Ginger root is well-known as a mainstay ingredient in many Asian cuisines, but there’s so much more to know and love about it! This knobby root has been used for centuries to treat common ailments, and it’s still a popular treatment for digestive issues today. I don’t make a lot of Asian dishes at home, so I was curious if there were other ways to take advantage of the benefits and flavor of ginger.
For some people, consuming ginger is as simple as cutting off a small chunk of the root and chewing on it – raw! But for many of us, raw ginger is just too intense! But don’t despair, because there’s a simple way to turn that overwhelming raw ginger root into pieces of sweet and spicy chewy goodness. Just whip up a batch of homemade candied ginger!
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Candied ginger is very versatile, and can be used for a lot more than just taming tummy troubles. (Though it is great for that too! It’s a very popular road trip snack for people who tend to get car sick.) Chopped candied ginger can be folded into all sorts of baked goods, like muffins, brownies, and cakes, to add a warm and spicy flavor. Here’s how to make your own candied ginger at home.
- 1 lb. fresh ginger root
- 5 cups water
- 1 lb. granulated sugar (approximately)
Line your sheet pan with parchment paper, then spray your cooling rack with non-stick spray and set the cooling rack on the sheet pan.
Peel the ginger and slice it into 1/8-inch slices using a mandolin or a sharp knife.
Place the ginger into a saucepan with 5 cups of water, place it on the stove over medium-high heat. Cover the saucepan and cook the ginger for 35 minutes, or until the ginger is tender.
Transfer the ginger to a colander to drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the ginger-infused water.
Weigh the drained ginger using your kitchen scale, then measure out the same amount of weight in granulated sugar. Return the ginger to your saucepan, along with the sugar you measured out and the 1/4 cup of ginger water.
Set the saucepan over medium-high heat again, and bring it to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the sugar syrup has almost evaporated, and the sugar begins to recrystallize (about 20 minutes or so.)
Transfer the ginger immediately to your cooling rack, and spread it out into individual pieces using a spatula or pair of tongs.
Once the pieces are completely cool, store your candied ginger in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
As for the sugar that has dropped onto the sheet pan, don’t toss it out! Use that ginger-y sugar as a topping for ginger snap cookies, ice cream, or even to sweeten your morning cup of coffee. Yum! Just peel the dried sugar pieces off of the parchment paper, give them a whirl in food processor, and store in an airtight container.