Fresh ginger root isn’t the most accessible ingredient. You’re faced with this hard and fibrous root that seems to belong in the ground rather than in your meals. Yet, once you work out how to use fresh ginger, there’s no end to the things you can do. You can use fresh ginger in drinks, savory breakfast meals, dinners, desserts, and even in cocktails and other alcoholic beverages Soon you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it.
After all, ginger is an incredibly common ingredient. It has a long history in Asian cooking and in traditional medicine. Fresh ginger is becoming more popular in other parts of the world as well, especially as the health benefits are becoming increasingly recognized.
Ginger has even been used for more than 3,000 years and has been traded across the world, often as a valuable spice. Yet, there’s also a lot we don’t know about the spice. Most interestingly, the ginger we know and love today doesn’t grow in the wild. This makes it a type of man made ingredient, although its exact origins remain a mystery.
Don’t let that mystery stop you from enjoying ginger. Many of the foods we eat today are the result of selective breeding and they’re still incredibly good for us. Ginger certainly is, as it’s been linked to countless health benefits. It tastes amazing too.
Before we talk about hot drinks, recipes, and other ways to use ginger, we need to cover the basics. After all, you’re not going to throw the entire ginger root in your recipes. Some prep work is needed first.
Most of the time, you’ll need to peel your ginger root before using it.
A spoon is surprisingly effective at this task, but you can also scrape it off with the back of a knife or use a vegetable peeler. The skin normally comes off easily.
After this, you’ll often be slicing or grating the ginger. A microplane is a great tool for finely grating the ginger or you can simply cut slices with a sharp knife. Sometimes you’ll make these smaller still, like by julienning or mincing your ginger slices. Most recipes will tell you the best way to cut the ginger for your desired use.
If you find the ginger becomes mushy, you can try freezing it first. This is a surprisingly effective approach, as frozen ginger can be easily grated and freezing the root doesn’t impact its flavor much at all.
12 Fantastic Ways To Use Fresh Ginger
Ginger is often used as an ingredient, which means you’re normally slicing, grating, or dicing it. But, did you know you can juice ginger as well?
Doing so is incredibly easy if you have a juicer, as you don’t even need to peel the root before juicing it. You’ll probably need to cut it into smaller chunks, though, especially if your juicer has a small funnel.
You can make the juice with a blender, but you should peel it first and add some water. Once the ginger and water have been well-blended, you’ll need to strain them to get the ginger juice.
Try adding this juice to fresh fruit juice and vegetable juice, like in this Green Juice with Lemon and Ginger. The extra ingredients balance out the ginger and give you a drink that actually tastes good.
Ginger features in various healthy drinks, including plenty of hot ones. Ginger tea is the simplest example, which involves simmering slices of fresh ginger in a pot of water for five to ten minutes. Then the ginger slices can be strained out to give you a healthy hot drink.
This is just a starting point. You can easily add ingredients, such as lemon, honey, and perhaps turmeric. Or, why not add some whiskey? Doing so basically gives you a hot toddy, which is excellent as a nightcap or for when you’re under the weather.
Speaking of drinks, why not include ginger in a smoothie? This is a great way to get the benefits of ginger without the flavor overwhelming your other ingredients.
A smoothie with carrot, ginger, and turmeric is a great place to begin (like in this recipe). However, there are many other variations as well, including green ginger smoothies and fruit-based ones. You could even try adding ginger to your favorite smoothie recipe and see how it turns out.
Simple syrup is popular in cocktails and many other applications, as it allows you to add sweetness to drinks without any blending issues. Instead of plain simple syrup, why not try a ginger version?
Ginger simple syrup is surprisingly easy to make. You just need sliced ginger root, water, sugar, and a little patience. Once you’ve made the syrup, it can then be included in cocktails, desserts, hot drinks, and other recipes.
You can also make the syrup more complex, like by including spices or vanilla. These more complex versions would be amazing in the right cocktail or a hot non-alcoholic drink.
Store-bought ginger beer is often full of sugar and additives, so why not make your own version? Doing so isn’t difficult at all. The homemade version even provides you with probiotics.
Plus, if you’re making ginger beer yourself, it’s easy to adjust the amounts of sugar and ginger to match your preferences. You might try for an intense ginger hit or focus on a balance of ginger and sugar instead.
Make Ginger Garlic Paste
Ginger garlic paste lives up to its name, as it just relies on crushed ginger and crushed garlic, plus a little oil. The idea is brilliant, as ginger and garlic are used together in many recipes.
You can prepare the paste then keep it in your fridge and use it in any garlic and ginger recipe. Doing so makes your recipes much easier, as you don’t need you mince your garlic and ginger every time.
Surprisingly, a few slices of fresh ginger root work well in a cup of coffee, providing a touch of extra flavor. This would be a perfect choice in the cooler months, where spiced foods and drinks go down a treat.
Using ginger in your coffee is also one of the easiest ways to access the health benefits of ginger. The flavor is undoubtedly nicer than consuming ginger on its own.
Ginger shots can be as simple as a shot-sized drink of ginger juice. They’re a fast and easy way to consume ginger and get all the possible health benefits.
Because ginger is so pungent, the shots normally include other ingredients, such as lemon juice, turmeric, or honey. These ingredients knock down the intensity of the ginger, while also providing plenty of health benefits.
Like ginger garlic paste, ginger scallion oil is a fantastic ingredient for your cooking. It’s often made using crushed ginger, minced scallions, soy sauce, and vegetable oil. You can skip the soy sauce if you like, which makes the scallion oil much milder.
Once prepared, garlic scallion oil can be used in plenty of recipes. It works well as a condiment for any type of meat or even plant-based meat.
As odd as it might seem, fresh sliced ginger can work well in oatmeal.
The trick is to include the ginger in savory oatmeal dishes rather than sweet ones. Such dishes avoid adding any sugar to the oatmeal. They rely on ingredients like kale, mushrooms, eggs, and avocado instead.
Savory oatmeal is a fantastic choice in the morning, as you can easily load up on protein-rich ingredients and end up with a filling breakfast. The addition of ginger makes the meal even better.
Why buy candied ginger from the store when you can easily make it yourself? To do so, you just need three ingredients – fresh ginger, water, and sugar. That’s it.
Not only is the homemade version straightforward, but it also avoids the additives often found in store bought versions.
Finally, there’s pickled ginger, which is often served alongside sushi. The homemade version is easy enough to prepare. Just make sure that you’re using fresh ginger. Mature ginger won’t give you the outcomes you’re looking for at all.
5 Delicious Recipes Using Fresh Ginger
This Healing Ginger Coconut Chicken Brown Rice Soup is delicious, healthy, and beautiful. It’s a fairly complex dish, so ginger is just one of the many flavors present. Other ingredients include coconut milk, turmeric, chili paste, fish sauce, rice, and chicken.
Despite the number of ingredients, this isn’t a complicated recipe. It only requires around 15 minutes of cooking time and can be ready to eat in roughly an hour. That’s amazing for a flavorful and healthy soup.
Then there’s this Japanese Ginger Salad Dressing, which is a much simpler recipe. The dressing was originally designed to go with Japanese green salads, but isn’t limited to that situation. You could easily use it for other types of salads or even completely different dishes.
The recipe itself uses just a handful of ingredients, including ginger, carrots, onion, soy sauce, and rice vinegar. This combination creates a flavor-packed dressing that’s hard to forget.
This recipe is called The BEST Honey Ginger Chicken – and it’s easy to see why. Not only is this a delicious and moist version of ginger chicken, but it’s also very easy to prepare. The easy preparation aspect is powerful given that so many of us are short on time.
The star of the recipe is a five-ingredient honey ginger sauce. You could easily use this sauce for other dishes too, as it has a perfect sweet-sour balance.
These Gingersnap Cookies with Fresh Ginger are an ideal holiday treat, although you could easily make them at other times of the year as well. Unusually, the cookies use a combination of fresh ginger and powdered ginger. This approach creates a stunning flavor profile, especially when combined with nutmeg, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and molasses.
The recipe provides plenty of extra information, like how to make festive patterns and your own shapes. You can even ice the cookies, although they would be pretty good plain as well.
This Ginger Milk Pudding recipe may seem surprising, as it doesn’t rely on agar-agar or gelatin to create the texture. That effect comes from ginger protease instead.
However, the reliance on ginger protease means you need to follow the recipe precisely to get the desired results. This includes using older ginger roots rather than young ones and making sure your milk has a fat content of at least 3.5%. Even the mixing temperature impacts the texture of the final dessert.