Rage Against Suburban Zombie-ism
Sunday, November 22, 2009

Soojunggwa (Cinnamon Tea)

Just prior to my vacay, I was feeling under the weather. In addition to getting lotsa sleep, popping Ester-C + Cold-fX, I also googled other natural ways to recover, and remembered my mom's advice.

Chinese people subscribe to the old adage, "you are what you eat". In addition to that saying, they also believe that what you eat will affect how you feel. For example, it's a big no-no to eat (deep) fried foods upon a cold because it's supposedly dries out your throat, worsening a cough.

Unless they're Chinese too, one internet source suggested to eat only uncooked foods when suffering from a cold. The reasoning had something to do with raw foods being easier to digest, and therefore, the body exerting less energy. (<-- I sorta made the last part up!)

Anyway, I decided that sushi would meet all the above qualifications. Although I was a bit hesitant about the coldness of the fish, I forgot about the hot tea that accompanies it! This particular visit, a hot, cinnamon tea was served, post-meal. It definitely hit the spot in terms of soothing my throat+warming up my insides, so naturally, I had to make it at home.

Here's the worse recipe in the world for Korean Cinnamon Tea or Soojunggwa...

* 4 cinnamon sticks, broken in 3 pieces
* 2-3 pieces of walnut-sized fresh ginger, peeled, and cut into thin slices
* 2 dried persimmons, sliced (I used fresh ones 'cause I didn't have the opportunity to see if the Korean grocery store carried them, but I couldn't find them in a coupla Chinese stores/Bulk Barn.)
* some chunks of rock sugar (available in Asian grocery stores)
* 10-12 cups of water

I skimped on the pine nuts 'cause a) I'm not a fan, b) they're pretty expensive, c) they don't keep - they go rancid rather quickly, and d) I wasn't planning on making pesto anytime soon!

Place cinnamon sticks and ginger in a slow cooker filled with 10 cups of water. Boil on medium-high setting for approx. 1.5 hours. After this time, I saw that much of the water evaporated, so I added 2 more cups of water. Add persimmons and rock sugar, to taste. Simmer for 30 minutes. Strain and drink.

Simmering over a stovetop is also an option, but I'm not into standing and stirring so hence the slow cooker.

One recipe that I found suggested putting strained tea into a pitcher, refrigerate, and serving it cold.

I dunno about you, but I like the warmth+cinnamon combination. It's like a warm hug on a cold day!


posted by Stephania at 11:14 am
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