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There are many ways to make delicious and spicy candied or crystallized ginger and I do believe I’ve tried them all.  It is a simple process: cook ginger, sweeten ginger, let ginger dry, coat ginger in sugar. The most important thing I discovered in my experiments is that the only real mistake you can make is a mess.

This is by far my most successful method.  It’s very easy and non-scientific, though it does require some waiting time.  Have fun!

You will need:

  • ½ lb. fresh ginger root (about 2 cups, peeled and sliced)
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar, plus more for coating
  • Cooling rack
  • Wax paper

1.  Snap ginger root into manageable pieces and peel by gently rubbing off the skins with the side of a teaspoon.

2.  With a sharp knife,  slice ginger into 1/8- inch to 1/4-inch pieces (cut thicker pieces for spicier candy).

3.  Place ginger slices and 4 cups water into a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer and cook for about 1 hour, or until ginger is translucent and tender (cooking time will vary depending on how thick your slices are).  Add more water as needed to keep ginger covered while cooking.

4.  Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid and drain ginger.  Return ginger and 1 cup cooking liquid to the saucepan and stir in 1 cup sugar.

5.  Bring water, ginger and sugar to a boil over medium heat and cook until syrup starts to thicken, about 5 minutes (or until liquid reaches the 230°F-235°F “syrup” stage on a candy thermometer, if you have one).

6.  Remove individual ginger pieces from the syrup in the saucepan with a fork and arrange ginger slices on a cooling rack.  Make sure the counter top under your cooling rack is lined with wax paper and let the ginger drip-dry completely, this may take several hours or overnight.

Note:  Don’t throw out that yummy cooking syrup – save it for pancakes or iced tea.  Mmm!

7.  Toss sticky drip-dried ginger in a bowl of sugar.  You can further dehydrate ginger by arranging the slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet and baking it at 200° F for a few minutes until dry and chewy.

Candied ginger can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for many months.


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