Luo Han Guo (Monk’s Fruit)
Luo han guo or dried monk’s fruit (罗汉果)is popular in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and highly regarded as a longevity fruit. The surface of the fruit is covered by fine hairs, its shell is thin & easily breakable, and inside the fruit contains lots of small seeds. It is a sweet fruit, with its fruit extract nearly 300 times sweeter than sugar while containing much less calories than sugar. It has hence been used as a natural and healthy sweetener in foods, and also used by diabetics as a form of sugar substitution.
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This fruit is usually available in the dried form, and used to brew herbal tea or Chinese soups.
How to Prepare
To get maximum flavour from the fruit, first break the fruit in half. For convenience, you can place the smashed fruit in a disposable soup pouch to contain the smashed bits (containing pulp and numerous seeds) inside the fruit during cooking. The fruit is usually boiled or simmered.
1) Scientific Name: Siraitia grosvenorii
2) Simplified: 罗汉果; Traditional: 羅漢果; literally “arhat fruit” (monk’s fruit)
Mandarin Pinyin: luóhàn guǒ
3) Vietnamese: la hán quả
Health Benefits & Properties
Monk’s fruit has been regarded as a longevity fruit for its health benefits. The fruit is touted for promoting a balanced heat built up by expelling excess heat from one’s body. It is also well known for its ability to combat chronic cough & throat inflammation as well as constipation. It is also an excellent thirst quencher and used to alleviate the symptoms of heat stroke and thirst. You should consult a doctor for the suitability of consuming this ingredient if you are pregnant or have a special medical history.
Choose whole (unbroken) fruits.
Store fruit (sealed, in a bag or container) in a cool, dry place (such as fridge).
Check out recipes with monk’s fruit as a key ingredient.
Where to Purchase it in Singapore
Chinese medical halls, and dried goods section of selected supermarkets.
References & Further Reading