Sunday, January 4, 2009

Soojunggwa (Dried Persimmons In Cinnamon & Ginger Tea)

A dessert that not only easy to cook but tastes delicious in cold winter but also a digestif, breath freshener and air-freshener??? Are you game enough??? Read on... :-P

I love persimmons but living in a tropical country, such delicious fruit is mostly imported with a quite a hefty sum to pay. Nevertheless, my solution to enjoy persimmons through out the year was in dried fruit which is far cheaper than fresh. Of course, if I chance upon promotional offer, you don't have to make me think twice! For those who are lucky to have persimmon trees and don't know what to do with them besides cooking or baking, here's a link on how to preserve or dried the lovely fruit. You can even oven-dried them if you don't have the facilities to do so.

First time I tasted this sweet Soojunggwa was in a Korean Restaurant. We arrived there quite late and other restaurants in the same block was either full or the menu wasn't interesting. We stumbled this Korean Restaurant because of the unique entrance door which looked like a traditional Korean gate or door in village. We peeked through the window and saw that there was no customers inside except a Korean lady behind the counter. Since we're willing to try something new and starving, we went inside to check with her if the kitchen was still opened. We're glad they were and were informed that most of their patrons came after the usual office hours or later. Indeed after half way through our dinner, a group of Korean men came in and the place was quite noisy with their chatters (I thought women supposed to be the most chatterbox) :-D

Now, Korean cuisine is very interesting and I was surprised the way they serve their food. I ordered Samgye Tang (stuffed young chicken with glutinous rice cooked in ginseng soup), Kimchi and Bori Cha. When my dish arrived, it was accompanied by several smaller dishes like radish pickles, soya bean sprouts and others which I never tasted before. There were 6 little bowls of this side dishes. The best part was... if I want extra of those side dishes, no problem with no extra costs :-D Well, I did asked for 2nd helping of the pickled Radish :-P At the end of our meals, this sweet Persimmon Tea was served as a digestif which also like mouth freshener with the addition of cinnamon and ginger. It's actual very good for cold Winter. Kind of warms up your body :-) At the restaurant it was served cold but I like it hot during winter... and you know what? Each time I cooked Soojunggwa, my whole home smelled so fragrant! Let's start cooking!
Persimmons In Cinnamon & Ginger Tea [Soojunggwa]
Serves 2-4

3 pcs Dried Persimmons
1 pc Cinnamon stick/bark~about 6 cm-8 cm long
5 g Fresh Ginger~ slice into several pieces
750 ml Water
30 g Raw Cane Sugar
Some pine nuts or more if you like.

1. In a pot, boil the water, cane sugar, cinnamon stick and ginger for 3-5 minutes. You will smell the combination of ginger and cinnamon filled up your kitchen... and whole house too!
2. Add the dried persimmons and let it boil for 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat and let it steep for 1-2 hours.
3. Remove the persimmons and sliced into several pieces. Set aside.
4. In individual serving bowls, add few pieces of the sliced persimmon and top it up with the sweet liquid. Garnish with pine nuts.

This tea can be serve Cold during hot summer months or Hot in the winter. For cold Persimmon Tea, after the liquid cools down, remove the persimmons and strain liquid into a jug. Put into the fridge for 2-3 days and before serving, add few sliced persimmons into chilled bowls. Garnish with pine nuts. You can omit the persimmons if you want but tell me who doesn't like to eat it! :-D

Note: Dried persimmons has a thin layer of whitish coating when you buy from Asian stores. It's actually natural fructose from the fruit itself when dried. If you like you can give a quick wash before cooking. You can also use Rock Sugar or usual White granulated sugar, which ever you have as sweetener. Don't forget to adjust the sweetness. If you like sweeter, add extra sugar or add more water if it's too sweet. The quantity in this recipe is just nice for me. I always start with less sugar and slowly add in more to taste.



  1. Soojunggwa sounds so interesting to me as I'm open to taste any new kind of tea.

    I wonder if we have any dried persimmons in here. I just see fresh perimmons at markets or stores.

    I'll have a look...

  2. Merhaba Bal,

    You must try it :-) It's one of my family's favourite tea. You can drink it hot or cold.

    I tried fresh persimmons before but the outcome is not as intense as dried persimmons. I think it's because when its dried, the flavour is further concentrated and texture is easier to handle than fresh fruit which will turned mushy. If non available, you can always dried them yourself :-)

    Let me know the outcome... Oh, I surely like to see pictures or videos of your local fresh market! ;-)

  3. I used to buy the dried persimmon from the groceries, give it a good wash and cut it into pieces. Store in a container in the fridge, it makes a good snack.

    Thanks for introducing this Persimmon Tea. You really bring out the usefulness of dried Persimmon in this post. I will try to prepare this tea.

  4. I loooove this drink! I always order this in Korean restaurants. I like to drink this cold goes really well with grilled meat.

  5. I've only tried fresh persimmoms and they are abundant and cheap in Greece so that's probably why we never see them in dried form. The tea sounds great.

  6. I swear I can smell that wonderful tea from here! Sounds quite refreshing.

  7. Very interesting indeed. I've never had persimmons.

  8. Pig2 ~ Hahaa... the we can make big jars of it! I was thinking of freezing it in fancy ice-cube trays then pack them for later use in chilled glass. That way, the cubes will melt and release the tea without adding extra water. What do yo think?

  9. Hi Ivy, yes, persimmons are very cheap in Greece! I love eating them fresh by kilos :-D I think you can try by adding the fresh persimmons at the end of cooking so that it maintain the shape. Let it boil for 1-3 minutes then serve.

  10. Hi Maria, you bet even the kitchen smells sooooo good from the cinnamon and ginger. It's refreshing and even yourself smell delicious!

    Sometimes, I used a aromatheraphy burner which I add some water and 1 small piece of cinnamon to get rid of smell in kitchen after heavy cooking. Try it... if not just light up a small candle until it burnt out.

  11. Hi Cynthia,

    They are lovely and fragrant fruit... I like to eat them when it's ripe but still a little hard and not over ripe even though it's juicy. Give me the chance, I could it 1-2 kilos all at once :-D

  12. Hello CK! Not only this tea is delicious to drink but you know the weather for CNY will get hotter, it's a great addition to our normal daily 'leng cha'. Oh you can add water chestnuts too.

  13. there was this tea that i drank every now and then when i was in korea and i kept forgetting the name. i think this is it though! thanks for posting!

  14. You have a great blog too! Reg your question...Yes each part of India makes different types of rasam...all will taste can try it and let me know :)

  15. I confess I am not always a fan of soupy Asian desserts. And I'm Asian! Go figure. I think it's because my fondness for cakes and cookies wins over. That being said, I do have a weakness for anything gingery. I once had this wonderful, hot, ginger-mango soup at a dessert buffet at a Hong Kong Hotel. This reminds me of that, and I bet it's very bit as soothing and warming to the soul.

  16. Ginger infusion! I love it when I have a sore throat - which happened pretty often during the past four weeks of cold in Paris. I am going to add dried mangoes instead of persimmons - I am not sure I can find them dry here.

  17. it is sure a good cure for the cough especially during this dry CNY period. Thanks for sharing

  18. Hey I like your blog and your recipes. I will have to try that sure looks soothing.
    I thought you might be interested in sharing your recipes and cooking tips with us at Foodista. It's a cooking encyclopedia everyone can edit, full of recipes, cooking techniques and more from around the world!
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  19. wow!! what a healthy drink but I never try it yet! usually during CNY dried persimmons is everywhere! must try this recipe soon! thanks!

  20. This looks interesting :) I'll have to give it a try!

  21. Persimmons are one of my favorite fruits. I usually love to eat them raw, however a couple months ago or so, I tried dried persimmons at a local farmer's market for the first time. The person who was selling them was Asian, so I am guessing it's used quite a bit in Asian cuisine. It was surprisingly good and making a tea out of it sounds really good.

    I'm still thinking about making the kaffir lime chicken. I found an Asian market that carries kaffir lime leaves, but it's kind of far so I got to schedule a weekend trip sometime. I'll let you know when I try the recipe.

  22. Never tried it before... sounds good especially during this rainy season. Love cinnamon flavour :)

  23. Hi Pixen, what a great blog you have here. Your Soojunggwa tea sounds very interesting. I've heard of persimmons but never tried them.

  24. Hi Alice, this is the digestif tea served at the Korea Restaurant I went to and it's delicious. It has cinnamon taste and persimmon sweetness and fresh ginger to warm our body. Also, it's very easy to make and dried persimmons are easier to find then other Korean Hwachae

  25. Hi Sangeeth, right... I must try it until I find the version i like.

  26. Carolyn - I love pastries too :-D but you're right about ginger. The root seems to energise and balance the yin in our body for cold winter.

  27. Salut Laura, try to find it at Tang Frères @ 48, ave d'Ivry. Check with them how many days they close for Chinese New Year :-) and when they will open again if they intend to rest for the 1st 2 days. Chinese New Year is celebrated for 15 days! Don't go on weekend or when they are pack with last minute Asian shoppers. Another area is in Belleville but am not sure about the area though.

  28. Steven ~ yep, I think it's good to sooth throat with the hot weather coming around the corner and also good for over eating Bak Kwa :-D

    Desmone007 ~ Thank you for visiting my blog. I will visit Foodista. Thank you for sharing

  29. Pixen, you're welcome! For every recipe you add to Foodista you'll be entered to win a $100 gift card to Sur la Table - remember to sign up so you get credit for what you add!
    By the way I had some ginger tea today...very soothing.

  30. Nihal ~ if you can find Kaffir Limes you can plant the seeds in a green house or in a pot but it will take long time to grow. Mine took about 3 months before I saw the shoots started to protrude from the ground.

    The cuttings is better choice if you want to use the leaves quick but the leaves will be smaller compared to mature trees.

  31. Hi Rosie, thank you for visiting my blog. This tea is difficult to find even in some Korean Restaurants. I think most Korean I went to lately serves Ginseng tea instead which is not bad either but I discover some friends who dislike the taste and smell of ginseng even it's good for health.

    There are some other fruit infused teas that I never seen like Shikhye, Mogwa Cha or Omija Hwachae

  32. I really enjoyed reading your recipes. Finding new ingredients and new flavor combinations is always a treat (no pun intended!)

    I encourage you to enter my Valentine's recipe competition...your addition would add a unique perspective I think.

    You can find details on my blog & look up the recipe competition post.



  33. Hi pixen,
    I haven't heard about dried persimmons before. In Turkey, we have a lot of fresh ones and they're so cheap. I love it as well. Persimmon itself is like a dessert, very sweet. I have mashed persimmons in my blog, you remember?

    And thank you for informing about how to dry persimmons. Maybe I can start a new tradition in our country by drying them and trying this aromatic tea.

  34. Salam Zerrin,

    I envied you able to eat fresh persimmons... :-) I could it dozens of in one sitting giving me the chance! It will be nice if you can do artisanal dried persimmons and tea trend... :-) I can imagine walking along the street of this persimmon tea sellers :-D

  35. Hi Caitlin,

    Thank you for visiting my blog and informing me about the competitions...I will have a look in a jiffy.

  36. i just wanted to say that these can be purchased in Korean grocery stores in a "can" version. Just as a FYI, Koreans don't consider "soo jung gwa" as a "tea", and it's usually drunk cold. Also one of the previous commentators suggested washing dried persimmon. If the quality of the dried persimmon is good, I highly recommend against washing.

    Anyway, cheers.

  37. Hi Anonymus,

    Thank you for visiting and for the extra FYI you pointed out.

    It's true that many Asians like Koreans and Chinese (as these 2 cultures are closely related) considered fruit infusions as Cha or Tea such as Mogwa Cha (if you had read my comment dated January 21, 2009).

    In the West, such infusion is called 'Tisane' which NO TEA LEAVES (Camellia Sinensis) is used and only pure herbs or flowers.

    I think I have a link about Soojunggwa or Soojeunggwa from Wikipedia that emphasized it as fruit punch...

    Also, it's true such speciality can be found CANNED but if you can have fresh or dried and preserved naturally to be found why we put 'preservatives' iin our body ya? :-D


  38. I stopped by your blog because I was hunting for a Persimmon Tea recipe and found you must mave malaysian ties. Thanks for sharing all your lovely recipes- next time I am stumped, I shall have to hunt your blog for some inspiring recipes...

  39. It's really an impressive posting about Cinnamon and Ginger Tea. I would like to appreciate to my blog and invite you on my website for your feed back.


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