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“Tried this today with some homegrown ginger and it was great”– Garry (from Facebook)
What is Shogayu?
Shogayu (生姜湯) is a comforting tea made by steeping fresh ginger in hot water to create a warming beverage that has been a popular cold remedy for generations. The name is quite literal, combining the Japanese words “shoga” (生姜) which means “ginger”, and “yu” (湯) which is “hot water”.
The instant warm feeling you get from a cup of ginger tea is thanks to an active componant called “gingerol”. Gingerol is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammitory properties which are said to strengthen the immune system and fight germs.
Shogayu is typically enjoyed throughout the winter as a way to warm up and fight off infections, so why not reap the benefits of the delicious ginger tea with my simple recipe!
How I Developed This Recipe
My goal with this recipe was to create a comforting ginger tea that is quick to make and easy to drink.
The smaller you cut the ginger, the stronger the tea will be, and although Shogayu typically uses grated ginger, I personally found that thinly slicing it gave the tea the perfect amount of flavor. I also used a small amount of potato starch to give this ginger tea recipe a smooth, silky and soothing texture.
If you’re looking for a warming drink with a tonne of health benefits, why not give this Japanese Shogayu a try?
Ingredients & Substitution Ideas
- Fresh ginger root: Ginger is the rhizome (root-like stem) of a flowering plant called Zingiber officinale. It is used all over the world as both a spice and a traditional medicine due to its high number of health benefits. Ginger can be purchased both in its “young” and “mature” form. The mature type can be identified by its brown, dry-looking skin and is used in this recipe due to its stronger flavor. When buying ginger, look for ones with smooth skin that can be easily peeled with your fingernail; thick or hard skin indicates that the ginger is not fresh.
- Honey: Adding honey not only sweetens the tea and balances the spiciness of the ginger, but its texture also helps sooth sore throats. Honey can be substituted for sugar or a sweetner of your choice.
- Lemon (optional): Lemon juice compliments the flavor of the ginger and adds vitamin C and extra anti-oxidants. It is also common to use other citrus fruits such as yuzu.
- Potato starch (optional): Potato starch (katakuriko in Japanese) is a common addition to Ginger Tea in Japan. The starch thickens it slightly, which not only helps keep it hot for longer but is also very soothing on the throat. If you can’t get potato starch, cornstarch also works. Make sure to mix it with cold water before pouring it into the tea. Adding starch directly to hot liquid will create gummy lumps.
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Visual Walkthrough & Tips
Here are my step-by-step instructions for how to make warming Shogayu. For ingredient quantities and simplified instructions, scroll down for the Printable Recipe Card below.
Start by cutting your ginger. I usually scrape off the skin with a teaspoon as it’s easier to get into the nooks and crannies, but peeling is optional. If you choose not to peel it, make sure to scrub it thoroughly to remove any dirt and debris.
Cut into thin slices. The thinner the slices, the stronger the tea will be.
If you want the tea to be very strong or you’re looking to reap the rewards of all the health benefits of ginger, you can grate it instead of slicing it.
Pour the water into a saucepan and add the ginger. Bring to a boil over medium heat to extract the flavor.
If you don’t plan to thicken the Shogayu with starch, you can simply boil water in a kettle/microwave and steep the ginger in the mug for 5 minutes.
While you wait for it to boil, add fresh lemon juice and honey. I usually add a quarter of a lemon and 1 tbsp of honey per cup.
Mix a small amount of starch and cold water in a bowl to make a slurry. When the water starts to boil, pour in the slurry and mix immediately.
Mix continuously until it thickens slightly, then remove from the heat.
Use a mesh spoon to scoop out the ginger. You can save one or two pieces to use as a garnish.
Pour into serving cups and decorate with a lemon wedge.
Enjoy!Jump to Full Recipe Measurements
How to Store
This recipe is for one portion, but if you make a batch then it can be stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 days and conveniently reheated in the microwave.
Ginger tea is called “Shogayu” (生姜湯) in Japanese which translates directly as “ginger hot water”.
While it might not be as soothing as drinking it warm, ginger tea can also be consumed cold and is a refreshing drink to enjoy in summer.
Ginger tea is made with ginger and does not contain caffeine, making it an ideal drink to enjoy before you go to sleep.
I hope you enjoy this Japanese Ginger Tea recipe! If you try it out, I’d really appreciate it if you could spare a moment to let me know what you thought by giving a review and star rating in the comments below. It’s also helpful to share any adjustments you made to the recipe with our other readers. Thank you!
More Japanese Drink Recipes
Shogayu (Japanese Ginger Tea)
- 10 g fresh ginger
- 240 ml water
- ¼ lemon juice
- 1 tbsp honey or to taste
- 1 tsp starch to make slurry
- 1 tsp cold water to make slurry
- Wash or peel 10 g fresh ginger and cut into thin slices.
- Pour 240 ml water into a saucepan and add the ginger. Bring to a boil over medium heat.
- While it's heating, add the juice of ¼ lemon and 1 tbsp honey.
- Take a small bowl and mix 1 tsp starch with 1 tsp cold water to make a slurry.
- When the shogayu starts to boil, pour the slurry into the pan and mix immediately. Continue to stir over the heat until slightly thickened.
- Turn off the heat and use a mesh spoon to scoop out the ginger and any foam that forms on top.
- Pour into serving cups and enjoy!