Candied Ginger Slices
Tuesday, May 21, 2013 at 10:00AM
Mari in sweets, treats

If I cooked a single cuisine, my spice cabinet and fridge would be pretty easy to navigate. My mom barely breaks out of the Japanese food family so her spices pretty much read soy sauce, mirin, rice wine vinegar, shichimi, togarashi, dashinomoto, wasabi powder, sugar, salt and vegetable oil. Me, I dabble in a variety of cuisines so my fridge and cabinets are chockablock with spices and pickled things from all over the world. I’ve got a homemade mole paste from Mexico (one of my former employees had it shipped from her town in Oaxaca - a super score!), preserved lemons and harrisa from Marrakech, Japanese pickled plums, Thai shrimp paste, etc. I literally have an unquenchable thirst when it comes to dried spices and herbs. I joke with Mr. Mari that in my fantasy kitchen, I’d have an entire wall devoted to spices. One of the things I used to buy was candied ginger. You know, one of those McCormick jars with crystallized ginger nuggets. At $9.00 a jar, I decided enough is enough; I could make my own for a fraction of the cost. Now I’m wondering what other spice cabinet goodies I can make. Mr Mari, I need a bigger kitchen...

To make whatever quantity you want is very simple. Just divide the weight of your ginger by 4. This will give you your number for sugar (in cups) and water (in cups). For example, if you have 6 ounces of ginger, you would need 1-1/2 cups sugar and 1-1/2 cups water. Easy peasy, right? You’ll also need a candy thermometer. As an experiment, I draped and folded the sugared pieces over and around chopsticks to make them three-dimensional. Totally unnecessary but I wanted to see if the pieces would dry wavy. Yup. 

6 ounces ginger, rinsed
1-1/2 cups sugar + more for rolling
1-1/2 cups water 

If sugaring, put ½-cup sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.

With the back of a paring knife, scrape off all the skin. Rinse the root. Slice the root as thin as possible. Place in a small pot and cover with water by ½-inch. Bring to a boil, cook for ten minutes and remove from heat. Dump out the water, rinse and repeat one more time. Add sugar and measured water back in the same pot. Bring to a low boil. Occasionally wash down the sides of the pot using a pastry brush with cold water.

Cook until the thermometer reads 220 degrees. Remove from heat.

If sugaring, while the syrup is still hot, lift up a few pieces with a fork and drain well, the least amount of syrup is best since you want just a thin layer of sugar to coat each piece. Transfer to your sugar bowl and toss to coat. Shake off any excess and let dry on a piece of waxed paper. Repeat as you wish. Once dry, store the sugared pieces in the sugar you rolled it in at room temperature. They should keep for a few months.

If you’re not sugaring the ginger, leave the syrup and ginger pieces out to cool. Transfer to a container and store in the fridge. It’ll probably keep up to one year. Enjoy!

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