Make your own homemade candied ginger! The flavor is WAY better than store-bought, much fresher and more vibrant. It will bring your baked goods to life, plus they’re fabulous just to snack on! PLUS there’s the additional bonus of an amazing ginger simple syrup you’ll get at the end of the cooking process that is phenomenal in drinks!
Have you ever come across a recipe calling for candied ginger but passed because you didn’t have any, couldn’t find any in the store, or just didn’t want to bother trying to find it? Or have you thought about making it yourself but weren’t sure how or figured it would be too much work? Well this is for you!
If you like candied ginger just wait until you’ve tried homemade! The flavor is worlds better – so much fresher with a stronger, more vibrant flavor. And if you don’t care for candied ginger, you’ll be converted once you’ve tried it in a few recipes (see ideas below).
Because it’s so fresh, and you know the source, you can also reap the health benefits of ginger. Ginger has been used medicinally for centuries. Ginger is an extremely healthy herb with a variety of benefits. Research has shown it to be effective in treating upset stomachs, nausea, motion-sickness, pregnancy, lowering cholesterol and inflammation, preventing clogged arteries and may even kill cancer cells.
So while you obviously want to eat candied ginger in moderation because of its sugar content, ginger has some great health benefits and if you do have a sweet tooth this is arguably a much better alternative to straight up candy, right?
Health benefits of ginger aside, some of you may be asking “Why would I even want candied ginger?” I’ll tell you!
Candied ginger (aka crystallized ginger) is not only a yummy snack on its own, it’s a versatile ingredient that will liven up so many dishes!
Bottom line: This makes a large batch, keeps for months, and you will be so glad to have it on hand.
Here are just a few ideas of how you can use candied ginger:
Add it to the following: Banana bread, sugar cookies, citrus salad, granola bars, cakes, pies, muffins, cupcakes, shortbread, pancakes, waffles, sprinkled over ice cream, lemon bread, pound cake (try my Preserved Lemon Ginger Pound Cake), ginger snaps, cranberry relish, pear or apple crisp, homemade jam, and the list goes on and on!
Or add it to this delicious Healthy Homemade Granola or this phenomenal Pineapple Mango Coconut Crumble with Candied Ginger.
These are just a few ideas and the sky’s the limit!
Leave a comment below: What are some other ways you’ve used candied ginger?
Okay, are you ready to rock?
Then let’s get started!
Generally you want to use young, small ginger roots because they’re less woody/more tender. But medium-sized will work just fine as well. Most ginger is imported from China but you can occasionally find non-Chinese grown ginger which I recommend. I also recommend organic if possible.
Peel the ginger and slice it thinly and evenly. You can either do it by hand or use a mandolin. I highly recommend the Swissmar Borner Mandolin.
If you slice it paper thin the result will be crunchy crystallized ginger, but you also don’t want it too thick. 1/8 is thick is about right. You’ll need about 1 pound of sliced ginger.
Place the sliced ginger in a medium-sized pot and cover with water and just a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
Reserve 1/2 cup of the ginger water and then drain the sliced ginger (you can also keep the ginger water for tea or a tonic).
Place the reserved ginger water and sugar in the pot.
Add the sliced ginger, bring it to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer uncovered for about 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
The mixture will become somewhat thickened as the sugar turns to a syrup.
Simmer until a candy thermometer reads 225 degrees F. You don’t have to use a candy thermometer but it sure makes it a lot easier than guesswork.
This thermometer is what I’m using now – it has great reviews and can be used for both candy and meats. A thermometer, in my opinion, is an essential kitchen gadget.
Once the ginger mixture has reached 225 F drain the ginger immediately while hot. Use a colander over a bowl so you can collect the drained syrup. Don’t discard that syrup. This recipe produces a delicious by product: GINGER SIMPLE SYRUP! Add a teaspoon or two to your drinks for a refreshing ZING!
Lay the ginger slices out on a large cooling rack over a cookie sheet, separating the individual slices the best you can (this is the more tedious part of the process).
Let the ginger sit for 2 hours so they’re sticky but not wet (you want the sugar to be able to adhere without dissolving).
Toss the pieces in a bowl of sugar to coat all sides.
Lay the crystallized ginger back on the cooling rack to sit overnight to dry. Note: If you’re in a place with high humidity you can also dry these in a food dehydrator or in the oven on the very lowest temperature setting (you may need to keep the oven door cracked open).
Store the crystallized ginger in an airtight container in a dark, cool place. Because it’s cooked and sugar and then coated with sugar, it will keep for several months.
Be sure to also try our Homemade Candied Orange Peel (or lemon, grapefruit and lime)!
How To Make Candied Ginger
- 1 pound peeled and sliced ginger ,preferably young/smaller roots, sliced about 1/8 inch thick (by hand or use a mandolin - it's much easier)
- Pinch of salt
- 2 cups white granulated sugar
- Extra sugar for coating
- Place the sliced ginger in a medium pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the ginger water and then drain the ginger slices.
- Place the sliced ginger back in the pot with the reserved ginger water, sugar and pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer uncovered for 35-40 minutes or until the temperature on a candy thermometer reads 225 degrees F.
- Drain the ginger in a colander over a bowl to catch the syrup (see Note).
- Lay out the ginger slices on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet, separating the slices the best you can. Let cool for 2 hours (you want them sticky but not wet so that the sugar will adhere without dissolving).
- Toss the ginger slices in a bowl of sugar so they are coated all over. Place the ginger slices back on the cooling rack to sit overnight. Note: If you're in a very humid area you can dry the candied ginger in a food dehydrator or in the oven set to the lowest temperature (you may need to crack the oven door open.)
- Store in an airtight container in a dark, cool place. Will keep for several months.