Thursday, October 11, 2012

Morning Sickness Cure: Genmaicha Tea

Dear anxious readers,

Don't be alarmed by the title of this post - I haven't had morning sickness in a year now!

Only a month to go when this was taken!  Ready to rock!
You can all breathe easy now ...

My aunt introduced me to this Japanese traditional tea, often taken to soothe a stomach churning with morning sickness, or to nourish an ailing patient with tummy sickness or any general sort of up-chucking malaise.  Or to tempt a new mama with something calming and rejuvenating.

Genmaicha, Genmai Cha, or Genmai-cha as it may be variously written in English, translated to brown rice tea, is a combination of green tea, roasted brown rice and usually also small pieces of popped corn.  A variation, matcha-iri genmaicha, includes powdered green tea, known as matcha.   It is sometimes called popcorn tea, because the little roasted rice grains pop when the hot water hits them (snap, crackle, matcha!).

It can be steeped and strained, producing a slightly golden tea (matcha-iri genmaicha creates a somewhat greener, stronger tea), or cooked with rice, white or brown, and eaten lock, stock and leaf.

A quick online search will produce many users proclaiming the many health and well-being benefits of the drink, and the aromatic flavors are enough motivation in and of themselves to encourage us all to enjoy some.  But it serves a traditional practical purpose, too.  When I was experiencing some unpleasant tummy turbulence in the second trimester of my pregnancy, my auntie, who is married to a doctor and a bit of an intuitive wise woman herself, produced a bag of genmaicha for me and I prepared it with rice.  The plain rice was soothingly bland for my upset stomach, and the grassy, vegetal aroma of the green tea leaves was both tempting to my beleaguered intestines and comforting.  The roasted rice grains lent an earthy, nutty hint, and all in all it was a very pleasant, relaxing dish to enjoy (not to mention it took me mere moments to put in the pot, and very little activity to cook!).  It was nice to get a something settling down to calm my stomach, and I didn't see the rice again (if you know what I mean).

Can I have my baby now, please? 

Using my mug rug from the lovely ladies at Polyface Farms

Snug as a mug on a mug rug! 
Genmaicha in Rice
Soothe an upset tummy, or nourish a recovering invalid with this traditional Japanese dish.  This is how I prepare it, as taught by my aunt; I can't vouch for the historicity of the following recipe! 


Prepare rice according to package directions.  During the last five to ten minutes of cooking, add the genmaicha - three to four tablespoons per cup of rice, more or less to taste.

Straight Genmaicha
If you already have rice, just want the tea alone, or want to add it to something else, here are the package directions as dictated by Miro Tea.

1 teaspoon tea leaves
8 oz water

Steep tea for 2 min in water at 165 deg F.

My tea was purchased from Miro Tea (see their blog on all things tea).  It is low in caffeine by poundweight, by virtue of being diluted by the added ingredients.

I'm with child!  Can I park here? 
You can purchase genmaicha tea from Teavana, Miro Tea, Ito En, Eden Foods, from any good Japanese tea shop, or make your own mix.

Have you tried genmaicha before?  How do you prepare it?  If you have suggestions or recommendations, do let us know!!

Sipping, not puking,

Mrs H
twittering @_mrs_h
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Do you like your tea, too?  



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