Crystallized Stem Ginger
by eat in my kitchen
When Food52 asked me if I would like to contribute five recipes to their Halfway To Dinner column I was so excited that I went through my recipe collection on my blog right away. I had to choose one ingredient which would be featured in all dishes, not necessarily for dinner but also for desserts. It’s October and I already mentioned that pumpkins are piling up in my kitchen constantly so what else would fit better than the whole range of winter squash featured in gnocchi with pesto, a spicy pumpkin soup with bittersweet chocolate and red hot chili peppers, golden Hokkaido spaghetti, a juicy Irish ginger brack for tea time and finally a pumpkin pie with coriander caramel. You can also find the whole collection here on Food52!
One of the recipes, the wonderful Irish tea cake is made with crystallized stem ginger which I usually buy from the store but a lady who commented on the column sparked an idea. She asked for a substitute which isn’t really possible as the taste and texture of this kind of ginger is unique. It’s like sweet and spicy candy, slightly soft but with bite. So if you can’t buy it, you have to make it yourself and here’s the recipe! I started this project the same morning as I was really curious to see if it would work out. After some research it took about an hour and a half as I had to cook it twice, once in water and then with sugar and water, but I was rewarded for my work with the tastiest stem ginger I ever had in my kitchen. It’s spicier and stronger, exactly what I like! I used very fresh organic ginger, when I cut it the juices started to run out of the roots. The harder and older it is the longer it will take to soften and the taste won’t be as good!
Crystallized Stem Ginger
For 1 medium sized jar you need
very fresh organic ginger roots, cut into 1.5cm / 0.5″ cubes, 250g / 9 ounces
granulated sugar 250g / 9 ounces plus more to sprinkle the ginger
Cook the ginger in 350ml / 1.5 cups of water on medium-low heat (simmering) for about 50-60 minutes until the ginger is between soft and al dente. Cook it open for the first 15 minutes before you close the pot with a lid. When it’s done, drain the ginger in case there is any liquid left. If the water evaporates before the ginger is done add a little more water.
In a sauce pan, bring the ginger and sugar in 30ml / 1 ounces of fresh water to the boil. Let it cook (bubbling) for about 30 minutes until the sugar starts to crystallize.
Take the ginger out with a slotted ladle immediately and spread it on parchment paper sprinkled with sugar. Separate the single pieces and put the crystallized ginger in one airtight box and the sugar pieces in another one using it for mint or lemon teas or your baking.