In this series, we spotlight the boundless potential of a single ingredient.
Chef and founder of Brooklyn-based restaurant James, Deborah Williamson crafted a tea based around mandarin peel. Deborah brews this tea in the fall and winter as her go-to remedy for colds and as a preventative to stay healthy.
"My Chinese herbalist, Maureen Larkin, created this blend for me a few years ago and I’ve been addicted to it ever since. It’s a mix of Astragalus, Zhi He She Wu and Mandarin Peel. I make a large batch and sip on the tea for a few days." Deborah Williamson
Chef: Deborah Williamson
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Beauty mantra: Stay close to nature, it knows the way.
Astragalus is an adaptogen with antioxidant properties that strengthens the respiratory and digestive systems. Zhi He She Wu nourishes kidneys, blood, and is great for skin and hair. Dried citrus peel also benefits the respiratory and digestive system and is used to reduce phlegm. Make sure you use the best possible Chinese herbs sourced through a licensed herbalist when making the tea.
8 c filtered water
9 to 12 g dried astragalus root (huang qi)
6 to 9 g dried fo-ti tuber (zhi he shou wu)
1 to 3 g mandarin peel
Add rinsed Astragalus and Zhi He Shou Wu to a pot with 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil, add mandarin peel, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer on low heat until the liquid is reduced by half. Keep an eye on the water level and add more water if it reduces too much. Strain and add honey to taste. Refrigerate the remaining tea and use for 2 to 3 days. Best served warm.
Score mandarins in three sections working from the bottom of the mandarin. Gently remove the peel and save the fruit. Dry the peel in an oven on low heat for 30 minutes, if possible. If not, drop the peel directly into the tea. Use the fruit in a salad, vinaigrette, or juice. Mandarin is loaded with Vitamin C, which bolsters immunity and is delicious.