Experiments in Ginger
July 10, 2011 2:32 PM   Subscribe

What are your favorite ginger-highlighting recipes, tips or flavor pairings?

I love ginger- fresh slices or pickled with East Asian food, smashed up for South Asian, in smoothies or tea, sauteed, candied, in baked goods... I eat nearly anything, love spicy foods, and enjoy kitchen experimentation. With my home base in San Francisco I have access to a fair range of ingredients.

The recipes and ideas in this thread from 2005 are fantastic. Looking forward to more!
posted by maya to Food & Drink (33 answers total) 54 users marked this as a favorite
For drinks, get some Canton Classico or (less fancy, but easy to find) Stirrings Ginger Liqueur. I like to make a drink called the Fred and Ginger, which is ginger liqueur + bourbon. It would be great with some ginger juice in it, and/or a muddled piece of ginger in the bottom.

1 1/2 oz bourbon
1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz ginger liqueur
1/2 oz simple syrup
1/4 oz. Angostura bitters (about 10-12 shakes)

Shake with ice, strain into a rocks glass with fresh ice.

self link with recipe and photo
posted by rossination at 2:40 PM on July 10, 2011 [4 favorites]

One pairing that isn't in the older thread: ginger goes deliciously with pineapple in both savory and sweet combos. Add it to a chicken stir fry, fried rice, whatever.

Also, ginger/pineapple by itself, or combined with lime and or orange is great in dessert applications. I usually keep it simple (popsicles or beverages), but Googling brings up cheesecake, marmalade, and other variations on that flavor theme.

I also recently learned an easier way to peel fresh ginger root: scrape it with the edge of a teaspoon or soup spoon. The skin comes right off and you lose less of the skin than with a knife or vegetable peeler.
posted by Knicke at 2:42 PM on July 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

Chocolate truffles. Little fresh in the ganache, tiny zing on top (candied or not - I never remember to candy it in time.)
posted by cobaltnine at 2:45 PM on July 10, 2011

Best answer: Oh, I also find that ginger goes well with cucumber (which also goes well with pineapple). Ginger/pineapple/cucumber would be good as either a salsa-type chop salad/sauce, or even as an agua fresca-type beverage.
posted by Knicke at 2:46 PM on July 10, 2011 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Green beans! Toss lightly in olive oil and dash of salt and bake for 10 minutes at 400-ish. Bring them out and douse them in a combo of sesame oil, garlic, honey and a ton of ginger. Put back in the oven and cook until they are nearly blackened. Spicy!
posted by jessamyn at 2:49 PM on July 10, 2011 [6 favorites]

I have been experimenting with a gingerbread recipe for a few years now. It's not quite perfect, although I have vegan and non-vegan versions fairly well worked out. Since I hate gingerbread that is merely molasses flavored, I have really worked on punching up the ginger -- I use mostly grated ginger rather than powdered (which means I have to mess with the moisture content), but the grated ginger, while having a fuller flavor, doesn't last as long, so I add a little powdered ginger for a "longer tail," and the grated ginger masks a bit of the metallic flavor of the ground ginger. I also cut candied ginger into small pieces, toss in in flour and add it to the batter for more "ginger surprise." Oh, hell, here is the current recipe for the vegan version (inspired, in part, by a recipe from DiscourseMarker).

2 sticks soy butter

12 oz light brown sugar (3/4 of a regular package) -- vegan-style, obviously

3/4 up applesauce (unsweetened)

1/4 teaspoon baking soda in 1/4 cup sour soy milk (to make sour soy milk, put 1 teaspoon vinegar in measuring cup, fill to 1/4 cup with unsweetened soy milk, let sit for a few minutes)

5 Tablespoons grated ginger (the stuff in the jar works OK).

1 tsp of ground ginger

½ cup (or more) crystallized or candied ginger, cut into small pieces and tossed with a little flour

I am thinking of adding about 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans, but I have not tried this yet

2+ cups flour (add until stiff)

Cream soy butter and sugar together until a bit light and fluffy. Mix the applesauce, grated ginger, and powdered ginger, then add to the butter mixture in thirds, mixing in each portion before adding the next. Add the powdered ginger, if using. Sift (or spin in the food processor) flour, then add to butter/egg mixture alternating with the sour soy milk mixture, mixing after each addition. Add flour until batter is stiff – it seems to take between 2 and 2 ¼ cups with soy. Fold the candied ginger (and nuts, if you are using) into the batter (which will be really thick).

Press into a soy-buttered 9x13x2 pan. I would mark across the top with a fork, but it's always too thick for me to do it.

Bake at 300 degrees for 50-60 minutes or so until done. A toothpick should come out clean, and it will get a little brown around the edges. Sprinkle with sugar, if you like, or more candied ginger chopped fairly fine if you prefer that, and cut while warm. Keeps pretty well airtight, although these are very moist.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:50 PM on July 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

I make ginger simple syrup and then use it in lemon and limeade.
posted by craichead at 2:50 PM on July 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Carrot ginger soup, or butternut squash and sweet potato soup.
posted by John Cohen at 2:52 PM on July 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

A spicy "hot" Jamaican ginger beer, like Reed's Extra Ginger Beer, fortified with a shot of triple sec and served icy cold, really cuts the dust agreeably after mowing the lawn on a warm summer weekend morning.
posted by paulsc at 3:01 PM on July 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

I make Ginger Lemonade a lot. All of these measurements are meant to be altered to your taste.

2 to 4 ounces of lemon juice
1 to 2 tablespoon sugar (sometimes I use brown sugar, but use whatever works for you.)
Approx 10 to 20 shakes of powdered ginger

Place ingredients in 1-liter bottle. Use a funnel if necessary. Fill to top with cold water. Let it steep in frig unless you're really thirsty and can't wait. Serve over ice.
posted by marsha56 at 3:10 PM on July 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Cook's illustrated has a terrific triple-gingersnap that uses fresh, candied and dried ginger.

Also, this ginger-scallion sauce from Momofuku is to die for.

Ginger Scallion Sauce
Makes about 3 cups
2½ cups thinly sliced scallions (greens and whites; from 1 to 2 large bunches)
½ cup finely minced peeled fresh ginger
¼ cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
1½ teaspoons soy sauce, preferably usukuchi (light soy sauce), found in Asian markets
¾ teaspoon sherry vinegar
¾ teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste

Mix together. Let it sit for 20 minutes. Apply as needed. To pretty much anything.

+1 on peeling ginger with a teaspoon. I just learned that trick recently, too, and it's made a world of difference.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:43 PM on July 10, 2011 [4 favorites]

This recipe for lemon ginger cookies from Martha Stewart is one of my very favorites.
posted by CheeseLouise at 3:53 PM on July 10, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I used to make my own ginger beer, which was hot enough to burn your lips. I used 1 pound of grated ginger per gallon of water, sugar to taste, and a touch of bread yeast and let it ferment for 24 hours. Barely alcoholic and nicely fizzy.

Speaking of ginger beer, either home made or store bought (Though store bought is often very sweet. I like Blenheim, which is the only one I have found strong enough to make me cough, but Reeds is good too.) poured into the cavity of almost any hard squash while it is roasting in the oven is really good. Butternut is my favorite for this treatment.

Ginger, garlic, and soy make an excellent base for all kinds of sauces and marinades, though I'm sure this is not news to you. I especially like to add a bit of lemongrass and soak tuna in in, then coat the tuna in raw sesame and pan sear.

Pickled ginger and slightly under-ripe mango make a good summer salad starter.

Ginger and tamarind work together well for sauces too.
posted by Nothing at 3:59 PM on July 10, 2011 [4 favorites]

I like these ginger spice cookies, but with butter instead of shortening, triple the candied ginger, triple the ground ginger, add some freshly grated ginger, add a half teaspoon of allspice, and add a dash or two of cayenne. Dip them in turbinado sugar and pull them out of the oven on the early side, and you have delicious chewy brown cookies. You can't add too much ginger!

If you want to go for extremely gingery, you can also juice ginger. Chop lots of ginger up finely in the food processor, and then squeeze the juice out of the fibrous ginger pulp. Wrapping it in layers of cheesecloth, or in some thin cotton fabric can help. Your hands may tingle afterwords. If you let the juice sit in the fridge overnight the starch will settle to the bottom, and you can pour the juice off. You can get about half the weight of the ginger in juice, and the juice has most of the flavor, so it is around twice as spicy as straight ginger. Very intense straight up, and works well as a mixer for spicy drinks, or added to ginger beer if regular ginger beer isn't spicy enough anymore.
posted by JiBB at 4:36 PM on July 10, 2011

Ginger sour cream cake- is really amazing. The sugar crust has never turned out like the picture for me, but it sort of caramelizes and adds a really wonderful texture. Feel free to skip the strawberries, the cake is very moist alone.

Another great one is Maida Heatter's Gingerful Biscotti. Not online officially but probably google-able. It is in the newer of her Great Cookie cookbooks.
posted by sulaine at 4:44 PM on July 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

Frozen banana, milk, ginger, whip. Awesome.
posted by effluvia at 5:02 PM on July 10, 2011

Best answer: My best ginger tip is if you need it minced or otherwise finely cut up, run appropriately sized pieces through a garlic press.
posted by TedW at 5:45 PM on July 10, 2011

No recipe, but I had a delicioius rhubarb-ginger jam the other day. I imagine it wouldn't be much different than the usual jam-making process.
posted by hepta at 6:32 PM on July 10, 2011

Best answer: "Steamed Gingerbread Pudding", page 107 in the Tartine cookbook. Intense ginger flavor, just outrageously good. Pretty easy to make. Well, except for the bourbon hard sauce. Never got that to work, and just substituted bourbon whipped cream.
posted by madmethods at 7:06 PM on July 10, 2011

I love gingerbread with lemon glaze.
posted by theora55 at 7:16 PM on July 10, 2011

A honeydew and ginger blend from your local juice stand (or your blender) is a very refreshing and de-stressing way to enjoy it.
posted by pearl228 at 7:28 PM on July 10, 2011

Best answer: I love candied ginger on raw carrot slices. It is amazing.

Beyond that, though, I'm very fond of this Curry Chicken with Plums and Ginger recipe from Cooking Light. (Though I usually make it with nectarines, not plums; and I like it better with chicken breast, not chicken thighs.)

And simple ginger tea, though you probably already know about it: Take a knuckle of ginger root and either grate it coarsely or slice it thinly. Steep in boiling/hot water to taste. Add lemon and honey to taste. Yum, and so good for you, too.

I have a ginger plant growing in my kitchen right now.
posted by Andrhia at 8:04 PM on July 10, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I love these tips and ideas (how come I never thought of the garlic press?) and I can't wait for more! At some point I will try everything in here. Truffles and cucumber and green beans!

Tonight I sauteed garlic, red chile and ginger, added blanched swiss chard and then eggs. Served with steamed squash with carrots and cumin and some gnocchi. It was excellent.
posted by maya at 8:16 PM on July 10, 2011

I love these Pomegranate Ginger Muffins. The crystalized ginger is a great counterpoint to the tartness of the pomegranate/lemon zest, and the sweetness of the muffin dough.
posted by creepygirl at 8:52 PM on July 10, 2011

Pear & Ginger upside-down cake.

Make your favourite ginger cake recipie. Cover the bottom of the baking dish with peeled, cored pear halves [you can use canned if you don't have fresh]. Pour over the ginger cake mixture & bake.

You can serve this as cake or as a dessert.
posted by HiroProtagonist at 10:15 PM on July 10, 2011

I recently made ginger, cinnamon and apple muffins based on this recipe. I put in one tsp ginger, one tsp cinnamon, two finely chopped apples and one pureed apple. Next time I'll double both the ginger and cinnamon.
posted by kjs4 at 12:35 AM on July 11, 2011

Oh, and ginger, lemon and mint tea. Which is just a small amount of each steeped in boiling water.
posted by kjs4 at 12:36 AM on July 11, 2011

And hot freshly squeezed apple juice with ginger. Not sure how to make it, I've only ever had it at a cafe.
posted by kjs4 at 12:37 AM on July 11, 2011

A savoury option:

Spiced Vinegar, Smoked Paprika, Finely sliced or crushed ginger, garlic, pepper, spring onions, dash of soy sauce, sprinkle of chilli powder, and a squeeze of lime juice.
Blend. Use to marinate pork (any cut), ideally over 24 hours. If you have spare marinade you can use it as a base for a sauce to serve with the pork, or at a stretch a soup base.
Optionally add coriander (cilantro to some) as well. Either way, it's a good'un. If you give it a go let me know how it turns out.
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 4:04 AM on July 11, 2011

take a whole bunch of fresh-sliced ginger and put it in a pot of water. bring to a boil and then simmer for a while. strain out the ginger and then use the water to make simple syrup. for extra bonus, throw some lemon zest in while the syrup is cooling and then strain that out, too. put it in a bottle and then when your throat is sore or you just want yummy goodness, mix some with hot water and you have tasty ginger tea.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:06 AM on July 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

I mix the same gingery syrup above with pineapple juice and it is awesome.
posted by xammerboy at 8:09 AM on July 11, 2011

I love bok choy stir fried with ginger and garlic. It's simple, but really, really good.
posted by zoetrope at 9:21 AM on July 11, 2011

I just made cherry tomato jam with ginger yesterday (use less salt)
posted by growabrain at 10:24 AM on July 16, 2011

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