The addition of dried orange peels in dishes gives it an inviting citrus aroma. You can buy the dried peels (known as chen pi) from Asian herbal stores but I've decided to make my own from the mandarin oranges I've been gobbling. Peels from different citruses will, of course, give different flavors. I used mandarin because it's in season now and the peel is usually thinner with less of the bitter pith (the white spongy layer between the fruit and the skin).
1. Opt for organic if you can, but in any case clean the oranges well under running water, then pat dry.
2. Try to peel the skin of each fruit in one piece so you have larger pieces to work with.
3. Place the peels directly under the sun for about three days or until they are thoroughly dried and brittle. If you're not getting enough sun, dehydrate them in the oven on low.
4. Store the dried orange peels in an air-tight container.
Use it! Dried orange peels are used in Red Bean Soup.