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Where EAST meets the Northwest

Sara Moulton via AP

From The Asian Reporter, V27, #21 (November 6, 2017), page 13.

Ginger Tea is a soothing drink

By Sara Moulton

The Associated Press

With the arrival of the cold-and-cough season, you may be thinking about cooking up a big batch of chicken soup as a cure for what ails us. I love the stuff, too, but I suggest stocking up on some fresh ginger root instead. Ginger, of course, is one of the many flavors to be found in a stir-fry Asian dish or Indian curry. But used in larger quantities than specified for those recipes, it can become quite spicy. Of all the home remedies out there, I have found tea, prepared with fresh ginger, to be the most effective.

Ginger Tea is easy to make (and is much cheaper than chicken soup). Essentially, thereís nothing to do but chop up some fresh ginger root, combine it with water, and let it simmer. When youíre done, youíre looking at a potent, clean-out-your-sinuses beverage thatís ready to sip. Iíve provided a recipe below, but thereís no need to be so formal. You can wing it and youíll be fine.

When making the tea, you might imagine that the first task would be to peel that gnarly ginger root. In fact, itís not necessary. Just rinse it well and slice off any bruised spots, then chop it and pile all the chunks into a small saucepan. The more finely itís chopped, the better ó but half-inch chunks are good enough. Cover the ginger root with one inch of cold water, then bring the tea to a boil. (Starting with cold water pulls out more of the ginger flavor than starting with hot water.) The longer you simmer it, the stronger it becomes. So take a sip after 15 minutes or so and, if you approve, strain out the liquid. You can drink it straight up or embellished with honey and lemon ó or even a pinch of cayenne.

If one potful of the tea doesnít entirely vanquish your cold, you can return the chunks to the saucepan, add fresh water, and repeat the process. A single crop of chopped ginger can keep a pot going all day.

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Ginger Tea

Start to finish: 25 minutes (10 hands-on)

Servings: 4

4 ounces fresh ginger root

1 1/2 tablespoons honey, divided, or to taste

4 lemon wedges

Rinse the ginger, cut off any bruised spots, and cut into roughly 1/2-inch pieces. In a medium saucepan, combine the ginger with four cups cold water and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover partially, and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste, and if strong enough, strain and pour into mugs. Add one teaspoon honey or more if desired to each portion and serve with a wedge of lemon.

Nutrition information per serving: 47 calories (2 calories from fat); 0 g fat (0 g saturated, 0 g trans fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 4 mg sodium; 12 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 7 g sugar; 1 g protein.

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