Ngau Yuk Beng in China: Cooking & Baking Posted December 28, 2007 · Edited December 28, 2007 by Ben Hong (log) Can't help you with Chinese characters, I will give a little etymological background. In Chinese (my Toisaan dialect) Korea is ChoSun (formally), but most people in common conversation would call Korea by the our regional dialect, Koh lai, which indeed sounds like Korea.There are two types of ginseng, the type originating from Korea (Koh Lai Tam) and the wild type from the US which is called "fah kei tam". Most Cantonese speakers would instantly recognize "fah kei" (flowery or colourful flag) as the colloquialism for the USA. "Tam" means tonic or beneficial root, I believe.Having spouted all that, I am not 100% sure that we are talking about ginseng - just my calculated and measured inference from toysangirl's posted question.The dark coloured stuff mentioned is the Korean variety, panax ginseng, which has been steamed, aged and dried. The American variety is normally just dried, so it is the "normal" light brown or golden coloured stuff one would commonly see. The American variety is panax cinquefolius, slightly different and is commercially grown extensively in BC, Ontario, Washington, Michigan and Oregon, etc. and hence is very affordable and available.Ginseng does not mean tonic to me but a huge headache for in my previous incarnation, I was consultant to one of the largest Ginseng companies in world and one of my projects almost brought down the local provincial government. Wheeewwww.