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Ginseng cookers are Traditional Chinese Medicine herb pots used to steam and prepare different herbal remedies such as reishi mushrooms as well as Korean and American ginseng roots. These two-lidded porcelain or ceramic double boilers are meant to be placed inside of another pot of boiling water. The herbs are placed inside of the ginseng cooker along with water and the ginseng cooker prevents the herbs from direct exposure to heat which may damage some of the fragile herbal compounds.
How to Use a Ginseng Cooker
In order to use a ginseng cooker to steam and soften ginseng roots, boil about 1-2 inches of water in the bottom of a pot with a lid that is at least large enough to hold the ginseng cooker. Next, pour a small amount of water in the bottom of the ginseng cooker and add the ginseng roots you would like to soften. Put both lids on the ginseng cooker and place the cooker inside of the larger pot of boiling water. Cover the pot and allow the ginseng cooker to cook the roots until they are fully softened. Smaller roots and prongs take about 10-15 minutes to steam while the largest jumbo roots may take a half an hour to fully soften. Once the roots have been steamed, turn off the heat and remove the ginseng cooker from the pot hot pads or oven mitts. Be careful not to touch the hot water! Remove the now softened ginseng roots from the ginseng cooker with a pair of tongs. Be sure to save the water in the bottom of the ginseng cooker as it contains many ginsenoside nutrients and can be diluted to make a few cups of ginseng tea. The softened ginseng roots can be eaten after they cool or they can be sliced with a sharp knife and dried again for later use.The ginseng cooker we use was purchased from The Wok Shop’s website. They have great customer service and I would highly recommend their product if you are in the market for a ginseng cooker Chinese herb pot.