I love love love the fresh ginger aroma when I chop it and it is the moment that I almost always miss my country, Japan.
The ginger root is often used in Japanese cooking as well, including in stir-fries, simmered dishes, soups, and as a garnish.
Ginger, this Asian-native spice is known for its traditional medicinal properties and we often add ginger to drinks or soups to warm up the body, improve the digestive system, and ease a sore throat.
In cooking, ginger has the effect of reducing the gamey flavor in the meat, and the fishy flavor in seafood, also, its unique flavor can bring “Japanese flavor” to a dish.
Ginger was introduced to Japan around the 3rd century via China.
Ginger called “shoga” (生姜) has long been used in many dishes in Japan.
It is the essential vegetable in a pantry (or fridge), especially, since the Japanese enjoy “young shoga” as the seasonal delicacy around May.
This is my review of the experience harvesting ginger grown in a plant pot this summer.
This is my first time growing ginger.
I started to cultivate common store-bought ginger in April and it looks like this is the harvest timing so I decided to harvest them.
Freshly harvested ginger is soft and is not very spicy, and it becomes spicy and more fibery which you know while storing for about 2 months.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF GINGER
Ginger has a long history as a medical property in Asia and Europe.
In traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, ginger is used to reduce symptoms such as stomach, vomiting, coughing, nausea, and others.
- Better Digestion
- Improves Immunity system
- Relieves Nausea and Upset Stomach
- Fight the full and the common cold
- Prompt blood circulation
- Reduce Menstrual pain
Gingerol, the pungent component of ginger, has the effect of improving blood circulation, which warms up the body.
Because of this blood promotion can be expected to relieve headaches and sore muscles.
Ginger has long been used for relieving motion sickness, nausea, and, especially morning sickness. Yet, talk to your doctor first about the limit of ginger before consuming it if you’re pregnant.
Gingerol stimulates digestive aids such as saliva, bile, and gastric enzymes to move food from the stomach into the small intestine, reducing bloating and intestinal gas. It means ginger can be expected to be effective for indigestion.
Ginger also has anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help ease menstrual cramps.
Fresh Ginger In The Hot Weather Season, Heated Ginger In The Cold Season
Gingerol transforms to shogaol when heated or dried.
“Shogaol” heats slowly the body, on the other hand, “gingerol” helps release the heat of the body by improving blood circulation.
Thus, it is better to take ginger uncooked in the summertime to cool the body heat and heat ginger or use ginger powder in the wintertime.
SHOGA IN JAPANESE COOKING
Ginger is definitely essential to enhance Japanese or Asian flavor as well as garlic.
In Japanese, we call vegetables such as ginger, garlic, and onions “komi yasai” which I would say is “the vegetables packed with rich aroma and flavors”.
You’ll see that the minced ginger and garlic are often cooked in oil until fragrant when making stir-fries.
This is for transferring the flavor and aroma from these vegetables to the cooking oil making the dish delicious naturally and in the meantime, they can help to eliminate unpleasant flavors in ingredients.
Easy and savory bean sprouts & scrambled eggs stir fry with crunchy baby bok choy and sweet shiitake mushrooms. Season this dish with the perfect combination of Asian condiments-soy and oyster sauce. Avoid overcooking MOYASHI bean sprouts!
Not only minced ginger, we often use grated, Julianned, and sliced ginger depending on the purpose.
Grating ginger allows its flavors to be evenly incorporated with other ingredients. Also, you can use it when you want to enhance the ginger flavor.
Pork ginger is stir-fried thinly sliced pork (pork shoulder is recommended) with a savory sweet tangy sauce.
Since the grated ginger is easy to combine with the sauce and the flavor quickly transfers to the meat, ginger is generally grated in this recipe.
However, it is better to avoid cooking grated ginger to make aromatic oil when you make a stir-fry since it sticks to a skillet and is also easy to burn.
Add the grated ginger in a stir-fry sauce like the pork ginger recipe, or add it to the finish.
SLICED, JULIANED, MINCED GINGER
Contrary, the ginger flavor will be milder when using sliced, julienned, or minced ginger in dishes.
Especially, julienned ginger is often used for adding texture to dishes in Japan.
Sliced ginger is often used in Japanese simmered dishes and plays a role in removing the unpleasant flavor (the gamey flavor in meat and the fishy flavor in seafood) rather than adding ginger flavor.
Roasting a whole duck is easy, besides it can be a fancy dinner for any special holiday, especially Christmas and New Year’s holidays. This recipe is not FRENCH or CHINESE but the my-Asian-style roast duck. The whole duck marinated with sweet dark soy sauce-based sauce overnight and it will be a juicy tender, and delicious roast duck. Stuff vegetables that have a strong flavor to add flavor and remove the excess gamey flavor of the duck.
Garlic, leeks, onions, and ginger are also essential to remove the gamey flavor and add flavor to the duck meat and the gravy. (Go To The Recipe!)
WHAT’S PICKLED GINGER
Pickled ginger is a really popular item and can be essential to delight in certain Japanese foods.
By the way, there are roughly two kinds of pickled ginger: “Gari” and “Beni-Shoga”.
The popular Japanese pickled ginger aka sushi ginger is called “gari” which is traditionally made of thinly sliced young ginger roots pickled in sweet pickle juice.
The iconic pink color is caused by the anthocyanin pigment in young ginger.
As long as young ginger is pickled in the juice becomes pink naturally.
Yet, the commercial pickled ginger products are often added artificial colors because of the authentic accent color.
The sweet and sour pickled ginger plays a role in refreshing your mouth after eating sushi but can also be expected to have an anti-bacterial effect from raw ingredients.
According to one of the health benefits of ginger, it can be expected to warm the body and sushi may cool your body.
Beni-shoga is the pickled ginger root pickled with the pickle juice extracted from Umeboshi plums sometimes with artificial color.
Beni-shoga is categorized in Japanese traditional pickles called TSUKEMONO.
So, these red tips of pickled ginger give a salty, zingy, spicy, unique flavor and are often found in Okonomiyaki, takoyaki, yakisoba, Gyudon rice bowl, and TONKOTSU ramen.
Generally, Beni-Shoga is made with young ginger, yet, you can make it with a general ginger root.
WHAT’S YOUNG GINGER
“Young ginger” is a “young” ginger root that is available in early summer in Japan. Unlike matured ginger, young ginger is a juicy and mild ginger flavor.
It is called “Shin-Shoga”.
Ginger which you are familiar with at grocery stores and young ginger are the same plant, just harvested at different times. Young ginger is harvested early in summer, while general ginger is harvested in autumn and stored for several months before shipping.
HOW TO STORE GINGER ROOTS
HOW TO CHOOSE FRESH GINGER
Fresh ginger roots should be bright yellow in color, have firm “fresh” skin, looked juicier inside.
Also, choose a plumy ginger rather than a skinny one.
Avoid a ginger root such as…
- mushy, wrinkled skin
- too dried touch
- contain mold on the skin / a cut
- has a grayish-blackish ring inside
HOW TO STORE
First, leave the skin on when you store your ginger roots.
Indeed, there are many ways to keep ginger fresh longer.
I like to store the cleaned and dried ginger in the freezer as it is and grate the frozen ginger with skin on every time I use it, also, I buy a small piece that I can consume within 1 week when I like to use fresh ginger. (Because I like the easy way.)
Anyway, here are some ways to store ginger roots.
*Rinse and dry the ginger roots before storing.
- Store the ginger root/sliced ginger in water and refrigerate it. (will last for 2 weeks while changing the water every 2-3 days)
- Place the ginger root in a freezer bag and freeze it. Grate the frozen ginger as much as you need.
- Make sliced, chopped, minced, grated ginger as you like, wrap each small batch, and freeze them. Use each without thawing. (will last for a month.)
- Wrap the ginger root with wet paper and keep it in a cool and well-vented place when the room temperature is around 60F. (will last for 2 weeks.)
MAKE PRESERVED FOOD WITH GINGER
Making preserved food with ginger is one of the options when you don’t use ginger root for cooking.