I’ve described previously how I have been growing my own ginger at home and then trying different ways of preserving it: such as drying it and making crystallised ginger. This time I share my efforts making stem ginger at home. I’m not sure why it is called stem ginger because it is young ginger roots in syrup – but here is the recipe I used.
800g ginger root (the younger and fresher the better)
Peel the ginger root, using a teaspoon or potato peeler. I had previously read about peeling it using a teaspoon and didn’t really believe it was possible until I tried it with really fresh ginger before the skin had thickened – and it really was simple to gently scrape the skin off. Then cut the ginger into chunks.
Place the ginger pieces in a saucepan and add enough water to cover by 1cm. Bring slowly to the boil, then simmer five minutes, then drain. Do this three times and then put it back in the pot and add 1L water, sugar and a good pinch of salt. I’m not sure why the three times is required but all the recipes I found do it. You can save the discarded ginger water and use it back in the final syrup depending on how gingery you like it.
Slowly bring to a gentle boil, then cook without stirring until the syrup resembles a light runny honey (about 20-30 minutes). If you have a sugar thermometer, cook until it reaches 106C.
Put your ginger pieces into hot sterilised jars, cover with syrup and then seal.
Stem Ginger will last 12 months or more stored in a cool, dark place. Once opened, store in the fridge and use within 2 months.
Use stem ginger in cakes, biscuits and desserts or in any number of savoury dishes. You can use the syrup in drinks and cocktails or drizzled over ice cream or even salads.