Ginseng has a bitter sweet taste, and it’s definitely an acquired taste. I’m happy to report that after the Master Chef Salon at Hsu Ginseng Farm, I have learned to appreciate the herbal bitter taste of ginseng.
Obviously ginseng is the star of the show. Most people use ginseng in soup or broth, today it’s up to these eight talented celebrity chefs from LA, Huston and Minneapolis to showcase creative ways to cook with ginseng. Here’s chef Thomas Kim using ginseng in his daboki, a korean rice cake stew. Surprising delicious!
Also if you have a sweet tooth, don’t be scared, ginseng can be sweet too! Here’s a twist on quesadilla using ginseng candy and mozzarella cheese!
Obviously fresh ginseng (not the dried boxed ones) works great with salads or cold dishes!
Here is the more traditional ways of cooking with ginseng-good ol’ chicken soup with ginseng. I had three bowls! Trust me, that is the way to go! After cooking for a couple of hours, the strong bitterness of the ginseng subsides and the sweetness and earthiness come out balancing the chicken perfectly!
And my personal favorite (you would’ve never guessed), ginseng ice cream by chef Travis! Yes, you read right, ginseng ice cream. I was definitely on the fence about it, but after taking a brave first bite, oh my god, I was in ice cream heaven! The slight hint of the earthy bitterness of ginseng cut through the sweet buttery ice cream, making it the perfect balance of sweet and bitter! Kinda reminds me of green tea or matcha ice cream! Genius!!! I believe opposite tastes or textures make the perfect dish and this is such a great example of two opposite flavors, sweet and bitter, complementing each other perfectly! This is seriously some good stuff!!! I think I had five of these, good thing chef Travis came prepared.
Chef Thomas again! He made a sashimi using ginseng dressing. Delicious!
I really enjoyed the presentation of this ginseng garden dish. When you put ginseng up side down, doesn’t it kind of look like an old tree?! I had so much fun at Master Chef Salon and all the chefs were so nice and they gave me some really helpful tips in the kitchen. There are so many ways of using ginseng. It’s so universal that you can put it in anything. Seeing ginseng being used in so many creative ways and tasting so different from one another makes me realize that it’s the way you cook that determines how much and what flavor of ginseng that comes out. I hope you’re hungry and ready to be a little more adventurous in the kitchen! Bon appetite!