Monday, August 19, 2013

Add a little spice to your cooking with fresh Ginger Root

Whether adding it to soups, sauces, stir fry or baked goods, fresh ginger is one of my favorite fresh spices to incorporate into my recipes!  Ginger root is the knobby and bumpy rhizome of a plant that grows in tropical and subtropical regions.  Its botanical name is Zinzibar officinale.  Most Ginger comes from Jamaica, India, Africa and China.  The flavor is peppery and slightly sweet and has a wonderful spicy and pungent aroma.



Ginger is available year round.  Spring ginger, also called young ginger, has a pale, thin skin that does not have to be peeled before using it.  Mature finger has a thick rough skin that should be peeled before using it.  Mature ginger is hotter and more fibrous than young ginger.  The flesh can be yellow, white or red depending on the variety.
 
When purchasing ginger root:
Look for smooth skin (wrinkles indicate that the root is dry and past its prime) with a fresh, spicy aroma.  The tubers should be firm and feel heavy.

Storing Ginger root:
Tightly wrap ginger in plastic wrap. This can be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks or frozen for up to 6 months.  You can also make candied ginger by cooking sliced ginger in a simply syrup until soft and then rolling the ginger in granulated sugar after it has cooled.  This is delicious to eat on its own or added to baked goods such as gingerbread or ginger cookies.  One of my favorite ginger cookie recipes calls for a combination of ground ginger, grated ginger and candied ginger...yum!

Tips:
  • Use a spoon to peel the skin off gingerroot.  A peeler works well, but by scraping the tip of a spoon down the sides of the gingerroot it is easier to get the skin off around the knobs of the root.
  • Use a microplane to grate the ginger.  It is much easier than mincing the root with a knife.  The stringy part of the ginger is removed and the fine grated ginger disperses nicely into your recipe.
  • Sliced ginger rounds are a wonderful way to flavor oil before sauteing or a flavorful addition to soup broth.  For just a hint of ginger, remove ginger rounds before serving.

Love Ginger?  Try some of our ginger-y favorites!

2 comments:

  1. I'm in love with the apple jalapeno jelly. It's amazing with crackers and cheese. It adds the perfect accent. I just can't be without it.

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  2. Kim! you did a good job. But mincing the root with a knife is not an easy task. A sharp knife is important for safety since a dull knife blade requires more force to do the job than a sharp knife blade. The bottom line is that if you have a knife or knives, then you absolutely need a knife sharpener to keep your knife blades in top form.

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