Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Homemade: Candied Ginger or Crystallized Ginger

For an introduction, I would honestly say that I have a sweet tooth but I always try to avoid confectionery. I think everyone knows the reason, just to make it clear in my case, it's to thwart the waist protest! However, with candied ginger, I still enjoy it anyway. In Vietnam, it's likely no TET (Lunar New Year) without candied ginger. Therefore, I would give myself a special treat to not thinking much when eating some slices of candied ginger in the biggest holiday of year. Ginger root is very well known to be good for health, but it's not easy to eat the raw one.  And if you're a ginger lover, you can tell me what you shall do with a pound of raw ginger root? I've been recently offered that amount of ginger and I need a way to "spend" them, LOL. Well, let me tell you my solution right now. I sugar coated them, yay yay! I don't want to sound so excited but this is truly my first time to crystallize ginger root! 

Okie, let's get real, candied ginger is very easy to make than the way it looks. The only cumbersomeness is time consuming. Here is my simple recipe:
  1. Peel ginger root and slice them
    (picture source)
  2. Soak sliced ginger in water with salt around 1 hour and drain well.
    I used about 2 table spoons of salt for more than 1 pound of ginger.
    You can use more or less, not really important.
  3. Simmer sliced ginger with cold water around 10 minutes. After that, drain and run under cold water.
  4. Do step 3 again and again until the ginger is eatable to you (control the hotness). I did mine 3 times.
    There is a tip that you can put a little of lemon juice to boil with gingers to blanch them.
    I didn't try because there was no lime or lemon in my kitchen, LOL.
  5. Mix ginger slices with granulated sugar, for 2 cups of sliced ginger, I used 1/2 cup of sugar. You can also use more sugar. However, be careful if you want to reduce sugar.
    Ginger may be still bitter if sugar amount is not enough.
    Don't worry about using too much sugar, ginger actually "returns" the sugar later.

    Rest the mixture at room temperature over night (or over 4 hours).
  6. Simmer the mixture until you see the sugar starts coating around ginger.
    I think it took me more than 30 minutes for around 2 cups of ginger.

    At the time that ginger slices are dried out, you will see sugar coating around them
    and if you keep stirring more, sugar will get out of ginger more.
    That's why I said ginger will "return" sugar in step 5.
    You can stir around 3 more minutes at this time, don't keep it so long.
    Here is the way it looks like at the end:

  7. You can rest them on a rack and leave in the oven with the light on for a couple of hours.
    Do not turn the oven on, just use the light.
    When they completely dry out, put them in a jar to store and eat later.  

Now, do you have a sweet tooth? Let test it with mine.

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