Ginger is one of my favorite herbs.
I adore the assertive flavor of ginger, but it’s also very good for you: ginger is reputed to remedy digestive issues including stomach upset and nausea.
I enjoy using fresh ginger in my cooking and I like snacking on and adding crystallized (aka “candied”) ginger to all sorts of recipes, as well. Crystallized ginger is one of those things I’ve wondered about making pretty much every time I’ve placed some in my shopping cart. Years of wondering, people. Years.
Turns out it’s a lot easier to make than I imagined it would be.
To make candied/crystallized ginger at home, you’ll need a fairly large amount of fresh ginger. Since it was my first time trying this recipe, I candied a 1/2 pound piece…
…but you can easily double the amounts of everything.
I cut the ginger with a mandoline slicer- mandolines are great for ensuring slices with uniform thickness- but if you don’t have one, a very sharp knife can be used instead. If you do have a mandoline, always use care when slicing because the blades are VERY sharp.
Make sure not to discard the syrup when you strain the ginger slices: it’s great mixed into seltzer and tea, and I imagine it’s fantastic over yogurt (or vanilla ice cream), too.
Slices of purchased candied ginger are usually completely covered with sugar: I used a fairly light hand when I sprinkled mine, and I chose demerara sugar for the final toss because I love the color, size, and taste of the crystals. The type of sugar and the amount you use for the last step is up to you. Use less if you want your candied ginger to retain a spicy bite, and more if you like your candied ginger to be quite sweet.
Recipe for Crystallized Ginger
*1/2 pound fresh ginger, peeled
*1/2 pound organic sugar, plus additional sugar for tossing the cooked ginger slices
1. Slice the ginger into 1/8 inch thick slices using a mandoline or a sharp knife. The slices should all be the same thickness so they cook evenly.
2. Put the sliced ginger into a pot on the stove and pour in enough water to just cover the ginger. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 45 minutes until most, but not all, of the liquid has cooked off (you want about 1/4 cup of liquid to remain).
3. Add the sugar to the ginger slices and remaining water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.
4. Drain the ginger slices over a colander, reserving the ginger syrup for another use.
5. Spread the wet ginger slices out on a cooling rack set over waxed paper. Sprinkle one side of the slices with organic sugar. Allow to dry for a few hours, then turn over and sprinkle the other side with organic sugar.
6. Once sprinkled with sugar and completely dry, the slices will keep in an airtight container for several months.