VIDEO| Boost immune system with deep-fried Korean ginseng

Photo by ChiHon Kim
Photo by ChiHon Kim

VIDEO| Boost immune system with deep-fried Korean ginseng

by ChiHon Kim
Stripes Korea

In Korea, ginseng is considered a superfood and is loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. In addition to regular exercise and getting enough sleep, a healthy diet is key to staying healthy, so why not add a little ginseng into the mix?

This traditional herb has a bitter taste and you can find it in many food products around the peninsula. When I was little, my mother used to make me tea with honey-soaked ginseng to help keep me healthy.

Below is a great recipe for a delicious local snack and one that may help boost your immune system.
- PREP TIME: 30 minutes 
- COOK TIME: 20 minutes
- TOTAL TIME: 50 minutes 
- DIFFICULTY: Easy
- SERVINGS: 2

INGREDIENTS
Main

  • 3 fresh ginseng roots (about 90 grams)
  • 1/4 carrot – (about 40 grams)
  • 1/4 perilla leaf (or green onion) - (about 50 grams)
  • 1/4 autumn squash (or sweet potato) – (about 80 grams)
  • 1/2 (or 1/4) onion – (about 50 grams)

Batter

  • 1.5 cups of ice water 
  • 2 cups of frying powder (Twigimgaru) 
  • 1 tbsp of chill powder (or 5 tbsp of Kimchi liquid)

Dipping sauce Eat with a sweet dipping sauce, such as honey or syrup.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Wash all ingredients including ginseng thoroughly and pat dry with a towel. A slender ginseng is suitable for frying. Cut them into thin slices and set aside. (You can cut the roots part and fry them separately for presentation).
  2. In a large bowl, combine roughly all the frying powder and icy water with chopsticks, then incorporate sliced ginseng. *Take note: If you whisk the batter, the dish will lose the crisp texture. So, expect the batter to be a little on the watery side as this will help create a crispier fried ginseng.
  3. In a large saucepan, heat the oil to 170 degrees Celsius. Add a few drops of batter to the pan. If the batter comes to the surface of the oil it is good sign that the oil is ready for frying.
  4. Mix the ginseng and veggies well and carefully place into the oil in batches. Fry until golden brown. Remove from heat and drain on paper towels.

Bon appetite or 잘 먹겠습니다! (Pronounced: jal meok-ke-sseum-nida)!

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