Homemade Candied Ginger

October 29, 2013

It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today: Phoebe Lapine from Feed Me Phoebe shows us how to make sweet and spicy candied ginger from scratch.

Candied Ginger on Food52

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Despite my life-long dedication to candy as a food group, I’ve always been a bit too intimidated to make it. This could be for several reasons, the first being that I don’t own a candy thermometer. The second reason is that anything that becomes hot enough to require a candy thermometer runs the risk of burning your finger and/or tongue when you try to taste it mid-process. I learned this lesson when I nearly took off my index fingerprints trying to taste a simmering pan of caramel. Not smart.

More: Caught DIY fever? Try these 8 homemade candy recipes.

Candied Ginger on Food52  Candied Ginger on Food52

But as the holiday season approaches, I have my mind set on making large quantities of candied ginger to include in this trail mix as a homemade gift. People always ask me about my recipe process, and the truth is, it usually begins with Google.

Candied Ginger on Food52  Candied Ginger on Food52

Candied Ginger on Food52  Candied Ginger on Food52

As I bopped around the internet, the method that seemed the easiest and most intuitive was Alton Brown’s. His technique was simple: simmer the ginger in water until tender, drain, then combine the ginger with an equal amount of sugar and some reserved cooking liquid. I thought that last element was rather clever, as the gingery cooking liquid adds even more flavor to the sugar crystals that eventually form as the water slowly evaporates. You know it’s done when there’s no liquid left in the pan, and the candied ginger looks just like what you’d buy at the store, only better. No candy thermometer necessary.

Candied Ginger on Food52

Most recipes call for the ginger to be transferred to a cooling rack. I don’t own one of these either, but a parchment-lined baking sheet seemed to do a fine job. Best of all, the ginger cooled much more quickly than I imagined, which meant a speedy taste test and minimal tongue burns to show for it.

More: On a ginger kick? Make a meal of it.

Candied Ginger on Food52

Homemade Candied Ginger

Makes 1 cup

1/2 pound fresh ginger 
1/2 cup sugar

Peel the ginger and cut it into the thinnest possible slices using a mandolin or chef’s knife. Place the slices in a medium saucepan and cover with enough water to submerge them. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender. The slices will be a deeper shade of yellow and have a more rubbery consistency. Reserve 1/4 cup cooking liquid and drain.

andied Ginger on Food52  Candied Ginger on Food52

Return the ginger to the pot along with the reserved cooking liquid and the sugar. Bring to a rapid simmer over a high flame. Turn the heat down to medium and continue to simmer the ginger, stirring frequently, until the liquid has evaporated and the sugar begins to crystallize, about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the ginger immediately to a cooling rack or parchment-lined sheet pan. Spread in an even layer until cool enough to touch. Discard the excess ginger sugar, or reserve for another use. Store the candied ginger in an airtight container for up to three weeks.

Candied Ginger on Food52

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Phoebe Lapine

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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Phoebe is a writer, gluten-free chef, culinary instructor, award-winning blogger, and author of The Wellness Project. You can find her healthy comfort food and gluten-free finds on www.FeedMePhoebe.com


Lori P. September 27, 2020
Wondering if I could use raw honey as the sugar? This question is actually for the Ginger Beer
Lori P. September 27, 2020
Wondering if I could use raw honey as the sugar?
Suzi November 24, 2018
Excellent results! Save the ginger tea for Moscow Mules, along with fresh lime juice, Kombucha, vodka ant top with a toothpick loaded with your fresh crystallized ginger.
Stefanie H. June 11, 2015
Any way to do this with stevia instead of sugar? Just curious...
Ekin S. September 25, 2014
I added cinnamon just before taking off the heat and it tastes really good. I can give try :)
Caroline September 9, 2014
Save the left-over water for a healthy ginger tonic. I mixed it with a tea, and it was divine.
Rossinhawaii April 16, 2014
Keep a cup of the ginger water and add all the leftover sugar. Bring to a boil and add 1 cup of pistachios (shelled). Cook to 300 degrees and add ½ tsp of baking soda and 1 TB butter (optional). Pour into greased cookie sheet and spread it out evenly but don't overwork it. When it has cooled break it into small(ish) pieces. You end up with delicious Pistachio Brittle which gives a wonderful ginger kick after you eat it. I made a large batch and it was gone in 2 days (oh, I had help eating it!).
Maddienme April 6, 2014
@ Stacy Green, I was just looking into doing my own crystallized ginger because of some ginger cherry scones I had eaten. amazing! Hope you find some other equally great recipes for the ginger. I'm going to try making my own as it is so expensive to buy.
Stacy G. November 5, 2013
Besides eating as is, does anyone have additional uses or recipes using candied ginger?
Rochelle B. November 5, 2013
I love this one from Melissa Clark:

Bigjim November 4, 2013
One thing I don't see mentioned is the medicinal value of candied ginger. Anytime one of us has experienced mild stomach upset, a piece of candied ginger calms the issue down. We always have a supply in the refrigerator.
Rochelle B. October 30, 2013
As someone who loves candied ginger with a passion (instead of the requisite $20 in my pocket, I found a handful of the stuff when I took my winter coat out of storage), I am totally thankful for this recipe!
MomofChef October 30, 2013
I like the fact that the ginger is in slices...I will have to try that next time. I have been making my own version for over a year now. The primary purpose is for the syrup which we use primarily for our own gingerale but also for drinks, fruit salads, and tea. I peel and slice the ginger into large pieces, chop in the food processor for large chunks, add to simple syrup and cook for 30-60 minutes. I drain the ginger, put on a silpat and place in the oven until starting to dry and then coat with sugar and dry a bit more. I end up with what I call ginger sprinkles. We use it on cereal,in fruit salads,and eat it by the handful. I started doing this when I had to hand slice 2 lbs of ginger. I also invert the syrup by adding cream of tartar to improve shelf life.
cook4fun November 3, 2013
MomofChef, Please explain your comment regarding inverting the syrup with cream of tartar to improve the shelf life. Thank you
MomofChef November 5, 2013
Here is the link to the technical article http://blog.lizdenys.com/2010/08/22/inverted-sugar-syru/ that I used. I was trying to extend the shelf life so I could ship mine to my daughter and came across this.
cook4fun November 5, 2013
Excellent, thank you. I appreciate your reply and the opportunity to learn something new.
Emma G. October 30, 2013
Love this!
jonakocht October 29, 2013
Keep the ginger water, add an equal amount of sugar (including the extra from candying the ginger), heat, and you've got a great ginger simple syrup for making amazing cocktails or your own ginger ale!
PhoebeLapine October 30, 2013
i love a good homemade moscow mule!
Cookingly Y. October 29, 2013
thanks, candied ginger is expensive here too
Felicia M. October 29, 2013
The ginger water could be used for ginger tea and ginger sugar could be added to the tea, or reserved for making cookies and the like. Nothing wasted!
Cookingly Y. October 29, 2013
perfect! ginger tea with lemon verbana leaves.
PhoebeLapine October 30, 2013
bethan October 29, 2013
Thanks for this recipe, crystalised ginger is so expensive here (UK), so its great to have this!