The Culinary Uses of Ginger
This is a continuation of my Spice Series. Welcome to my information on Ginger!
**Ginger is a tropical plant that has green-purple flowers and an aromatic underground stem (called a rhizome). It is commonly used for cooking and medicinal purposes.
**Due to the vast amounts of information on Ginger, I will be posting about culinary uses today.
**Click here for my information on How to Grow Ginger.
**Click here for my information on Ginger’s medicinal benefits.
Want to learn more about how to use herbs and spices in the kitchen? Check out the Flavor Crash Course by Revived Kitchen! It’s a great course on learning awesome tips for cooking. She talks about what spices work together, how to be more creative in the kitchen, how to maximize flavor, and how to properly use spices and herbs. Learn more about the Flavor Crash Course.
**Ginger has been a favorite spice for both healing and cooking for thousands of years, especially in China and the Mediterranean. Europe joined in on the ginger-loving sometime in the ninth century, and it continues to grow in popularity throughout many regions of the world.
**Ginger is a staple spice in the cuisines of India, China, Korea, Thailand, and other Eastern regions. They usually use ginger for savory foods rather than sweet ones. Due to the rise in popularity of Asian and Indian recipes in other parts of the world, the concept of using ginger for savory meals has been spreading in recent years.
**The Japanese love ginger in a pickled form with their sushi. The ginger is paper thin and is usually pink in color from the pickling process. It is used as a hot condiment to go with their sushi.
**England is famous for using ginger in gingerbread. Supposedly, most towns there have different recipes and molds for their gingerbread figures, including one for Guy Fawkes Day celebrations. The British also use ginger in their fruit conserves and marmalades, as well as their biscuits and cakes.
**Germans most likely invented the idea of gingerbread houses in the past, and it has become a Christmas tradition around the world. The Germans also have a tradition of eating carp with gingerbread and gingersnaps on Christmas Eve.
**The Caribbean islands enjoy ginger in their beverages. They are especially fond of ginger beer.
**Fresh ginger is a strong flavor/smell/taste, but it mellows when it is cooked.
**It has a distinctive flavor that is somewhat lemon-like in tartness, while also containing a pepper-like heat and a sweetness.
**Ginger pairs well with these herbs and spices: Allspice, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Cloves, Coriander, Cumin, Curry leaf, Fennel seed, Garlic, Mustard seed, Parsley, Sesame seed, Star anise, Tamarind, Turmeric, and Vanilla.
**It complements recipes featuring: Ale or beer, Chicken, Chutney, Duck, Oranges, Pork, Pumpkin, Shellfish, Sushi, Sweet potatoes and Winter squash.
**Here are some ways to get more ginger in your diet:
- Use fresh ginger with shellfish. Grate the ginger and add to melted butter with some dried mint and serve as a dipping sauce with lobster or shrimp.
- Add ginger and brown sugar together and sprinkle on acorn squash or sweet potatoes before baking.
- Ginger will tenderize and add flavor to meats. Rub on the meat before grilling.
- Add ginger to white sauces and sweet dessert sauces for an additional complexity to the flavor.
- Add ginger to applesauce.
- Put ginger in your fruit pies or in your cheesecake batter.
- If you have a juicing machine, add green apple, lemon, and ginger together to make a natural energy drink.
- Add ginger to any meat or vegetable dish that is either for stir-fries or uses a wok.
- Put dried ginger into your homemade salad dressing.
- Boil ginger in water and use that water to make a tea (or just drink as ginger tea).
- Make homemade gingersnaps or your own ginger ale or ginger lemonade.
**Ginger is usually a common item to find at grocery stores. You can buy it either in root-form or ground. Of course, roots are better since they are fresher. If you peel your ginger, it will keep fresh in your refrigerator for about two weeks if you put it in a sealed container. You can also peel it, slice it, and freeze it until needed. You can also keep ginger unpeeled and store in a cool, dry place, like you would for garlic and onions.
**Ground ginger lacks the aroma of fresh ginger, but still has much of the flavor. If you prefer using ground ginger, make sure you use a good brand (like this one), since many ground ginger options at the grocery store have possibly been on the shelves for a long time and might have lost many of their benefits.
Do YOU use Ginger for cooking? If so, what is your favorite recipe with ginger in it? Please feel free to add your favorite ginger recipes in the comment section below!
This is my information on the Culinary Uses of Ginger. Make sure to check out my Medicinal Benefits of Ginger page for some amazing aspects of Ginger for your health. Check out my simple tips on How to Grow Ginger as well.
Please click here for the introduction to my Spice Series. If you have any comments, questions, or extra information for me, please feel free to post in the comment section below!
Like the Ginger illustration art?
This beautiful piece of artwork was done by the talented artist Christy Beckwith. It would be beautiful in anyone’s kitchen: an art piece that remind us of the beauty of spices. Check out her website for other beautiful kitchen (and other room) art pieces here. She has done other spice illustrations for me there too!
For further reading on the Culinary Uses of Ginger from around the web: