice by twisting the cloth hard. This will take a bit of strength but well worth it!
After you juice, let it sit for about 30-60 minutes as some of the starch of the juice will sink to the bottom. Once you see that the starch has settled at the bottom, pour the juice through a sieve to catch any last lingering pieces and pour into a large pot.
Add in the honey, sugar and cinnamon sticks.
On high heat bring to a boil and bubbles/foam may form. You can level out some of the bubbles with a spoon and bring the heat to medium high and continue simmer for about 40 more minutes. The tea will turn into a darker golden color and become more syrup-like and reduced - similar to a sesame oil consistency.
Cleaning Glass Jars
An important step to making jam, preserves or tea syrups is to make sure the glass jars are completely clean with no bacteria as this will affect the shelf life.
In a pot of water, place the empty jars right-side up and boil for about 3 minutes. Flip the jars upside down and boil the jars for another 3 minutes. Allow the jars to air dry.
Adapted from a Korean Blog 루나의 맛있는 오후
I filled 2 pint jars and 1 8 oz jar but not up to the brim as I wanted to gift it to 3 people. The amount will also fluctuate slightly on how much you reduce the ginger and honey and the resulting consistency.