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Jun 29, 2006 12:10 AM


I made a marinade for chicken and I added fresh ginger to the ingredients I always use. I marinated the chicken overnight.

The baked chicken had a mealy texture whe cooked. Four pounds of wonderful organic free range chicken breasts ruined :+(

I remember having a similar result when I added some grated fresh ginger to burgers before grilling.

Does ginger have some sort of enzyme that attacks the protein? Would using a cooked marinade eliminate the problem and still keep the ginger flavor?

Any help will be appreciated. TIA

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  1. If you add ginger to a marinade, you should only marinate it a couple hours. It breaks down the meat.

    1. I do teriyaki style marinade and sometimes do it overnight, heavy on ginger, have never had a problem with mushy texture. I usually use Foster Farms, occasionally Rocky. h-h-h-m....

      1. Any high acid ingredients in a marinade will start to "cook it" (break down protein) if left too long.

        What were the other ingredients in your marinade?

        Check this link. It gives you some info. on tenderizing marinade ingredients:

        1. Thank you for the ask the meat man reference. Very interesting. I have bookmarked the site.

          The only difference between the marinade I usually make and this one was the fresh ginger. I might try cooking the marinade first before adding it to the chicken.

          My usual marinade is olive oil, vinegar or lemon juice, S&P, garlic, spices, herbs, wine. I have never had a problem.

          I was planning on making the Barefoot Contessa Indonesian Chicken which uses a whole cup of ginger.

          Before ruining another $30 worth of good chicken, I would like to get it right.

          Has anyone had better results with a cooked marinade?

          2 Replies
          1. re: Fleur

            The vinegar and/or lemon juice would definitely break down the meat when marinating overnight. Shouldn't be the ginger. Less time on the marinating; you should be OK.

            1. re: Fleur

              Would you mind paraphrasing the Indonesian Chicken recipe? Anything with a cup of ginger has to be something I would love... TIA (and no rush, I am tied up in meetings and won't cook for a week-- but the thought of making something with a cup of ginger might get me through, and also mollify my family...)

            2. I use fresh ginger regularly and don't end up with mushy foods. I would suspect the vinegar/lemon - acids definitely break down proteins.