Ginger is essential to many Asian recipes, but it can spice up just about any dish. Ground or fresh ginger can add flavor to breakfast, dinner and tea recipes, and candied ginger is versatile in sweets and glazes.
Dried vs. Fresh Ginger
- Dried, ground ginger keeps for years and is used in small quantities to make gingerbread, pumpkin pie, breads, soups and curries.
- Chopped or grated, fresh ginger is used to make sauces and glazes.
- Between ¼ and 1/8 tsp dried equals 1 tsp of ground fresh ginger.
- Add fresh ginger to taste; the flavor and varieties vary, so substituting is not recommended.
Buying Fresh Ginger
- Fresh ginger should have a hard, smooth surface. Avoid wrinkled surfaces, which are typical of older ginger.
- Fresh ginger should break with a snap.
- Fresh ginger wrapped in a paper bag can keep for weeks in the refrigerator.
- Whole, unpeeled knobs of ginger stored in freezer bags can keep for up to 3 months
- Avoid freezing peeled or chopped ginger.
- Use a spoon to gently scrape the surface of the ginger. The skin is thin and should come off easily.
- A vegetable peeler can also be used.
- Peel the skin from one of the knobs.
- Grate the peeled section on a cheese grater or rasp.
Slicing and Dicing Ginger
- Using a standard, sharp kitchen knife, slice very thin pieces, as the flavor is strong.
- Stack the slices, and slice again to make strips. Then dice if desired.
Using Candied or Crystallized Ginger
- Candied or crystallized ginger is fresh gingerroot that has been boiled in sugar syrup and coated with sugar crystals.
- Use it for making candy and pies, as a garnish or in glazes for roasted poultry.
- Store it in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.
- Try an orange-ginger green tea latte, made with soy milk. It’s soothing and a good source of protein.
- For stronger flavor, boil a small piece of fresh ginger in water and add honey and lemon.
Ginger Dinner Ideas:
- Try grilled sesame-ginger chicken. Mix ground ginger with teriyaki sauce and sesame seeds for a Japanese sauce that can also be served with salmon or beef.
- For orange and ginger chicken, blend ground ginger with Bisquick mix and orange peel. This recipe gives an extra kick to boneless chicken breasts.