Luo Han Guo Herbal Tea (罗汉果凉茶)
My mum treated me to a spa session some time back and one of the most memorable thing that happened (besides the massage, of course) is that they served a cup of delicious, home-brewed luo han guo (arhat fruit/monk’s fruit/罗汉果) herbal tea during the session. Maybe I haven’t been to many spas, but nowadays I seldom see them serving home-made drinks. According to my mum, they brew herbal teas every morning to serve their customers. Maybe it’s psychological, but I do feel healthy and refreshed drinking it especially coupled with the massage. So I decided to try making my own herbal tea at home.
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Luo han guo has long been a highly regarded ingredient in Traditional Chinese Medicine, being touted as a longevity fruit. Its well known health benefits include expelling “heatiness” from one’s body and combating chronic throat and respiratory ailments such as throat inflammation. Do you know that it is also a natural sweetener, with its fruit extract nearly 300 times sweeter than sugar, while being much lower in calories (sweet toothers on diet, rejoice!) For more information about this incredible ingredient, check out my write up about luo han guo at Noob Cook Ingredients.
Previously, I have used the fruit to cook with watercress soup whenever I have a sore throat. This herbal tea is easier to make and I can make it more regularly than the soup as a healthy herbal drink and thirst quencher. I also added a little of two of my favourite ingredients for herbal drink – namely American ginseng and chrysanthemum flowers. They complement the luo han guo well and make the drink extra cooling and delicious.
Putting the smashed fruit in a disposable soup stock bag
(makes about 4 mugs)
- disposable soup bags
If you are using disposable soup bags:
1. Using the back of your knife, gently crack open the luo han guo fruit. If you have a soup stock bag, you can place the smashed fruit inside the bag (see photo above). I also place the ginseng and chrysanthemum flowers in the soup bags (total using 4 soup bags to contain the ingredients.
2. Boil water in a pot. Place soup bags in the boiling water and simmer for about half hour (if you like, you can discard the chrysanthemum pouch earlier). Discard soup bags (I try to press out excess liquids using a slotted ladle to minimize wastage), wait for the tea to cool and pour into serving cups. Serve warm or chilled.
If you are not using disposable soup bags:
After step 1, bring a pot of water to boil. First add the chrysanthemum flowers. Simmer for a short few minutes (do not boil for too long) and using a slotted ladle, take out the chrysanthemum flowers. Next, add the ginseng and luo han guo fruit and simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Remove the ginseng and fruit pieces and then sieve the tea through a strainer. Wait for the tea to cool and pour into serving cups. Serve warm or chilled.
To add sugar, or not to add?
I do not add any sugar since luo han guo is a natural sweetener so this drink is mildly sweet. I do not have a sweet tooth so it’s sweet enough for me. If you like to add sugar, you can add either winter melon sugar strips (10 minutes before you off the stove flame) or rock sugar (just before you off the flame, stir to melt the sugar thoroughly) to taste. Note that if you are using winter melon sugar stripes, they will not dissolve – you can eat the winter melon for the crunchy sweet taste or you may discard it.
Fancy More Luo Han Guo Recipes?
Who’s Also Making It
- Pink Parisian (Dong Gua and Lo Han Guo Herbal Drink)
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