Tangerine Peels (Dried)

by | Dec 26, 2008 | Ingredients | 0 comments

Soup Name:

Dried Tangerine Peel, Chen Pi

Traditional Chinese Name:

陳皮 (chen pí)

This ingredient is warm, sweet, and pungent.  It targets the lungs and spleen.

For more videos, visit us on YouTube.

Ah, the mighty tangerine peel!  Dried tangerine peel that is.  This age old ingredient is one of those passed down traditions that are used in so many dishes, soups, stews, teas, and desserts.  Even to the point that there’s a whole art behind the drying process of tangerine peels and… get this, the older it is, the more valuable.  Just like wine!

For those who are new to this ingredient, I’d suggest you try a bit first and see how it lands.  It’s got sweet, sour, and bitter tones running through it and carries into the dishes and soups and teas it touches.  The Chinese sometimes add this to steamed dishes like steamed pork patty or some stews and I can definitely taste it!

How do I prepare it?

      • You definitely have to pre-soak dried tangerine peels before using them for cooking.  Although shredded or powdered tangerine peels are also available on the market, but not traditionally used in cooking.
      • Soak as large of a piece as you will be using.
      • Put into a bowl and add room temperature water until it’s fully covered.
      • It takes about an hour for it to soften.
      • Some will use a butter knife to scrape clean the outside (the darker side) to have it less bitter.  I just rub with my fingers in water to ensure it’s clean.
      • Depending on how you want to use your dried tangerine peels, I will sometimes slice very thinly so I can control the amount going in.  

Where can I buy it and cost?

      • You can purchase this from most Asian supermarkets prepackaged
      • You can also purchase this in bulk from specialty stores (online herbal shops)
      • Some ambitious soup makers actually make their own and can be easily done if you’ve got dry enough conditions.  I’m going to save this for another post.  My own mom and mother-in-law have made this from scratch.  Definitely not a lost art, yet!  There’s hope!
      • The prices do range enormously depending on the life of the dried tangerine peel.  You can find a bag of 100g for $10.00 CAD at the supermarket 

What are the benefits?

      • Tangerines are the powerhouse for coughs, eliminating dampness from the lungs, and disperses phlegm
      • It’s a warming ingredient that is helps regulate the Qi, so it’s also a key ingredient found in Chinese confinement recipes
      • It’s a highly versatile ingredient that can be used in many different ways in the Chinese cuisine
      • Dried tangerine peels have amazing storage life (as far as I know, almost forever…) so long as you keep them in dry, covered storage and take them out to air every 6 months (this is perfect in Canada in the winter!)

Any precautions?

      • Be sure you’re buying dried tangerine peels from a reputable source
      • Soaking and cleaning will help remove some of the pesticides often found on the tangerine peel
      • It’s definitely an acquired taste, so go slowly if you’re new to this ingredient or introducing it into cuisine (like my kids).  I’ll start with one small piece in soups and a few slices in teas and steamed dishes.

Why not make your own dried tangerine peels?

This is my mother-in-law drying her own tangerine peels in Hong Kong (you can tell from the giant condensed buildings!).  I loved how it she talked so casually about making this in modern times and will always throw in a large piece of this into her chicken soup.  This is a warming ingredient, so best used with complimentary warming soup combinations.

You can follow this guide on how to pair soup ingredients based on their warming or cooling natures.

EXPLORE MORE

Sweet Rice Cakes for Chinese New Year’s!

Happy Chinese New Year's!! Wishing you and your family a very happy, healthy, and beautiful year of the rabbit!! As a tradition, the Chinese will eat what's called "New Year's Cake".  It's basically sweetened rice and glutinous rice flour pan fried until soft and...

Cooling and Calming Chrysanthemum and Roselle (Hibiscus) Honey Tea

Tea Name: Chrysanthemum and Roselle (Hibiscus) Honey Tea Traditional Chinese Name: 菊花茶 (jú huā chá) This tea is sweet and sour to taste and cooling in nature.Visit us on YouTube for more tea and soup videos.Taking a moment?  Want something calming and soothing?  Try...

How to check if you’re improving your blood circulation?

HOW TO CHECK IF YOU'RE IMPROVING BLOOD CIRCULATION? I'm always curious about metrics and measuring success or at least measuring progress.  What started as an initial recommendation from my Chinese doctor to do foot soaks to improve circulation, turned into a full...

Easy One Pot Cabbage and Sukiyaki Pork in Soup for Dinner

Soup Name: Easy one pot cabbage and sukiyaki pork in soup for dinner This soup is slightly cooling because of the cabbage.   For more videos, visit us on YouTube.Looking for a simple, healthy, easy-to-make Chinese soupy dinner?  I've found one! If you love napa...

Winter Melon with Chicken and Mushrooms Rice Soup

Soup Name: Winter Melon with Chicken and Mushrooms Rice Soup Chinese Name: 冬瓜雞湯飯 (dōng guā jī tāng fàn)   For more videos, visit us on YouTube.Sometimes, you just want something simple, something warm, something soupy, but all-in-one.   There's a concept called...

Sweet Rice Cakes for Chinese New Year’s!

Happy Chinese New Year's!! Wishing you and your family a very happy, healthy, and beautiful year of the rabbit!! As a tradition, the Chinese will eat what's called "New Year's Cake".  It's basically sweetened rice and glutinous rice flour pan fried until soft and...

Cooling and Calming Chrysanthemum and Roselle (Hibiscus) Honey Tea

Tea Name: Chrysanthemum and Roselle (Hibiscus) Honey Tea Traditional Chinese Name: 菊花茶 (jú huā chá) This tea is sweet and sour to taste and cooling in nature.Visit us on YouTube for more tea and soup videos.Taking a moment?  Want something calming and soothing?  Try...

How to check if you’re improving your blood circulation?

HOW TO CHECK IF YOU'RE IMPROVING BLOOD CIRCULATION? I'm always curious about metrics and measuring success or at least measuring progress.  What started as an initial recommendation from my Chinese doctor to do foot soaks to improve circulation, turned into a full...

White Radish with Mushrooms and Vermicelli in Chicken Soup

Soup Name: White radish with mushrooms and vermicelli in Chicken Soup Chinese Name: 白蘿蔔冬菇粉絲雞湯 (bái luóbo dōng gū fěn sī jī tāng)   For more videos, visit us on YouTube.Sometimes, I want something relatively easy and quick to whip up all in one-pot!  Make a bit of...

How to Prepare for Sleep (with TCM Concepts)

HOW TO PREPARE FOR SLEEP (USING TCM CONCEPTS) Learn to prepare for better sleep and how you can transition your body and mind from a yang to a yin state as evenings nears and you're preparing to go to bed. Learn some simply Traditional Chinese Medicine concepts and...