Ginger is a flowering plant of which the large underground stems or rhizomes are used grated or once dried, ground as a powder in numerous style of cooking and cuisines. Ginger is part of the same family as turmeric, cardamom, and galangal. Ginger is believed to have first grown in India, certainly, by the first century AD it was part of the spice trade to Europe and was a staple of Roman cooking.
Powdered ginger is used extensively in baking in gingerbread and parkin, ginger snap biscuits and fruit cakes and as the principle flavour in ginger beer and ginger ale. Candied ginger, or crystallized ginger, is the root cooked in sugar until soft and is a type of confectionery.
In Indian cuisine, ginger is one of the main spices used for making lentil based curries and vegetable dishes. Fresh, as well as dried, ginger is used to spice tea and coffee. In Japan, ginger is pickled to make Beni shōga, 紅生姜 the pink-hued accompaniment to many rice dishes. In fiery Kimchi, the fermented Korean cabbage dish ginger juice or minced ginger is added to the ingredients of the spicy paste just before the fermenting process. Chinese cooks slice ginger onto steamed fish alongside sesame oil and spring onions and chopped ginger is added with garlic to stir fry dishes. Ginger is also used in a number of Burmese, Thai, Indonesian, Malaysian and Vietnamese dishes.
Ginger is used in traditional Indian medicine and some small studies have found that it can be effective as a treatment for seasickness and morning sickness when taken as a tea or infusion.
Watch my video on how to really easily peel raw ginger here.
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