LinkWithin

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

Friday, January 23, 2009

Candied Ginger and Ginger Syrup

this week has been a flurry of activity. finishing off carla's baby blanket to be ready to ship really set me back on time. plus, i've been trying to work on my photography blog. and this week has been especially hectic because i'm preparing for next week. it's the Lunar New Year (or Tết) on Monday. this holiday normally lasts 3 days. as a child, i viewed it as 3 days of doing nothing: cleaning or cooking. it also represented lots of good food, good cheer and lai see. now that i'm older, i can't celebrate for 3 days, as much as i'd like. so the first day is usually the day i partake in tradition, as best i can. preparation is a must. since i can't cook on the first day, i gotta think about what i'll be eatting. since i can't clean that day, i want to make sure my abode is spick and span. what makes all this difficult this year is that i'll be away all weekend in NYC, not returning till Sunday sometime. so all that had to be done before i left.

in preparation, i made a list. i admit, i'm a lister. i like to cross things that i've completed or accomplished off as i go. it keeps me organized and focused. i also like to get the most bang for my buck. if i'm going to make a pork dish for one serving, what else can i make with the remaining portion that is different but easy? (i made two pork dishes this week that i've been able to switch off on every evening for dinner. SCORE!) my next score tho will hopefully garner more than just two dishes. Ginger is a spice that i have a love/hate relationship with. i like it when it's subtle, a background hint to a fish or meat dish, or when added to cookies or cakes. biting into a chunk of ginger is not pleasant to me. HOWEVER, candied ginger? i can pop them in my mouth one after the other like it's... well candy. my ông ngoại used to hand these out to kids. the stuff was spicy. sometimes i would take tiny bites to savor the spicy sweetness and other times i'd try to pop as many as i could in my mouth and kinda sorta not really torture myself.

in recent years, when i bake, i like to add a hint of crystalized ginger. it adds a bit of oomph to them. with ginger being such a prominent ingredient to most asian dishes, i figured for the lunar new year, i'd incorporate this in some dishes. that's next week tho. :) for now, i'll just showcase the homemade candied ginger and subsequent syrup i made on monday. it cost me $3.50 for a pound of a fresh ginger, whereas it's only about that much for already made ginger. maybe i went off season or i went to a really super duper expensive joint but i'm thinking that buying it already made is more economical and time-saving? i enjoyed the process but well. this will require more research and shopping at other places.

candied ginger

Candied Ginger
from David Lebovitz (who, by the way, is a friggin genius.)

1 pound fresh ginger, peeled
4 cups sugar, plus additional sugar for coating the ginger slices, if desired
4 cups water
pinch of salt

1. Slice the ginger as thinly as possible. It can't be too thin, so use a sharp knife. (a man after my own heart, i love slicing things as thinly as possible.)

2. Put the ginger slices in a non-reactive pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let ginger simmer for ten minutes. Drain, and repeat one more time.

3. Mix the sugar and water in the pot, along with a pinch of salt and the ginger slices, and cook until the temperature reaches 225F

4. Remove from heat and let stand for at least an hour. Or if you want to coat the slices with sugar, drain very well while the ginger is hot, so the syrup will drain away better. (i did the latter)

5. Store ginger slices in its syrup, or toss the drained slices in granulated sugar. Shake off excess sugar, and spread the ginger slices on a cooling rack overnight, until they're somewhat dry. The sugar can be reused in a batter or ice cream base, or for another purpose.

Storage: The ginger, packed in its syrup, can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one year. If you're concerned with it crystallizing, add a tablespoon or two of corn syrup or glucose to the sugar syrup at the beginning of step #3. If tossed in sugar, the pieces can be stored at room temperature for a few months.

ginger  syrup

Today's song: A Fine Frenzy, Come On, Come Out

7 comments:

  1. Oh man, this reminds me of when my mom used to make her own mut for Tet. These days, we just buy everything.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yay! I really want to make this now and it like candy.

    btw, i woke up this morning having had a wicked dream about rob pattinson. :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. OK, maybe it's the time of day and that it's almost lunch and all, but I am getting hunger pangs looking at these pictures, and I've never even had candied ginger before.

    Happy celebrating, Lan!

    ReplyDelete
  4. wc - yes, i had to buy most of my celebratory food this year. it's just so much more convenient. i can't imagine trying to make banh tet or chung, altho i think i ought to try it at least once in my life...

    trish - it is so easy to make. you don't even realy need a candy thermometer. and i think rpattz has been in many women's dreams! :)

    shannelee - i hope you try candied ginger soon, there's just something so fresh about them, even doused in sugar.

    ReplyDelete
  5. wc - yes, i had to buy most of my celebratory food this year. it's just so much more convenient. i can't imagine trying to make banh tet or chung, altho i think i ought to try it at least once in my life...

    trish - it is so easy to make. you don't even realy need a candy thermometer. and i think rpattz has been in many women's dreams! :)

    shannelee - i hope you try candied ginger soon, there's just something so fresh about them, even doused in sugar.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Here goes nothing...I'm going to try and make this tonight so I can make the ginger lemon curd cheesecakes. Thanks for all the photos and how-tos!

    ReplyDelete
  7. foxflat,
    thanks so much for your note, your post on it looks fab!

    ReplyDelete