Luo Han Guo
Luo Han Guo, Siraitia Grosvernorii, Arhat’s fruit, Monk’s fruit
Traditional Chinese Name:
羅漢果 (luóhàn guǒ)
This ingredient is slightly cooling and sweet.
This fruit grows on a vine plant common to southern China and northern Thailand and is often used dried in soups and teas. There are normally 2 versions of this dried fruit you can find in the supermarkets, a very dark brown version (more dry) and a golden version (less dry and less pungent).
This dried herbal ingredient is considered cooling and is sweet to taste. It’s actually a great sweetener to teas without needing to add any sugar. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), this herb is great for eliminating coughs, nourishing and moisturizing the lungs, and replenishing yin. It can help cool both the body and the lungs and targets the lungs and large intestines.
I’ve used this both in soups and teas. It creates a dark color to the soup and has a particularly sweet taste to it. I’d recommend trying a quarter first (I used 4 cups of water for teas and 3L of water for soup). You would want the soups to be more dilute because the soup is more savory than sweet. Try it!
How do I prepare it?
- For the dried versions, I will rinse under warm water first and pat dry. Then using the flat side of a knife, smash it. Literally! It will break into shreds as the outer shell is very hard and reveal a shriveled core with seeds. Some use only the shell, but I’ll use both the core and shell.
- For soups, I’ll only use a quarter, but some recipes do call for half if you’d like. It’s really a preferred taste on how sweet you’d like it.
- For teas, I will also use only a quarter.
Where can I buy it?
- You can purchase these from most Asian supermarkets prepackaged
- You can also purchase this in bulk from specialty stores (online herbal shops)
- The one thing I did notice is that the Chinese prepared ones are different from Western prepared red dates. So just check to be sure they look like the above photos.
What is the cost?
In Canada, I’ve bought them for 4 for $8 CAD, so around $2 per golden fruit
- The dark brown ones cost a little less
- In Hong Kong, I’ve seen them for $5 HKD per monk fruit
- A cooling herb designed to cool the body and lungs
- It targets the lungs and help nourish, moisten, and replenish lung yin
- It’s designed for yin deficiency primarily (or also dry heat, which is excess yang) and also replenishes Qi and Blood
- This ingredient is already sweet, so you don’t need much sugar if you’re making a tea
- It’s packed full of antioxidants and helps detoxify the body
- Great for addressing dry coughs and sore throats!
It’s a pretty pungent fruit, so taste test how much you’ll need (add less first)
- It’s also a cooling herb, so consume if you have more heaty conditions
Looking to build your basic Chinese Soup Pantry?
While luo han guo isn’t the most common or basic of ingredients, I will always keep 1-2 in my pantry as well. These are great for teas and easy to make, so I will also have some lying around.
can pregnant woman drink soup that contains luo han guo in it?
Linda, it’s OK to drink it during pregnancies, but probably after 3 months just to be safe. Take it in moderation as well. Lisa