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What to do with a lot of fresh ginger?

When I went to buy ingredients for a curry a couple of weeks ago, my grocer only had fresh ginger in huge (1 lb maybe?) packages. I have since made various kinds of curry several times, but more than half of the package is still remaining. I have been browsing through recipes, and found some that I would like to try, but they all call for a pretty small amount of ginger, and I fear that I won't use all of the ginger up before it starts to go bad. Does anyone have a recipe that uses a large volume of fresh ginger? I was thinking about trying to make candied ginger. I found some very different instructions online - does anyone have a method they could share?

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  1. HI -

    Peel your ginger, and chop into chunks to fit in the food processor. Salt, vinegar, and water to make a paste when processed. Keep this in a little jar in the fridge. You now have a very decent rendition of fresh ginger flavor that will last for months. Any Indo-Pak or Asian store sells these jars as "Ginger Paste." I started buying these for ease of use a while ago. While nothing really can mimic the flavor of fresh minced or crushed ginger, the paste is about 4 trillion times better than worthless ginger powder. I've never found a ginger powder that is worth any amount of money, when used for cooking savory dishes. It's ok for BAKING, but for cooking...totally worthless.

    1. Can't help you on the candied ginger, but I love to make a refreshing ginger drink when I have lots of ginger on hand.

      Mince up a bunch of ginger, put it in a container that is just a bit larger than strictly necessary to hold it, and fill the container with honey. Mix a couple of teaspoons or tablespoons (depending on how much you like ginger) of the honey/ginger with sparkling water and add a squeeze or two of fresh lemon. (It's even good without the lemon, if you don't have any around.)

      I store the ginger/honey in the fridge, but I don't know if that's necessary or not.

      1. A little ginger goes a long way in most recipes.
        One way to use up larger amounts is to make ginger tea. Clean the root under cold running water, slice into roughly 1/8 to 1/4 inch ovals, add to boiling water, and simmer for about 30 minutes to 1 1/2 hours (depending on desired strength).
        Use about 2 to 3 ounces of ginger to half gallon of water.
        You can add quartered lemon about ten to fifteen minutes before end of cooking.
        Serve hot.
        Other options:
        honey
        cinnamon

        4 Replies
        1. re: hannaone

          I love this. I actually cool mine off for iced ginger tea, as well.

          1. re: cimui

            This is my go to tonic for sore throat, cough, flu, etc.
            The ginger/lemon tea (on the strong side, it has to have a good bite to it), a good dab of honey, and cinnamon. Sometimes with a shot of whiskey added.

            1. re: hannaone

              I sort of do the same thing but with coke. A can of coke, slices of ginger, some scallion and a slice or two of lemon all boiled together for about 10 minutes.

              1. re: hannaone

                my mom's recipe, too (minus the cinnamon and whiskey :). a good tonic for all that ails, really.

          2. You can peel and cut it all up into chunks (or chop) then freeze for later use. It will work just fine for curries, etc.

            2 Replies
            1. re: fmed

              I also peel and freeze in chunks for later. It can be grated on a microplane straight out of the freezer when needed.

              1. re: Foodnerds

                That's what I do too -- actually, I don't peel it til I need it, but I *always* have frozen ginger on hand.

            2. Take a small container of sugar and add some fresh chunks to make ginger sugar to sweeten iced tea on these hot days.

              Add to the mix when roasting or steaming vegetables.

              1. I like the ginger tea already mentioned (but I like mine strong so i use a lot of ginger). You can make gingerbread (always better using fresh), asian style salad dressings, or infuse milk/cream for pannacottas and creme brulees. Try it with carrots or sweet potatoes (cooked or soup). Make Chinese food like steamed fish/seafood (slivers of ginger, chili and green onions with soy sauce, sugar and hot oil) or steamed/poached chicken (with ginger green onion oil)

                1. I've used ginger to make a ginger vodka infusion, and it was awesome with pomegrante juice- a pome-ginger cocktail. Very summery. Just slices of ginger in a mason jar full of vodka for a week. Don't make the mistake I did and puree it all together and strain it- that was WAY too gingery.

                  It also freezes pretty well. It loses some of the consistency, but when frozen it will grate nicely.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: caviar_and_chitlins

                    We have a restaurant here which does a ginger martini. They put peeled ginger into the bottle and store it in the dark for a month, then strain, shake with ice and serve in martini glass with a stick of ginger. Yummy!

                    As for storing, I read on this website, somewhere, that you slice up the ginger, put in jelly jar and fill jar with sherry. I did it and it has been in the fridge for months. Works great! I always froze it before, grated it frozen but this is even better.

                  2. Here's an excellent Ginger Cake recipe:

                    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                    I love ginger and easily make it 6 ounces (or even 7-8) of fresh cut ginger instead of the 4 ounces the recipe calls for. Also I reduce the sugar amount as well and the cake is plenty sweet. This cake also works as a breakfast serving!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: scoopG

                      That recipe looks fabulous; thanks for posting.
                      I don't think I've ever bought as much as a pound of fresh ginger at one time, but when I do buy it, I put it in a paper bag and store it in the vegetable bin in my refrigerator. It keeps quite a long time.

                    2. I use ginger in marinades and slice them up into matchsticks, scattered on top of meat/fish. Also a great addition to vegetables when stir frying (heat the oil, dump in the ginger and garlic, then throw in your vegetables).

                      Also, I make a sort of paste/condiment that I keep in the fridge and use on just about everything -- pasta, rice, grilled chicken...peel a large piece of ginger root, chop into chunks, throw into the processor. Then, take one bunch of scallions, chop into chunks, throw into the processor. Pulse until it resembles a paste. Transfer to a container and cover with oil (kind of like how you'd do with pesto), add salt to taste, and keep chilled.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: theannerska

                        In addition to adding shards to marinades or stir-fries, add it to your packets when making Fish en Papillote - bed of leeks, bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, carrot shred, scallions, sprinkled with soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice wine vinegar and ginger shards; wrap and bake - good w/ tuna and halibut.

                      2. I process it with an equal amount of garlic and free in small lots for curries and the like.

                        1. Ginger can be kept for a long time without refridgeration. In fact, the longer you keep it, the "spicier" or stronger flavor it becomes.

                          If you do want to use it up now, you can make a ginger syrup (for drinks or cakes or muffins, pancakes, ice-cream, you get the idea). Just put the peeled and sliced ginger into boiling water and same amount of sugar. Wait till all the sugar melts, and turn to low and steep it for like 45 mins or until all the ginger flavor is out and the fluid becomes syrupy consistency. Brown sugar also works very well in this case.

                          You don't have to remove the ginger pieces if you don't want. You can keep the ginger syrup for a long time (in the fridge).

                          1. If you want to hang on to your ginger for as long as you can, you can put it in a clean jar and cover it with the alcohol of your choice; I use vodka. It will keep for months and you'll always have fresh ginger on hand.

                            10 Replies
                            1. re: acme

                              acme, i've done this before to make infused vodka, but never tried to salvage the ginger! i imagine the ginger changes a bit in taste and texture, no? do you still cook with it as you normally would?

                              (if you use a lot of ginger and a little bit of vodka, i guess you'd end up with something like ginger essence?)

                              1. re: cimui

                                cimui, like starkoch says the texture and strength do not change; but I don't even bother to peel it or cut it up, I just make sure it's clean before I place it in the jar of vodka. I use a old wide mouth jar. As for the vodka, I use the cheap stuff because I'm only using it for storage, not drinking. You don't taste the vodka when you use the ginger. If you have ideas for using "ginger essence" please let me know because I'm very interested!

                                1. re: acme

                                  The "ginger essence" is great in stir fry sauces.

                                  1. re: acme

                                    hmm, no, i don't really have any firm ideas. ginger essence was just a stray thought that formed bceause covering ginger with a bit of alcohol isn't so different from how one makes vanilla essence (subbing scraped vanilla beans for ginger, of course).

                                    i guess ginger essence could sub for powdered ginger in baking, be added to desserts in place of, say, orange essence or something else, or added to cocktails without adding as much volume as an infused vodka or sherry.

                                  2. re: cimui

                                    Ooooh, how do you do this? Could you share proportions/recipe(s)?

                                  3. re: acme

                                    I do something like this also. I break it into approx inch to inch and a half size pieces. Then scrape the peel off with a spoon and put it into a jar and cover with dry sherry and put in the fridge.
                                    It does not change the texture or strength at all. It lasts months like this.
                                    You can also stick it in some potting soil and it will grow.
                                    koko
                                    www.kokoscorner.typepad.com

                                    1. re: starkoch

                                      >>You can also stick it in some potting soil and it will grow.

                                      astonishing. will any nub of ginger do?

                                    2. re: acme

                                      Omg. Thanks for this idea!

                                      As for other ginger uses, the tofu people at the Ferry Plaza farmer's market (in SF) have this amazing ginger syrup thing that goes w/ their tofu custard. You could try making that. I think they said all it is is sugar and ginger. It's wonderful.

                                      1. re: anzu

                                        yes, tofu fa! basically the same as the ginger tea posted above, but with lots of sugar (usually the yellow lump kind). You can also pour ginger syrup over glutinous rice dumplings (plain, or filled with sesame/peanut filling).

                                      2. re: acme

                                        Whereas I always grate the ginger and pour dry sherry over the ginger in the jar. The sherry absorbs some of the flavor of the ginger, but the ginger doesn't take on too much of the sherry flavor. (I would think that vodka would give the ginger an odd taste - JMO.) When the jar of grated ginger is done, you can also use that sherry in a stir-fry.

                                      3. Ginger freezes beautifully. I freeze entire knobs of it and then grate it frozen on a rasp when I need it.

                                        1. You can also freeze it... you can grate it frozen (don't thaw it) to use in recipes later on!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: sfumato

                                            I agree with QueenB. Ginger freezes very well. I like to freeze it pre-grated, rolled up in finger-length stick shapes in plastic wrap so you can break off small bits for your cooking needs. I also have them frozen in slices, for home-made chai.

                                          2. Fresh ginger has many benefits....not just for cooking, but also healthwise! We buy fresh ginger and process with our juicer. I drink green tea with a teaspoon, or so, of ginger juice added. Store the juice in a glass jar. Keep it refrigerated! The juice can also be added to your recipes.

                                            Just use "Google" to find the many wonderful uses and benefits of ginger !!!!

                                            1. Love steamed fish Cantonese-style with ginger and scallions. I also put tons of julienned ginger in my fish.

                                              1. Make your own pickled ginger slices like the pink ones that you get with your sushi.

                                                Easy to do.

                                                Rice wine vinegar, salt and sugar. Mirin if you have it. It won't be pink but will taste better than the stuff in the jars. Just boil the ginger slices and in the brine and let cool. I've done this often when making sushi at home.

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: scubadoo97

                                                  I second the pickled ginger suggestion. Get ready for a new addiciton.

                                                  1. re: scubadoo97

                                                    do you keep this in the fridge?

                                                    I wonder if one could jar it, process in a hot water bath, and give as gifts...

                                                    1. re: Gooseberry

                                                      What little I had left over I kept in the fridge. I would think it is like other sweet pickles. There is usually less acidity than in other pickles so there could be some mold growth is left out too long but if you disenfected/boiled jars it would help.

                                                  2. Just freeze the ginger, whole, unpeeled. It actually peels easier (use the edge of a spoon) when it's frozen. It grates better frozen too.

                                                    1. I always freeze fresh ginger and grate it skin and all right out of the freezer. I have a ginger grater that works like a charm. http://www.williams-sonoma.com/produc...

                                                      1. Make Barefoot Contessa's Indonesian Ginger Chicken. I love it.

                                                        http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...

                                                        And then, as others have said, freeze the ginger.

                                                        1. Homemade ginger ale! We've been doing this a lot lately - chop up the ginger in a food processor, peel and all, add 2 cups of that to 2 cups of sugar and 6 cups of water, boil, then simmer for an hour. Strain the ginger out and you're left with an excellent ginger syrup with serious kick. Add about 1/3 cup to a glass of ice, top with seltzer water and stir it up. It's excellent. I keep a bottle in the fridge. My husband also likes to add the ginger syrup to dark rum.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: Andiereid

                                                            And, in case you don't really like Ginger Ale in a can (I don't), this is much, much better and amazingly refreshing.

                                                            1. re: sebetti

                                                              Couldn't help but pipe in with a plug for the now-on-newsstands Summer Drinks issue of Imbibe (disclosure: employer), which has a photo step-by-step guide to homemade ginger ale, recipe courtesy of the ladies at Grub in LA. Made it for a backyard bbq (back before it went 55 and cloudy again here) and it was the hit of the party. We also used it for a watermelon-basil cooler, recipe in that same issue.

                                                            2. re: Andiereid

                                                              About two weeks ago, I started making Ginger Beer. It's amazingly simple. I got the idea from this blog http://www.vurt.co.uk/2005/06/15/Ging...
                                                              I'm working on my second batch now, with my variations to the original; ie, stronger, darker and spicier.
                                                              A summary, in brief:

                                                              "A quick Google turned up a very easy way to make Fresh Ginger Beer.

                                                              ...The primary caution involves gas. The rapid build up of CO2 may result in rupture of the soda bottle, unless you refrigerate it as soon as the fermentation has peaked. Grolsch Beer bottles with resealable stoppers would be better, but there's some extra expense involved, unless you are already a Grolsch drinker. My bottle simply erupted in a fountain of ginger beer when uncapped. Providentially, I'd placed the 2.5 liter Coca Cola bottle into a larger, institutional food dervice container.

                                                              The brew was very pleasant although lacking a rich depth of ginger flavor, as well as looking too pale. I'd even substituted light brown sugar for the white sugar in the recipe, and increased the amount of ginger from the original recipe.

                                                              Concurrently, I made a rather thin-bodied but zesty ginger syrup out of the rest of the ginger.

                                                              After sampling the ginger beer, I dosed the rest with some ginger syrup, and put it out for a second fermentation. That took place in less than 12 hours. This time, I carefully captured the spewings of ginger fountain, and recycled them back into the bottle. The double-fermented brew was much better, and with more days in the fridge, it improved even more."

                                                              See my profile for a link to more.

                                                            3. Pasting from a previous post.

                                                              If you want to make something from scratch, try this.
                                                              Makes 3 pints

                                                              FRESH GINGER JELLY

                                                              1/4 pound fresh, juicy ginger root (about 1 cup sliced) Try to find the thinnest-skinned roots which means they're young.
                                                              1 cup water
                                                              6 T strained, fresh lemon juice
                                                              3-1/2 cups granulated sugar
                                                              1 pouch (2 ounces) liquid pectin

                                                              1. Scrub the ginger. No need to peel. Trim any dry spots or ends. Rough chop.

                                                              2. Combine the chopped ginger and 1 cup water in small food processor or blender and with on-off bursts mash the ginger. Do not totally puree it, but give it a good smash.

                                                              3. Pour the mixture into a very fine sieve or sieve with several layers of dampened cheesecloth and press and/or squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the pulp. Let the liquid stand for at least 1 hour to settle.

                                                              4. Carefully pour the ginger liquid off the starchy sediment into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. You should have 1-1/4 cups. If not, add enough water to equal that amount. Discard the sediment.

                                                              5. Combine the ginger liquid and lemon juice in a non-reactive pan. Heat to simmering over medium-high heat. Add the sugar. Stir until dissolved. When the mixture reaches a boil that can't be stirred down, stir in the pectin. When the mixture returns to a full boil, start counting. Boil for exactly 1 minute. Remove from heat.

                                                              6. Skim off any foam and pour into hot, serilized 8-ounce jelly jars. Leave 1/2 inch head space. Clean jar lip and seal with new 2-part lids according to manufacturer's directions.

                                                              I've never hot water processed these, just waited for the seal to "ping" me.
                                                              This is great on any buttered toasted bread, scone, or muffin. Warm to melt, then brush on to glaze a fruit tart. Make "grown-up" PB&J's. Top crackers spread with cream cheese for an appy.

                                                              This jelly is a surprisingly lovely pale pink color -- looks pretty in a gift basket.

                                                              1. You can use it for a pork based soup with some carrots. Slow simmer for 2 hours.

                                                                Or you can do ginger rice but you will need to peel and put this in a food processor. Put the minced ginger with the rice.

                                                                You can make a dessert too. I forgot the exact measurements but you can juice the ginger and pour almost boiled milk with dissolved sugar in the milk. The milk and ginger juice will form a chemical reaction and make the mixture into a jelly. This is a really delicate step. I made it several times, but I find it difficult to make it consistent. You can also make Ginger Beer which may be easier. I had three crates of Ginger in my house once so I got some experience.

                                                                1. minced ginger is good in ceviche!

                                                                  1. you should definately freeze some. would you be interested in candy-ing some? that might be interesting.

                                                                    1. I peel the ginger, slice it thin, cover it with sherry, and store it in the refrigerator in a small jar. It lasts a very long time, and not only do you have ginger to add to food easily, but you end up with ginger flavored sherry. A favorite Chinese chef taught me this secret.

                                                                      1. I had this problem recently. I had some time on my hands so I just grated it all and squeezed out the juice and put that in a narrow glass container. Have been using it in soups, drinks and such for the past couple of days. It won't last as long as freezing it though.

                                                                        Lebovitz's Fresh Ginger Cake mentioned elsewhere in this thread is awesome. That is the only ginger cake I make.

                                                                        1. I love ginger! Peel it, cut it into chunks, put it in a jar with sherry, your choice, I use dry. It stays as if fresh seemingly forever! I don't know if I have to, but I have been known to change the sherry once in awhile. I love having fresh ginger at my disposal. It grates beautifully, and the sherry flavor does not come through. Enjoy!

                                                                          1. Ginger Custard! It's sometimes offered as a dessert in Chinese restaurants instead of red bean pudding or mango pudding and it's my favourite.

                                                                            I googled Ginger Custard and found many recipes. Here's the link to one.

                                                                            http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo....

                                                                            1. I make fresh juice, like carrot, apple, orange and always use fresh ginger in them. Also I put it in coleslaw. I make a desert with fried bananas, ginger and little brown sugar. Pineapple ginger chicken, Pork with ginger, I hope this helps. One more thing you might want to read online on how to perserve ginger and also crystalize it, I dont now how to but I am sure smeone does

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. David Leibovitz's ice cream book, "The PErfect Scoop" (much discussed on this board) has a recipe for fresh ginger ice cream. It's lovely, but I actually double the amount of ginger he calls for (from something like 3 oz to 6 oz). Great with a swirl of chocolate, straciatella-style.