Monday, November 14, 2011

How to Candy Ginger

I've never been a fan of candied or crystallized ginger.  Tastes too gingery.  But I had some recently finely chopped and folded into a rich, dark chocolate bon bon, and the combination converted my ginger-hardened heart.  I became inspired to candy some ginger when I set out to make my own Pepero for Pepero Day.  But then I thought to myself, "Do I really want to be the kind of person who sits at home candying ginger?"  I decided not to candy any friggin' ginger.

Then I went to Bangsan Market to pick up some sprinkles for the Pepero and saw swarms of young teenage girls doing the same.  My eyes narrowed.  Candying of ginger BACK ON.

Candied Ginger
recipe adapted from Alton Brown

ginger root (however much you want to ginger)
5 cups water
oil for greasing a colander

Note: The reason my ingredient list is so sparse is because I only made a few tablespoons of candied ginger.  I didn't want to make a huge batch of candied ginger especially since the flavor is quite strong and I would only need a little bit for the Pepero.  I used just 40 grams of ginger.

Lightly grease a colander or baking sheet with oil.

Wash and peel the ginger root.  Peel off all the skin; get in the crevices and make sure the surface is devoid of any skin.

Slice the ginger very very thinly, about 1/8 of an inch, using either a mandoline or a paring knife.

In a pot, bring the ginger and water to a boil and simmer for 35 minutes until the ginger slices are tender.

Remove the ginger with a slotted spoon or colander and reserve 1/4 cup of the ginger water.

Weigh the ginger slices.  I'm using a food scale I got at Daiso for 2,000 won ($2).  Use an equal amount of sugar.  For example, my ginger slices weighed 40 grams.  I used 40 grams of sugar.

Return the ginger water and ginger to the pot with the sugar.  Continually stir until it boils.  Reduce the heat keep stirring until the sugar looks dry like it's almost completely evaporated and starting to re-crystallize (about 20 minutes).

Immediately transfer the candied ginger to the greased colander or baking sheet and kind of spread it around.  Allow it to cool.

I had some left over from topping Pepero so I used the remainder to top some chocolate ginger snap cookies.

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