Learn About Ginger

Author: Chef Sydney

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What is Ginger?

Ginger is a spice from a flowering ginger plant that originates from southeast Asia.  Ginger has a brown root-like exterior that needs to be peeled away to the white-yellow interior.  It usually comes fresh or ground, but pickled and candied varieties are available.  Ginger has a strong, distinct smell, with a slightly acidic note.

What Does Ginger Taste Like?

Fresh ginger has a stronger flavor than other forms of ginger.  Fresh ginger is strong, warm, and slightly sweet.  Ground ginger loses some of its bite compared to fresh ginger.

Learn About Ginger
Powdered ginger, candied ginger, sliced ginger, and whole ginger placed together.

How Do You Eat Ginger?

Ginger must be eaten peeled.  Fresh ginger and powdered ginger are usually eaten after being cooked into other dishes.  It may come pickled or candied and be served alongside dishes or on its own.  Ginger is often paired with chicken, beef, pork, and some fishes in savory dishes.  It is a common ingredient in spiced cookies, like gingerbread cookies, and cakes.  Some teas, waters, and juices are made with ginger.  Ginger is used in sauces, curries, and even in ginger candy.

How to Peel Fresh Ginger

  1. Place the ginger on a cutting board.
  2. Cut off a small amount of ginger with a sharp knife.
  3. With a metal spoon, firmly scrape the skin away from the ginger.

Where Can You Buy Ginger?

Look for fresh ginger in the produce section of the grocery store.  Powdered ginger is found in the spice aisle of grocery stores.  Candied ginger may be in the dried fruits and nuts section of the grocery store.  Pickled ginger is found with other pickled foods.  Ginger, in all forms, is found in international grocery stores.

How Do You Store Ginger?

Store fresh ginger in a cool, dry place.  Once cut into, store fresh ginger in a fully sealed, airtight plastic bag in the refrigerator.  Fresh ginger can also be frozen.  Powdered ginger should be stored in a jar in a cool, dry place.

Fun Facts About Ginger

Ginger has been used in some countries to treat certain medical ailments for thousands of years.  It is also made into an oil for medicinal use.

Did You Know?

While ginger looks like a root, it isn’t!  It’s a rhizome, which is a plant stem that grows underground.

Recipes Using Ginger

Pumpkin Pie Spice

Make pumpkin pie spice ahead of time to make your baking easy. Combine ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon and store in an airtight container. Use in pumpkin pie, pumpkin bars and muffins, and cookies.

Marinated Chicken

Create an easy marinade for your chicken. Combine soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sesame seeds, and honey in a large plastic bag. Place chicken in the mixture, seal, and store in the refrigerator for several hours. Cook the chicken in a skillet and serve over rice.

Ginger Cookies

Ginger cookies offer a sweet taste of ginger without an overpowering flavor. Combine wet ingredients and set aside. Mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Combine the wet and dry ingredients, form dough into balls, and bake.

Ginger Tea

Enjoy your ginger in tea. Peel and slice ginger and place in a saucepan of water. Add a cinnamon stick and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes and remove from heat. To sweeten the mixture, add a tablespoon of maple syrup.


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