Candied Ginger

Total Time:
1 hr 15 min
15 min
1 hr

about 1 pound

  • 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. 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. 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.

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    Timing was spot on for me. I ended up cooking with 100g of ginger slices, 100g sugar, and about 6T of liquid. I did however, experience what looked like that beginning of a syrup caramelization (like the brittle someone else mentioned).  
    When that happened I added a touch more liquid, turned down the heat, and stirred continuously (all the while wishing that the recipe was a bit more detailed).  
    The sugar then crystalized nicely. It's not going to look exactly like the store bought version that seems to be rolled in granulated sugar; instead, it reminds me of something you would get at a health food store--natural and delicious!  
    Definitely don't toss any byproducts!  
    I am currently drinking ginger tea as my ginger syrup reduces for ginger ale.  
    I also happened to be making BBQ sauce for dinner, so when I was left with loads of gingery sugar crystals that didn't adhere, I tossed what turned out to be about 3T of "ginger sugar" into the sauce. It's incredible!
    My sugar syrup ended up caramelizing, rather than crystallizing, leaving me with something almost more akin to ginger brittle! Tasty, but I'm not sure what went wrong.
    yummy :-) I think taking the mixture to 260deg F (on a low grade candy thermometer) has resulted in my best effort so far
    Fantastic! As others have commented, I had way too much sugar liquid to boil away, so I simply drained most of it off to another bowl. The mixture crystalized very quickly afterwards. The flavor and texture of the ginger was amazing. I did add splash of vanilla extract to the finished product. Next time, I think I'll add a vanilla pod to the simmering water/ginger mixture. I also strained the simmer water and added the drained off sugar liquid for ginger tea and gingerale.
    This was so easy to make. However, I followed the recipe to the letter and the step that is supposed to take 20 minutes took an hour and 20 minutes. I swear that was the juiciest ginger I ever saw! It seemed like more liquid was coming out than what was evaporating. Just keep watchig and stirring occasionally and it will finally crystallize. Can't wait to use it now!!
    What a lovely recipe! My comments: 
    1. I never knew about peeling ginger with a spoon until today! Google it. I thought, "no way this will work." IT WORKS!! 
    2. The cooking water for the ginger is DELICIOUS. Save as much as you can. 
    3. I don't have a kitchen scale, so I guessed how much sugar to use. I didn't have anywhere near a pound of ginger, but I used about 1.5 c sugar and then the water. Didn't realize it at first, but I had WAY more liquid than I was "supposed" to. This stage took like ~45 min as opposed to the 20 in the recipe. It came together eventually, though, crystallized beautifully, the candy is just lovely. Just FYI, don't panic if it takes more than 20 min. 
    4. I expected cleanup to be just awful... it wasn't! The sugar crusted all over the inside of the pan and utensils. I filled the pan overflowing with HOT water and dish soap, put the utensils in, and let it soak for ~30min while I walked my dog and when I came back all the sugar had dissolved!!! I was so pleased!
    I made this recipe yesterday to use it in Ina's "Ultimate Ginger Cookies", and it's simply delicious!! I can´t stop eating it!! easy and unexpensive!!
    Vey easy, very tasty recipe that turned out delicious in the end! This is a great way to make candied ginger by hand without going to the store.
    Easy to follow recipe and so much less costly than at the grocery store. Pretty fun to make actually and really tasty!
    I have been on the search to find candied ginger since my local store stopped selling it. I came across this and I thought Alton Brown will do it right, which he did! For me it took longer than what he said for could have been because I cut the ginger a little thicker. I ended cooking it for about two hours and when the water would cook away/get low I would just add more. When it came to adding the sugar and Alton said it would take about 20 minutes, I would say it took about 30 for me. There was a slight difference in smell when it was ready. It may not look like it's done, but you will no longer have a will be foamy like. QUICKLY move the ginger from the stove to the drying rack because it will dry very quick.  
    When I cooked the ginger and tasted it while it was cooking, it was a little spicy. After everything was said and done and on the cooling turned out GREAT! It was no longer as spicy tasting. I used a measuring cup as my scale.
    When I made this recipe last night, I substituted stevia for the sugar. I used Truvia Spoonable stevia, & I followed their sugar-to-stevia conversion chart to get the proper amount, as stevia is MUCH sweeter than sugar. My yield of ginger after the initial boil was a little more than 1 1/2 cups (1 cup 5 oz, so instead of 1 cup 5 oz of sugar, I used 1/3 cup + 6 Tbsp of the stevia. I also added about 1/2 Tbsp of vanilla extract to the final boil-down, & it came out great! I took some to work & coworkers who have had regular candied ginger before said it tasted really good. I didn't get much in the way of extra crystals in the end, but I think that's because the amount of stevia called for is so much less than sugar. Also, next time I think I'll add either a full Tbsp of vanilla or rum extract to the final boil-down & see what happens. I really like the results I got this time around, though. :
    This recipe turned out great! But One HUGE tip if you have the time for it is to NOT remove any water. It will take up to four hours, but you get a MUCH stronger flavor by reducing the whole volume of water.
    Great, I like the reminder to use the flavored sugar. In his show Alton did discuss what type of ginger to use and how to recognize it. The tender, non stringy form has a very light skin and is young. Older forms might be used for grating, or I like to make a tisane of ginger and fresh mint. So simple to just put in good water in a pitcher and refrigerate for a nice beverage. Also you can often tell if it is old just looking at it, by not buying anything with wrinkles, looking dried out, or even worse, with mold on cut edges. Shopping for the ingredients makes a lot of difference in a cook's perception of a 4 or 5 start review, and it is not the recipe originator's fault if the cook needs more practice in choosing ingredients. keep some extra syrup for your coffee or tea, or even alcoholic drinks. Yum...
    I'm only giving this a 4-out-of 5 because my problem was the ginger root I purchased. I never bought this fresh product before, and what I got at the supermarket must have been old or something. It was tough and stringy. I had to cook it longer than AB's recipe to get it to soften. However, his technique was flawless. The crystallization worked (almost like magic and my end product looked great and actually tasted good. The texture however was very chewy and so stringy in some bites that you have to spit it out. Next time... and there will be a next time... I'm going to the farmers' market for my young ginger and it's going to be perfect. I love this stuff! Thanks Alton, for giving me the confidence to even try it. 
    Awesome recipe! I made this as a result of making Alton's good eats roast turkey last year. Now I make some every now and then just because it is a good snack. It's a really easy recipe. It just requires some patience waiting for the sugar to recrystallize. My local store sells a small 3 oz bag of candied ginger for the more than the cost of a pound of fresh this is cheaper and tastes a lot better!
    This is an excellent (and easy recipe for making something you probably won't find at your local grocery store. I've made this many times, and each time it was to support other Alton Brown recipes (Free range fruit cake, and Good Eats roast turkey, both of which are phenomenally delicious. I eat the candied ginger straight, because it's sweet, spicy, and reminds me of my time in Asia. I highly recommend this recipe. Good luck.
    Perfect! Tastes much better than the candied ginger that you can buy at the store in little spice bottles. I received a digital kitchen scales and a mandolin for Christmas, and I followed Alton's recipe exactly thanks to those tools. I love Alton's scientific approach to delicious food. When I find his recipes, I know they have been researched and tried to make them really possible for us to reproduce the results as much as possible, notwithstanding the weather and humidity. I'm still making cookies, and I probably won't have much ginger to store. Thanks, Alton Brown, for all your work!
    I was a bit hesitant to make this recipe at first. I had never made anything requiring sugar to cook at such a high temperature, so I wasn't sure what to expect. Overall, I am pleased with the results. The process was a bit time consuming, and definitely created a mess, especially in the end with the hot, syrupy sugar. But the work was worth every ounce of effort, because in the end you're left was a crispy, chewy, sweet and spicy treat. I used the water left over from boiling the ginger to make a delicious simple syrup.
    This recipe was great!!! I let the ginger sort of dry out in an open container after I boiled it for about 45 minutes while I took a much needed nap :. After completing the next step they came out delicious- not soft at all like some of the reviews say. It is quite spicy however, which I realize is the nature of ginger, but does anyone know if I boiled it longer that the 35 minutes- would that eliminate some more of that heat?
    This recipe worked great on my second try. I used a little less than 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid when cooking the softened ginger with the sugar. The ginger absorbs some liquid and using less during the next step worked better for me. I also froze the finished product but am not sure if this is necessary. Does anyone know if freezing has any benefit?
    Turned out great. The last step I did was to heat the oven to 200 and put the ginger (cooling rack inside cookie tray in the oven for 3 hours. It dried the ginger more.
     Does anyone know if the ginger can be frozen or put in the refridgerator so it will last longer than two weeks?
    Candied ginger has long been a favorite of mine but had never made it until I saw Chef Alton make it. It is now standard in our spice cabinet although most of it is eaten just as a snack. It's awesome dipped in very dark to bitter chocolate as a nibble with a demitasse of espresso--one of my favorite gustatory moments. Just as an aside, I used the water from the ginger to flavor a pitcher of iced tea--it carried the delicious heat from the ginger but not an especially good flavor. I'll keep working on that.
    These turned out great! I dipped them in chocolate (60% cocoa for valentines day and they were delicious.
    This was so easy and turned out great! I didn't get the sugar clumping I've received other times I've made candied ginger. Yum!
    best crystalized ginger recipe out there, easy to do, house smells delicious and keeps for weeks. Am lucky to live near a terrific farmers market for fresh ginger at 1.19/pound! Thanks Alton Brown for another great recipe.
    Takes a while to crystallize, but it is so worth the time. It is absolutely divine cut into strips on top of vanilla bean ice cream. My husband ate majority of the batch and then asked me to make more. Ginger is pretty cheap at Asian food markets, as well as other produce (esp. in NYC so if you have one near by you should check it out.
    Turned out great! Super easy! Alton you rock!!
    So much better than any store bought ginger. I used this in my ginger snaps and it was very tasty. I can't wait to try it next summer in the peach upside down cakes he made.
    Terrific recipe, and once you've done it a couple of times it's a snap. The result is infinitely better than any store-bought candied ginger. It helps to watch the video to get a good idea of what it looks like in the pan when it's done - it's probably a pretty short window, but once you've seen it it's hard to miss. I just candied 2 pounds of baby ginger, and it's the best ever - very tender and a little milder than previous batches made with mature ginger. It was so nice not to have to peel or saw through tough old woody ginger. I wish I could get baby ginger all the time. Tomorrow I'll make Alton's ginger snaps, which, largely because of the candied ginger from this recipe, are the best in the world.
    I too had trouble getting the liquid to cook down at medium heat so after 20 minutes, I increased the heat to medium high and let it boil rapidly for an additional 15 minutes. The result was perfect, however, I only ended up with 11oz. 
    To answer the question about using this method for citrus rind, yes it can be used but you have to bring the rind to a boil, drain, bring it to a boil again at least 5 or 6 times to get rid of the bitterness that rinds tend to have.
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