To Ginger With LoveMay 21, 2010
I’ve fallen hard recently for a fresh, spicy little number that makes me want to keep coming back for more. On “Gilligan’s Island” I was always partial to Mary Ann over Ginger. But in the kitchen, ginger is my new flame. I do feel a bit ashamed that we did not begin our torrid affair years ago – I always substituted ground ginger in recipes that called for the fresh variety, my ignorant assumption being that there wouldn’t be much difference. How wrong I was.
Fresh ginger is mainly used in Asian cooking – Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indian and Southeast Asian. You find the pickled variety accompanying sushi (it turns pink when pickled), and candied ginger is a popular treat in those countries – it’s available at Asian markets here. But I’ve found that my favorite way to eat it is simply by stir-frying it with whatever meats, tofu and/or vegetables I feel like. Its spiciness isn’t like that of a chili pepper –it’s more subtle, and you feel the burn in the back of your throat instead of on the tongue and lips, as with a jalapeno or the like. But it has an unmistakable flavor which I love.
So the next time you have a recipe that calls for fresh ginger, don’t make the same error in judgment that I did – buy the fresh stuff. And please let me know if you have a favorite recipe that calls for my new culinary crush! Enjoy.