Ginger, the plant, is that aromatic, pungent and spicy herb that adds a special zest to stir fries, cakes, meats and fruits and vegetables. Available year round, ginger is the underground stem, or rhizome of the ginger plant. Ginger as a medicine has been with us since ancient times. This hearty, tasty and versatile plant is a staple in many cuisines around the world.
Fresh ginger is relatively inexpensive and found in most produce sections. Ginger roots should have a smooth skin, emit a spicy aroma, be firm to the touch and feel heavy for their size. Avoid ginger that is wrinkled – the wrinkles indicate that the ginger has been on the shelf too long and could be bitter. Ginger does not need to be peeled, but if you do want to peel it, use a paring knife. You can keep it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks if left uncut.
The flavor of ginger is magical in teas, delightful in cakes and amazing in stir fry. The level of the ginger’s intensity in a dish depends on when you add it to the cooking processes. When it’s added at the beginning the flavor will be subtle, add at the end, the flavor will be more intense.
The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.