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Feb 3, 2012

DIY: Candied Ginger

(Thank you everyone for helping get this to FoodBuzz Top 9)







Funny how our tastes change over the years. Or maybe I should just speak for myself.
I used to hate ginger as a kid ... even as a young adult. It took me awhile to get to like this interesting little rhizome. And it all started with this ... candied ginger.
These unassuming little things are great to add into fruitcakes and cookies ... even eaten on it's own, unless you're not into ginger, of course.
Ginger is actually very good in aiding digestion, treats stomach discomforts, reduces nausea, motion sickness, morning sickness, arthritic pains and a whole lot of other things that I've read about, told about and haven't had a chance to do anything about ... that's good in a way I suppose.
The Chinese revere this humble root. It's a definite must for confinement dishes, supposedly getting rid of bloatedness and toxic gases in the tummy. "Confinement" here means the recovery period after birth for the new mother, not criminals in jails.

I took this opportunity to show off a small part of the family heirloom. The spoon and bowl, both with a hand-painted dragon motif, is part of a set that has some real gold bits on them. I'm not too sure if it's safe to use them for eating because of the lead content normally found in the glaze of old Chinese ceramics. Since it's the dragon year, we dug them out of their cupboard "caves" for the festivities before they are banished for another 12 years.

To get nice clear, translucent pieces of candied ginger, you'll have to get super young ginger roots. It really doesn't matter if they're a little older but bear in mind that you'll have a more pungent and spicier flavor.

I have here a batch made from younger rhizomes and another from slightly older ones. You can see the difference in the colors. I'd made smaller pieces out of the older roots since they're "spicier" and takes a little longer to soften.

It isn't difficult. It doesn't take too much time. And the best part at the end of it is, you can use the leftover syrup to make homemade ginger ale or a slight twist to that, lemongrass ginger ale.


INGREDIENTS

young ginger
sugar
water

(What? You're expecting more ingredients?)


METHOD

Peel and slice ginger into 1/2" thick rounds or cubes. Halve the size for older ginger (you can tell it's TOO old when there's too much fiber).
Place cut ginger into a pot and add enough water to cover the pieces.
Cook on medium heat for about 30 - 45 mins or until pieces are tender, depending on how old the ginger is.
Drain, reserve about 3 - 4 tbs of liquid.
Weigh drained ginger. Add the same amount of sugar and the reserved liquid in pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until ginger turns translucent and liquid is reduced. About 45 mins - 1 hour.
Leave to cool a little. Drain and reserve sugar syrup to make ginger ale.
Toss drained pieces in powdered sugar or not (it's up to you). Separate the pieces out so that they don't clump together.
Allow to dry overnight on a piece of parchment.
Store in jars or airtight containers.

Note: Since this doesn't contain any preservatives, I'd suggest keeping them in the refrigerator for a longer shelf life.











68 comments:

  1. Thank you! I love candied ginger and had no idea how to make it myself :) Awesome!

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    1. You're most welcome! Glad I could help :D

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  2. BRAVO!! perfect candied ginger and stunning photo! Extremely appropriate the celebrate the Dragon Year! I love ginger even when I was a kid and have been a faithful lover. You have a beautiful set of dragon bowl and spoon there, LOVE IT! I used to have a set of tea pot and cups with dragon and phoenix too, one that was used to serve tea when I got married to my first late husband. Unfortunately it was broken during my last shift:( The tea serving set used for serving tea when I got married to my Quay Lo is a blue and white antique tea set which is still around:D. Whenever I clean them, I had to be very careful not to break them. Lucy got butter fingers. I hope to pass this set to our son, Nick. Hey, my Quay Lo had made some mix nuts and I added in some chopped candied ginger and they taste awesome. It will taste even better if I have your homemade candied ginger to add to them. HINT! HINT! WINK!

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    1. Thank you so much, Lucy!
      So sad about your broken tea set. These things are so finely made and so fragile. I get scared handling them. Better for them to stay in the cupboards.
      Haha! I'd better start making a list of all your hints and winks :D

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  3. I love candied ginger, I love any ginger and used to hate it a while ago. So taste does change...

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    1. Glad I'm not alone. I'm so crazy about them these days.

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  4. This is very handy. Candied ginger is delicious, and quite expensive here. Fresh ginger is not so expensive, though I presume younger ones may be slightly harder to find. I'm gonna try this, hopefully in the near future.
    A ginger mystery I haven't solved - I've noticed most candied and pickled ginger comes from Fiji, which is almost as far as you can get from here!
    Any clues how old that spoon and bowl is? How did lead get into it? Gold is safe to eat, in moderation, like everything else:) I don't think its delicious though

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    1. Yeah, funny why this should be so expensive ... here too. And fresh ginger is cheaper. I haven't bought any candied ginger for awhile since learning how to make these. Why is ginger so hard to find over there? I would think it grows pretty well in temperate weather. Is it an imported item?
      I don't really know how old the spoon/bowl is but I can safely say it's at least 80 yrs old coz that's how old my mum is and it was handed down to her by her mum but we have no idea how her mum got them. So, it must be older.
      I've amended the post slightly re the "lead" part. In the olden days, lead glazes were commonly used. And I'd think gold tastes better than lead :D

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  5. Oooh, I always used to buy that to make my chocolate ginger fudge - now I can make it myself!!! Thank you thank you thank you!

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    1. Hi V .... uh, Lilith?
      You are most welcome! I didn't know this would be so popular when I posted this. I guess there are more ginger folks out there than I thought.

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  6. This is SO cool! I love using candied ginger as an ingredient, but I never thought to make it at home. Now, if only I can find some young ginger. Most of the stuff in our stores is old and tough..fit only to be grated.

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    1. Hi Kristen. Hmm ... maybe you can find them at the asian grocers?

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  7. They look yummy

    Aarthi
    http://www.yummytummyaarthi.com/

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  8. Ping, what an outstanding photo! I cannot take my eyes off it. Have no idea how you did it, but it's extraordinary!
    I am a huge fan of ginger and I add it whenever I can (I always have fresh ginger, garlic and onion at home and cannot imagine cooking without them). There is however one exception: candied ginger. I don't know why, but there is something wrong for me in the ginger strong taste combined with sugar. Or maybe simply it is too sweet? I have no idea, but if someone presented me a piece of it like you did on the photo, I wouldn't even hesitate and try this beauty, hoping my taste has changed since I tasted it for the last time...

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    1. Gosh, thanks, Sissi! That's a super compliment!
      Haha ... yeah, there are some combinations that we can't seem to adjust to but I guess using it in a dessert might change your mind. I've found that it adds a certain something to the fruitcake. My dad who's not a fan of fruitcakes is now a fan, all due to some bits of these sneaked in.

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  9. I always wanted to make this! Thank you! Great photo, btw!

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  10. Your candied ginger is so pretty--and storebought is so expensive. I should definitely try this!

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    1. Thank you! Yeah, it's expensive to buy from the stores here too. I'm glad I learnt to make these. Do let me know if you like them when you do make some. Enjoy!

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  11. Wow... Ping, that is one lovely photograph.. and that bowl and spoon are really gorgeous! Real gold too! :) I love using candied ginger in desserts though I don't enjoy snacking on them (my mom does!), and I have never considered making it at home! My mom's birthday is next month... maybe I should make her a batch? thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you very much! I'm sure your mom would enjoy this. Happy Birthday to her!

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  12. Oh, gosh, what a great idea! I bet your homemade version is so much better than the chewy stuff I have sitting in my cupboard. I need to make a batch of gingersnaps with candied ginger again...so yummy! And can I tell you again how much you make me giggle with your comments? You have the BEST sense of humor and it's a joy to have you as a friend!

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    1. Thanks, Lizzy!
      And I'm happy you enjoy reading my comments. I'm just glad no one has told me off yet or told me to shut my trap for being too blunt ... sometimes ... most times?

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  13. It's funny how tastes change. Now I am happy to find ginger in my food, savoury or sweet. Great post, and congrats on the Top 9!

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    1. Thanks, Hester. I hadn't known I'd got Top 9 til you said so! Yay!

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  14. Thank you for the recipe Ping. I'm sure that the ginger root that I buy will not be the freshest but I I try to look for shiny skin and no wrinkles. I will use the syrup for a ginger martini with a piece of the candied ginger on the edge of the glass.

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    1. Great idea, Karen, using it for a martini and a garnish instead of the usual olive. I suppose you might be able to get some younger roots from the asian grocers. Anything with a little bit of green stems showing, grab them! :D

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  15. Oh MY! I've been making this ginger simple syrup for a couple of years now and then throwing away the ginger! Shame on me and GOOD for you! I was going to be making another batch of syrup next week, so this time I'll take it that one step further and turn it into candied ginger following your method. Thank you so much for posting this! Your family heirloom is gorgeous! Congrats on making the Top 9!

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    1. Hahahaha! That's funny! But I guess you must have been using the older roots which won't be too nice to munch on anyway. Thank you for the kind comment.

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  16. Definitely will try this ! thx for the sharing Ping.. I always love ginger in many ways (candied, as spice or as drink).. and as usual, you made outstanding picture of it.. Love it so much..congratulation on being top 9 today :)
    xoxo

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    1. Hi, Citra! Thank you. You're going to need this real soon :D *wink*

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  17. Hi Ping - I'm so glad you posted this... it's something I've been meaning to try for a long time. I just LOVE candied ginger, but it's so expensive for such a tiny bag - if I could make it myself, and make it well, I'd be delighted. You make it sound and look both easy and delicious. I have to give this a try soon! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

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    1. I'm happy this came to be so useful for so many. Never realized how much everyone uses this or even like this. It is very easy. That's why I could never understand why it should cost so much. It bothered me so much, enough to make me try make it myself and I'm sure glad I did!

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  18. Oh, Ping! Your homemade ginger is stunning. Congratulations, on the Top 9 with it!

    Such a weird coincidence. I just bought a container of candied ginger from my favorite Middle Easter market, and I'll tell you, it wasn't cheap!
    So much better homemade...and you did a fabulous job on that. Will save recipe to make next time:DDD

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    1. Thank you so much, Elisabeth!
      Yeah, I've been hearing about the cost of these things. It's the same over here. I'm very happy I learnt to make this. Hope you'll like them too! xxoo

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  19. i've always wanted to make this... thanks for the recipe. i will have to try it out sometime.

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    1. Do try it out. Hope you will enjoy them as much as I did! :D

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  20. Sounds pretty easy :) I'm so tempted to try making it now

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    1. It really is easy! Do let me know if it turns out good for you when you do make some. :)

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  21. definitely going to make this! i LOVE ginger candy! it really does help with motion sickness. if you're ever on a whale watching boat, and you're about to throw up (or throw up the second time), you might want to eat some ginger candy, just sayin'. not that i have personal experience or anything... :P

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    1. Hahahaha! No worries there, no whales in this part of the world :D
      Hope you'll like this and that it helps if you do go whale watching ... just saying. *wink*

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  22. This is interesting. I'm really amazed with your thoughtful cooking. You make this sounds so easy and I would love to make my candied ginger too.

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    1. Thanks, Zoe. It really is as easy as it sounds.

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  23. Yummm! I'm going to have to try this out! I made some on a whim a couple weeks ago and it wasn't pretty! LOVE candied ginger...thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi, Katie. My smaller chunks aren't too nice looking either. The big, young ones are better. Hope this works out for you. Thanks for dropping by.

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  24. Hi ping how was your cny? Hope you had a great time! I did! I used to buy these candied ginger to eat on the go or kept in the car to munch! Never thought of making some though. This looks delicious !

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    1. Hello Jeannie. Thank you. I did enjoy my holidays, more so for the lack of traffic than for the celebrations :D Looks like you're having a real good one!

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  25. I make this all of the time! (I usually don't dip it into sugar afterwards though...). It's great because you get candied ginger AND ginger simple syrup with one prep! :D

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    1. Yeah, good stuff! I sometimes don't dip it in sugar ... depends on the mood ... you know, fickle females. :D

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  26. Dear, I have an award for U waiting in my page, please do check at: http://c1tr4sinau.blogspot.com/2012/02/liebster-blog-award.html

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    1. Thanks, Citra! Will go over soon! Hugs!

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  27. Hi Ping, your candied ginger look extremely good and beautiful picture too. Looks pretty easy to make, thanks for sharing.
    Have a nice day.

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    1. Hi Amelia. Thank you very much! It really is very easy to make. Thanks for coming by :)

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  28. Gong Hei Fatt Choy Ping!!! How was the CNY? I have not had candied ginger before. I was never quite a fan of preserved or candied fruits. And I think it's time to try ;). Thanks for buzzing me over at my blog. Chat soon!! HUgggssss

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    1. Hey Jo! Looks like you had a better CNY than I did, altho mine wasn't too bad. You've been quiet on your blog for so long!
      Yeah, I wasn't into preserved fruits before either but like I mentioned on the post, my tastes have changed a lot over the years. Maybe you're still young :D

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  29. Even I did not eat much of Ginger candied, but your homemade one is awesome, bravo to you!

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    1. Thanks, Sonia! I actually don't like to eat them as much as I like using them in desserts and cakes. :D

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  30. Oh my gosh! Easy peasy! I am not sure I'll ever buy candied ginger again. Thank you!

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    1. Hi Maggie! Yeah, very easy peasy! Enjoy!

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  31. I love crystallized ginger and I never realized how much better homemade tasted until I made it myself one time! Congrats on making the Top 9!

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    1. Hi Jen. It is so much nicer, isn't it? Glad you've had the opportunity to find out as well. Thanks!

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  32. Ping anything I can take back a step to do it myself I l-o-v-e. I love candied ginger and would not have thougth to try to make it. Also the chocolate covered candied ginger. I've purchased it from local chocolatiers but now I can make it thanks to you! Beautiful!

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    1. Hi Toni. Thank you! I'm glad this helped. Oddly enough, I don't think I've seen any local chocolatiers making this even though we have an abundance of ginger here. The ones we get are all imported and truly way too expensive. In a way it turned out well as it made me want to make this myself. I've never looked back since. :) Enjoy!

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  33. Searching for candied ginger recipe on food buzz I came across your blog.
    My husband is a ginger lover. He eats ginger pickle (dipped in vinegar and salt)just like that, loves ginger tea ( even I do), and thin slices of ginger that comes with Sushi. Seeing his obsession with ginger once I bought him ginger chews, he did not eat those saying if I make it at home then he will.
    Now, after looking at your recipe I can try these.Thanks for sharing it on web.

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    1. Hello Balvinder. Your husband sounds like a true ginger lover :) Glad I could help. Oh, these would be better kept in the refrigerator. I used to buy candied ginger and I'd made the mistake of leaving it out with my homemade ones thinking they would keep just like the bought ones and it turned moldy after a while in the humid weather here. I guess there must have been some amount of preservatives in store bought ones. Thanks for dropping by.

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