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David Ross

eG Cook-Off #84: Ginger

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Let's discuss two beverages where ginger is the main flavor.  Ginger beer and ginger ale.  Have you ever made it at home?  What are your favorite brands?  What is the difference between ginger beer and ale?  Ginger ale is probably my favorite soft drink.  I don't drink any fizzy drink very often, but ginger ale is at the top of my list.   Ginger beer has always seem way to peppery for me.  What does everyone think.  Any photos to show us?

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Posted (edited)

I will cl fess to havng tried neither. But - the Carib aisle is full of it Must investigate when it warms up from the 50'sF,  From my (OMG2011) blog  ginger beer post-52659-0-39658500-1304825950.jpg


Edited by heidih (log)
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These are some of the ginger graters I have. There are a few more, including a couple of metal ones that I never used, here and there in my junk.

HPIM4689.thumb.jpg.8652479bc16e3a952c56d32ec4abe91e.jpg

 

I only use the glass one for small to medium amounts. It was my grandmother's and used by her cook for small amounts.  She had a larger pottery one

that she had made by one of the potters in Paducah. It was similar in shape to the glass one but the elevated part in the middle with the "teeth" was rounded instead of flat and it had a hole at one end where the ginger juice could be poured out as it accumulated.  

 

(she had a similar grater, even larger, for grating coconut, made by the same potter - who made a lot of things for the farm.)  

 

When I need large amounts of grated ginger or galangal, I use a Japanese Suribachi bowl to grate it.  I have two, one small, one large.  I also use them for grating horseradish.

 

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I have made Ginger Beer several times.  Usually turned out nice.  One time I must have done something wrong, about a third of the bottles exploded in my small pantry which contained the mess to a small area but had a detrimental effect on many of the sauces, condiments, jams and jellies I had canned.  The labels were destroyed so it was an adventure opening some of the jars.

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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1 minute ago, andiesenji said:

I have made Ginger Beer several times.  Usually turned out nice.  One time I must have done something wrong, about a third of the bottles exploded in my small pantry which contained the mess to a small area but had a detrimental effect on many of the sauces, condiments, jams and jellies I had canned.  The labels were destroyed so it was an adventure opening some of the jars.

Wow that would be interesting.

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I make a drink (non-alcoholic) that is ginger-based, not really a "ginger ale," though. It's just simple syrup (water & sugar), fresh lime juice, and ginger juice. Delicious & refreshing. I use that round, white, ceramic grater (Kyocera brand) to get ginger juice. You could use sparkling water and make it carbonated.

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1 hour ago, David Ross said:

Let's discuss two beverages where ginger is the main flavor.  Ginger beer and ginger ale.  Have you ever made it at home?  What are your favorite brands?  What is the difference between ginger beer and ale?  Ginger ale is probably my favorite soft drink.  I don't drink any fizzy drink very often, but ginger ale is at the top of my list.   Ginger beer has always seem way to peppery for me.  What does everyone think.  Any photos to show us?

Enjoy this occasionally.  About the only time I use ginger ale and it always Canada Dry is to make a shandy. 


Anna Nielsen aka "Anna N"

...I just let people know about something I made for supper that they might enjoy, too. That's all it is. (Nigel Slater)

"Cooking is about doing the best with what you have . . . and succeeding." John Thorne

Our 2012 (Kerry Beal and me) Blog

My 2004 eG Blog

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The only soft drink I ever drink is ginger ale and like Anna, it has to be Canada Dry.  I have maybe 4 a year.

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On 3/7/2020 at 1:36 PM, David Ross said:

Let's discuss two beverages where ginger is the main flavor.  Ginger beer and ginger ale.  Have you ever made it at home?  What are your favorite brands?  What is the difference between ginger beer and ale?  Ginger ale is probably my favorite soft drink.  I don't drink any fizzy drink very often, but ginger ale is at the top of my list.   Ginger beer has always seem way to peppery for me.  What does everyone think.  Any photos to show us?

I posted about it last month in this topic: https://forums.egullet.org/topic/160387-eg-cook-off-84-ginger/page/2/?tab=comments#comment-2234730

Here is a ginger beer that had lots of foam, and a bottled strawberry soda made with ginger bug.  I wish I could figure out what's going on and why the sodas have failed the last couple years :(

 

ginger beer.jpg

strawberry ginger beer.jpg

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On 3/7/2020 at 5:36 PM, David Ross said:

Ginger ale is probably my favorite soft drink.  I don't drink any fizzy drink very often, but ginger ale is at the top of my list.   Ginger beer has always seem way to peppery for me. 

I seldom drink a soft drink of any kind (I honestly would struggle to remember when I had one last) but ginger beer is a favorite, precisely because of its intense ginger flavor. It's certainly not something you'd want to use in a mixed drink but I don't drink those either, so... :P

 

The Propeller brewery in my home town of Halifax turns out old-fashioned natural (non-alcoholic) root beer and ginger beer alongside their regular brews. They're both pretty good.

http://www.drinkpropeller.ca/all-natural-soda


“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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35 minutes ago, chromedome said:

I seldom drink a soft drink of any kind (I honestly would struggle to remember when I had one last) but ginger beer is a favorite, precisely because of its intense ginger flavor. It's certainly not something you'd want to use in a mixed drink....

 

I'm also a ginger beer fan and love to use it in cocktails.  Bundaberg is my go-to brand.  I also like Trader Joe's Triple Ginger Brew when it's available.  A few of the mixed drinks I enjoy it in:

El Diablo -  Tequila, cassis, lime juice, ginger beer

Dark 'n Stormy - Dark rum, ginger beer, lime wedge

Gin-gin Mule - Gin, lime juice, simple syrup, ginger beer

Spicy Mexican Mule - Ancho Reyes Ancho Chile Liqueur,  lime juice, ginger beer

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I stand corrected. :)

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“What is called sound economics is very often what mirrors the needs of the respectably affluent.” - John Kenneth Galbraith

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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16 minutes ago, chromedome said:

I stand corrected. :)

 

Well, we all know that one person's treat makes another one shudder 🙃!

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2 hours ago, jedovaty said:

I posted about it last month in this topic: https://forums.egullet.org/topic/160387-eg-cook-off-84-ginger/page/2/?tab=comments#comment-2234730

Here is a ginger beer that had lots of foam, and a bottled strawberry soda made with ginger bug.  I wish I could figure out what's going on and why the sodas have failed the last couple years :(

 

ginger beer.jpg

strawberry ginger beer.jpg

Sounds both interesting and delicious I might have to try this.

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Canada Dry is better than the rest of the commercial ginger ales, but it is still too sweet and bland for my taste. Ginger beer is fun in small quantities. I can't typically drink a whole bottle by myself, it's too intense. Does anyone have a recipe for a ginger ale that's a bit more punchy and not so sweet, but not nearly as potent as ginger beer?

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42 minutes ago, Katie Meadow said:

Canada Dry is better than the rest of the commercial ginger ales, but it is still too sweet and bland for my taste. Ginger beer is fun in small quantities. I can't typically drink a whole bottle by myself, it's too intense. Does anyone have a recipe for a ginger ale that's a bit more punchy and not so sweet, but not nearly as potent as ginger beer?

Katie: here's a starting point for you:  100g sugar to 1kg water (aka 1 liter water), and ginger can be anywhere from a couple small knobs to an entire "hand" of it.  Start with that, then adjust next time if you find it too sweet or not sweet enough.  The ginger part is a little tough, because sometimes the ginger is very strong and other times it is not.

 

You can make ginger beer/ale in three ways:

 - concentrated simple syrup, and dilute with carbonated water; or

 - a ginger bug (naturally fermented); or

 - commercial yeast - most recommended is champagne yeast

 

I've done all three.  I really like a sharp, burning ginger beer, so I tend to use an entire hand.

 

Alton Brown has an episode on making ginger ale with champagne yeast.  https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/ginger-ale-recipe-1944722

 

You can speed down the chilling time by using half the water and pouring over equal amount of ice.

 

Super easy :)


Edited by jedovaty (log)

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On 3/7/2020 at 2:45 PM, David Ross said:

Wow that would be interesting.

I just remembered - one of the jars I opened I thought was burnt fig jam - which I made for pairing with strong, sharp cheeses.

However, when I tasted it, not quite as "gingerly" as I should have,  what I had opened was Sambal Badjak that I had made about 2 years before (because it improves with aging)  and at first I was fooled by the sweetness from the palm sugar.  Then the heat struck.  

As I recall, I probably ate half a pint of sour cream for initial treatment and then cut off a pice of cream cheese and allowed that to slowly melt in my mouth.

And that was only from less than a quarter teaspoonful.  

After that I was extremely careful about tasting anything in those bare jars.

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"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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This is a new curry dish I just did this weekend.  Ginger is just one of the many ingredients, but without ginger I think the flavor would be somewhat flat.  As I do in almost any recipe where I include ginger I usually use about more than double the amount you might find in most recipes.  

Macau-Style Portuguese Chicken Curry-

Macau Portugese Chicken Curry.JPG

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/157319-eg-cook-off-80-the-aromatic-exotic-flavors-of-curry/?do=findComment&comment=2238245

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13 minutes ago, Katie Meadow said:

Can fresh ginger be frozen? 

 

There is some discussion earlier in the thread.  I keep it in the freezer and grate what I need with a microplane without thawing.  Several other people also freeze it.  @KennethT reported that the flavor becomes muted when frozen. 

If I want slices or julienne, I use fresh but otherwise, haven't noticed a big loss of flavor. 

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I freeze ginger, too (in a "snack"-sized plastic bag). I sometimes use a microplane grater (the finest one), like @blue_dolphin . Otherwise, just slice like normal. I don't really notice any loss of flavor or that I need to use more ginger (after it's been frozen).

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Thanks to those who replied. My husband came back from a surreal shopping trip this morning with a very big piece of ginger, definitely enough to get me through the next month or maybe more. Freeze I will.

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This is an easy, quick and inexpensive side dish with turnips.  The simple dressing has fresh ginger, but sometimes I will julienne thin strips of pickled ginger.  I've been making more and more simple Asian-style side dishes in recent years and encouraging friends and family to do the same.  Most of the ingredients are in the supermarket and these dishes are both flavorful and healthy.  The Thai Bird Chile is hot, and I prefer the pickled flavor to fresh chiles but any chile will do.

 

Turnip and Arugula Salad with Pickled Thai Bird Chiles-

Turnip and Arugula Salad with Pickled Thai Bird Chile.JPG

 

Ingredients-

2 small turnips, peeled

2 cups fresh arugula leaves

1 tbsp. sesame oil

1 tbsp. rice vinegar

2 tsp. grated fresh ginger

1/4 tsp. each, black and white sesame seeds

1/4 tsp. diced pickled Thai bird chiles

 

Instructions-

Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil.

 

Peel the turnips and cut into half. Then slice the turnips into thick slices. Drop the turnip slices into the boiling water and cook for only 1 minute to soften the turnips. Drain and rinse the turnips under cold water.

 

In a small bowl, add the sesame oil, rice vinegar, ginger, and whisk to combine. Add the arugula and sliced turnips and toss to coat with the dressing.

Place some of the salad on serving plates and garnish with the white and black sesame seeds and the pickled Thai bird chiles.

 

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Last night I made masala and was pleased to find ginger in my hydrator.

 

Dinner03252020.png

 

 

Note:  ginger looks an awful lot like horseradish, which I also found.

 

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My favorite way to enjoy ginger is with the Singapore version of Hainanese chicken rice. Ginger in the rice, ginger in the poaching stock and ginger in the chili sauce.

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