According to historical records, one of the beauty secrets of ancient beauties is ginseng. I don’t know this is true or it is my self delusion but after 2 days of eating ginseng, drinking ginseng, dreaming about ginseng, I saw a more beautiful me in the mirror after waking up. There was a Sprout Ginsend Festival at Hanoi Intercontinental Landmark 72 hotel from November 16th to November 30th 2018 and we were honored to be invited to be the distinguished guests to taste the dishes and drinks made from this new kind of ginseng. Although the festival is over, I still want to share a bit about this kind of ginseng for those who are interested.
WHAT IS SPROUT GINSENG?
Let’s find out a little bit about ginseng first! The reason why ginseng is preferred is because ginseng has many healthy saponins: anti-aging, cancer prevention, cholesterol reduction, fatigue and nervous reduction, etc.
The photo taken closely to sprout ginseng will make you have an insight at it.
If it takes 5-6 years for ginseng roots as we all know to gather enough saponins for us to harvest, it only takes 2-4 months to have quality sprout ginseng plants. Sprout ginseng is grown by hydroponic method. Dislike old-aged ginseng, saponins in sprout ginseng are much more abundant in the leaf part than the roots. So of course, the leaf part is edible.
This is the first time I have known this kind of ginseng. Sprout ginseng is tiny and looks like young radish but the skin is lumpier and the tuber is more brittle. The taste of the bulb and leaves are slightly bitter but mild. Particularly, its leaves have fragrance that you can feel immediately after a little crinkle in hands. I picked up a sprout ginseng, take a bite, and another bite more. It was as wonderful as opening a new horizon, feeling that the path I chose was not wrong, and every day I could learn new things.
WHAT IS THE RIGHT WAY TO USE GINSENG?
Using ginseng makes you young and beautiful all year round, isn’t it true? I have not tried it for a long time, so I do not dare to confirm it. But many trustworthy studies have proven the fact that saponin in ginseng has many good uses for health. No matter how special a type of vegetable is, it cannot be a “magical remedy”. We must understand our own health, understand how to use ginseng according to each health condition, combining with reasonable diet, and logical rest, sleep and work schedule.
Ginseng is used to help the mind to be alert, thus it is suitable for use in the morning. If we use ginseng in the evening, it tends to make us lose our sleep. One more note is that taking all good things into your body is not good, so we can use it regularly with a small quantity every day rather than abusing it.
Sprout ginseng is small, has light taste, and easy to combine with other dishes without affecting the general flavor of the dish, so we can put some sprout ginseng into our daily dishes to increase our meals’ nutritional value.
DISHES THAT CAN BE COOKED WITH SPROUT GINSENG
This dish is very easy. You can combine your favorite vegetables, and add about 3-4 bulbs of sprout ginseng, then sprinkle with European sauce made from olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar or Asian sauce made from vinegar, sugar, fish sauce, chili, garlic; and, of course, put a little ginseng to make the sauce have its own distinctive flavor.
Super delicious sauce made from olive oil, garlic, balsamic vinegar and sprout ginseng.
Ginseng pork patty noodle
An interesting dish combining Korean cuisine and Vietnamese cuisine. Sprout ginseng is finely chopped and mixed with minced meat to make minced meat patties. In addition, sprout ginseng is finely chopped, with a very small amount, to be put in the fish sauce to serve with pork patty noodle. If you taste it and feel it slowly, you will sense a little ginseng taste. Basically, the general flavor of traditional pork patty noodle is not changed much. But in terms of nutritional content, it will definitely increase many times.
Dine at the luxurious space of 3Spoon restaurant with a view overlooking the city.
This tea is very easy to make at home. Add 3 sprout ginseng plants, 1 teaspoon of chamomile tea and 4 red apples to the kettle, then add 2 cups of boiling water. Bring it to boil for 15-20 minutes and use it when it’s hot. If you don’t use it right away, you can keep it warm, and before drinking it, just boil it again. Tea is full of ginseng flavor, and has a slightly sour taste of red apples and occasional chrysanthemum aroma. This tea is easy to drink. Especially if you like sweetness like me, you can add some honey into the tea.
Wow! This dish is magically delicious and only skillfull bartenders would be able to make it. We tried ginseng cocktails at Qbar. The young, dynamic bartender standing in the cocktail bar to make cocktails for us to watch, with beautiful and firm movements. According to him, this cocktail ingredients have 3 things that make the main highlight which are the sprout ginseng soaked in vodka for 24 hours, juniber berries (temporarily referred to as juniper) and a little essential oil from grapefruit peel. The taste of ginseng is very strong, but it is controlled by grapefruit flavor, so it is less overwhelmed and easier to drink. According to my personal assessment, this ginseng cocktail is the top notch! It is really difficult to make the outstanding taste of ginseng harmonize with other flavors.