How To: Yes, You Can Roast Ginger—It's Simple & Gives Any Dish an Intense, Smoky Flavor

Yes, You Can Roast Ginger—It's Simple & Gives Any Dish an Intense, Smoky Flavor

Ah, ginger. From stir fry to smoothies, ginger is a reliably sharp and refreshing flavor that adds zing to everything it touches. It may be a pain in the ass to remove the skin from ginger (or not), but the zest it brings to food is well worth the trouble.

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However, according to chef Josh Walker, writing for Bon Appétit magazine, you can enjoy ginger in a completely different way that doesn't require skinning at all: by roasting the whole damn thing in your oven, instead. Hello, easy mode!

Just broil your entire ginger root, flipping once, for about 45 minutes, or until the skin color has deepened and you notice black char marks appear. You should be able to cut through the ginger easily with a knife.

Then, simply purée the roasted ginger and use it on everything. (Well, maybe not everything, but you get the gist.)

Apparently, the flavor is a complex one—smoky, spicy, and a little funky. As someone who cooks with ginger almost daily, I can't wait to give this crazy flavor hack a try.

Image by Tony Hisgett/Flickr

So what can you eat with your newly-roasted ginger? Bon Appétit recommends Chef Walker's kale and cucumber salad with roasted ginger dressing, as well using the puree in chicken soup or Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches.

Here are a few other awesome ways that I thought up:

  • Add the ginger purée to marinades that use ginger for smoky flavor without using the grill.
  • Substitute regular ginger for the smoky stuff when using it as an aromatic for Asian cooking (kung pao chicken, coconut curry, and more).
  • Got a favorite ginger cocktail that could use a smoky twist? Don't purée the ginger, just slice it and throw it into the cocktail tumbler.
  • Ginger and lemon make a fantastic flavor pair, but roasted ginger and grilled lemon will probably change your flavor game forever—use it in anything from lemonade to tea.

If you couldn't already tell, I am super excited about the possibilities of roasted ginger. Learn more about the process at Bon Appétit, and let us know what you'd cook or make with roasted ginger in the comments below.

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