You may be most familiar with fresh ginger in Asian-inspired salad dressings and stir-fries, but it also adds a spicy burst of flavor to many of our favorite Southern foods. You’ll find dozens of top-rated recipes―from Fresh Ginger-and-Lemon Muffins to Bourbon-Marinated Pork Tenderloin―on myrecipes.com. Keep these tips in mind when using fresh ginger.
Look for fragrant, pale brown roots with smooth skin―firm enough to make an audible snap when broken. To peel, scrape the skin gently with the side of a teaspoon, following the bumps and curves of the root. The flesh just below the skin is the most flavorful and often lost when using a vegetable peeler. A 1-inch piece yields about 1 Tbsp. minced or grated ginger.
Fresh ginger is added to recipes in a number of different ways. Sliced ginger releases a subtle infusion of flavor when heated with oil or liquid. Chopped ginger delivers bold, sweet-hot bites of concentrated flavor. The juicy, paste-like consistency of finely grated ginger disperses flavor throughout the dish.
The flavor of dried ground ginger can’t replace that of fresh, but do try using a combination of both in baked goods.
Crystallized ginger, available in the spice section along with ground ginger, has been simmered in syrup and coated with granulated sugar. It’s most often used in sweet baked goods, but it’s also delicious with many savory foods. Try sprinkling it over roasted root vegetables just before serving.
Fresh ginger contains an enzyme that can curdle milk-based dishes and prevent gelatin from setting properly. Heat destroys the enzyme, so before using fresh ginger in recipes such as custards or congealed salads blanch it in boiling water or microwave it at MEDIUM for just a few seconds or until hot.
Do you have a great-tasting recipe for a busy weeknight supper? We’d love to try it. For each recipe we publish, we’ll send you $20 plus a copy of the Southern Living Annual Recipes cookbook in January. Please e-mail recipes to firstname.lastname@example.org.