Candied Ginger

After an unfortunate run in with some not so happy cold cuts, there has been little but broth, dry toast, crackers and ginger tea/ale cooked or eaten chez moi.  I have watched 11 episodes of Law & Order since Monday (which is fine with me, given that the theme song is my ring tone), but I’m just about done with all of the commercials for weight loss supplements, car insurance and shady law firms.  I did, however, discover that when starved of anything tasty, I will actually crave Red Lobster followed by a Taco Bell chaser (those commercials are shown ALL. DAY. LONG.).  Not sure what to do with that info, but there you have it.  I would also like to try this place called Cici’s or something that has a $4.99 pizza buffet; from the commercials, it appears they have a mac & cheese pizza… Can you tell I need to get out?

Anyhoo. It is well known in my family that when you’re sick, the ginger tea comes out.  Powdered ginger will do, but if you really want to feel better quickly, you have to get fresh ginger, cut it up, smash it down a bit to release some of the oils and then add boiling water.  After drinking about 18936574 cups of tea over the last few days, though,  I really couldn’t imagine drinking one more, but I still wanted the benefits of the ginger.  I’m not sure if you’ve ever chewed on raw ginger, but it’s akin to gnawing on bark rolled in chili pepper.  I wouldn’t recommend it. 

But what could I do with all of the ginger my mother had brought me without having to actually cook?  And then it occurred to me that I hadn’t had any sugar in days and I was starting to get twitchy (don’t even talk to me about the lack of coffee and chocolate).  So candied ginger seemed like a good way to go.  There didn’t seem to be a recipe out there that had less than 7 billion steps, but I settled on Alton Brown’s because it was the most straight forward.

And I have to report that all the happiness of the ginger tea, but with the added goodness of the syrup, is found in the candied ginger.  It’s still spicy, but the syrup softens the sharpness a bit.  I did one batch with an extra sprinkle of sugar, and I actually–shockingly–like it better without, which only means that over the last few days I’ve lost my mind and possibly some of my taste buds. 

I am feeling so much better that I actually turned off the tv for a bit in the middle of a Law & Order episode that I’d already seen 3 times.  Next step is getting out of the pajamas.  Was that an overshare?









Candied Ginger courtesy of Alton Brown via

  • Nonstick spray
  • 1 pound fresh ginger root
  • 5 cups water
  • Approximately 1 pound granulated sugar

Spray a cooling rack with nonstick spray and set it in a half sheet pan lined with parchment.

Peel the ginger root and slice into 1/8-inch thick slices using a mandoline (I used a sharp knife and my slices were not the least bit even, which I think is more fun). Place into a 4-quart saucepan with the water and set over medium-high heat. Cover and cook for 35 minutes or until the ginger is tender.

Transfer the ginger to a colander to drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Weigh the ginger and measure out an equal amount of sugar. Return the ginger and 1/4 cup water to the pan and add the sugar. Set over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until the sugar syrup looks dry, has almost evaporated and begins to recrystallize, approximately 20 minutes. Transfer the ginger immediately to the cooling rack and spread to separate the individual pieces. This is where you’d want to dredge the pieces in granulated sugar, if desired.

Once completely cool, store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Save the sugar that drops beneath the cooling rack and use to top ginger snaps, sprinkled over ice cream or to sweeten coffee (oh, how I miss you, dear coffee!).


One Response to Candied Ginger

  1. A. Van Fleet says:

    Wow, that recipe for candied ginger sounds awfully complicated, but you did it and your photos make me want to bite into a piece of candied ginger right now. The store bought kind just won’t do.

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