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Homemade Stem Ginger

Homemade Stem Ginger is so easy to make and so much better than shop bought. Chop finely and add to ginger cakes, puddings or biscuits for a real ginger hit. The syrup makes a delicious ginger cordial.

We really love ginger here at the Kitchen Shed and often use our Homemade Stem Ginger in savoury recipes too. It adds warmth to a sticky glaze for roast pork and takes our sticky ribs marinade to the next level of tastiness.

Homemade Stem ginger is the perfect recipe to try if you’re new to preserving or jam making. Having said that, it’s even easier to make than jam since there’s no thermometer required. You simply cook peeled ginger in water until tender and make a syrup with sugar.

A jar of homemade stem ginger with a parcel tag label on a table. Christmas tape, string and a pen on the table.

There’s a slight sense of sadness here at the Kitchen Shed as we pack things away for the winter and wind down the freezer contents.

I thought I’d pretty much worked out how to use up all our frozen food until I discovered a bag of ginger which was way too much for a stir fry or curry for two.

Seemed to me there was only one thing to do, make some stem ginger and take a jar or two with us to Guernsey to enjoy over the winter.

An opened jar with a spoon of preserved ginger.

What Is Stem Ginger ?

 
Stem Ginger is the preserved fresh young roots of the ginger plant. The roots are are peeled, sliced and cooked in sugar syrup.  

How To Buy Fresh Ginger Root

 
You can buy fresh ginger roots from supermarkets as well specialist stores in the UK.

Choose pieces of fresh ginger root with firm, unwrinkled skin that is thin enough to scrape away with your fingernail.

Tough, thick skin is a sign the ginger is old and dried out.

Any root that feels light in weight or has a wrinkled skin should be avoided as no amount of simmering will soften it.

Potato peeler on a chopping board with peelings and chunks of ginger.

How To Make Stem Ginger

 
Stem ginger is much easier to make than you might think – it’s a case of peeling and slicing the ginger into chunks, covering with water and cooking until tender.

Although some recipes use an “all in one” approach, I prefer to drain the cooking water from the ginger and use it to make a syrup – this way you have greater control over the quality of your syrup because of the more accurate water to sugar ratio.

The ginger is added back to the pan with your syrup and simmered for twenty minutes before transferring ginger and syrup into a sterilised jar.

Raw pieces of root ginger in water ready to be simmered.

How To Sterilise Jars

 
I like to sterilise jam jars in the microwave.

Simply clean them as normal and rinse but whilst they are wet, pop them in the microwave for two minutes on full power.

Remember the jars will be very hot, so remove with care.

Alternatively, wash jars in the dishwasher on a hot cycle.

Always sterilise more jars than you think you will need.

An enamelled pan with ginger being cooked in syrup.

Top Tips For The Best Stem Ginger

 Buy fresh young ginger roots.

Freeze overnight before cooking.  

A note on Sugar Syrup:

Stirring sugar into a syrup to dissolve with a spatula.

 Make sure the sugar is dissolved before bringing to the boil.

To test if the sugar is completely dissolved scoop out a small amount of the syrup with a spoon.

You should not be able to see any sugars crystals in the liquid.

Do not stir the sugar syrup once the sugar has dissolved or the sugar will crystallise.  

Testing ginger syrup for sugar crystals with a spoon.

How Long Does Homemade Stem Ginger Last ?

Stem Ginger will last up to 12 months stored in a cool, dark place. Once opened, store in the fridge and use within 2 months.  

Ways To Use Stem Ginger

Stem Ginger adds a fiery ginger hit to all manner of desserts, tarts, puddings, cakes and biscuits.

The syrup can be used in cocktails, drinks, or added to ice cream and salads.

You’ll find Stem Ginger in savoury dishes too. From sticky ribs, roast pork and chicken to steamed fish. In fact, the list is endless.  

Homemade Gift Ideas

I love making gifts for friends and family and Homemade Stem Ginger regularly finds its way into our Christmas hampers. Here’s some of my reader’s favourite homemade gift recipes.

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Homemade Stem Ginger is so easy to make & so much better than shop bought. Chop finely & add to ginger cakes, puddings or biscuits for a real ginger hit. The syrup makes a delicious ginger cordial.

Homemade Stem Ginger

Homemade Stem Ginger is so easy to make & so much better than shop bought. Chop finely & add to ginger cakes, puddings or biscuits for a real ginger hit. The syrup makes a delicious ginger cordial.
4.98 from 41 votes
Print Pin Rate Save Recipe
Course: Baking
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Freezing time: 12 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 24
Calories: 118kcal
Author: Sarah James

Equipment

  • Large Saucepan
  • 2 x 500g Preserving Jars or equivalent

Ingredients

  • 650 g fresh ginger root
  • 600 g caster sugar or superfine sugar
  • 1.5 litres water reserve 600 ml of liquid after cooking

Instructions

  • Freeze ginger overnight.
  • Remove the ginger from the freezer.
  • Peel the ginger and cut into 2 cm thick slices.
  • Add the ginger to a pan and cover (by a couple of centimetres) with water. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for about an hour and a half to 2 hours until nice and tender.
  • Drain the tender ginger pieces and reserve the cooking water. Set to one side while you make a syrup.
  • Measure 600 ml of the ginger cooking liquid and add back to your pan along with the sugar.
  • Return to a gentle heat and stir to dissolve the sugar – once the sugar has dissolved stop stirring. Bring to a boil and simmer gently for about 15 to 20 minutes until you have a nice thick syrup.
  • Add the cooked ginger back to the pan and simmer gently for 20 minutes before transferring ginger and syrup into a sterilised jar and sealing. Store in a cool, dry place for up to a year.

Video

Notes

The recipe can be easily halved, doubled or tripled.
Buy fresh young ginger roots.
Stem Ginger will last up to 12 months stored in a cool, dark place. Once opened, store in the fridge and use within 2 months.  
Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
Nutrition Facts
Homemade Stem Ginger
Amount per Serving
Calories
 
118
Calories from Fat 0
% Daily Value*
Sodium
 
4
mg
0
%
Potassium
 
113
mg
3
%
Carbohydrates
 
30
g
10
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
25
g
28
%
Protein
 
1
g
2
%
Vitamin C
 
1
mg
1
%
Calcium
 
5
mg
1
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Pin Homemade Stem Ginger For Later

Top image is of a jar of stem gnger with Christmas ribbon and a parcel tag label and pen. Bottom image is of a jar opened to show preserved ginger and a spoon.


 
I’m entering Homemade Stem Ginger into Corina’s food challenge Cook Once Eat Twice over at Searching for Spice.

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Recipe Rating




Petra

Saturday 25th of September 2021

Hi from the Netherlands! This looks real easy and I'll be sure to try it as I have a giant piece of ginger, which was on sale last week. Stem Ginger is easily available here, but rather expensive, so this should be a good idea. As you probably know, us Dutchies love our cheese and have it cubed - as a snack - regularly with a drink. I just love to serve some, with a piece of gingerstuck on with a toothpick, and others - for the non-ginger lovers - with pineapple. Now that you have a good stock, you should try it! ;)

Sarah James

Wednesday 29th of September 2021

Hi Petra, thanks for popping by. I've never tried cheese and stem ginger on a stick, one I'll be sure to try next time I get the cheeseboard out. Stem ginger is easy to make, just make sure your ginger is young and tender. Do let me know how you get on.

Best Ever Honeycomb - Tales From The Kitchen Shed

Friday 16th of October 2020

[…] Homemade Stem Ginger […]

Irina

Wednesday 30th of September 2020

WOW, this cute jar seems a great edible gift idea! I love it and am considering to make it as gifts during the holiday time. :)

Alison

Wednesday 30th of September 2020

This is a super cute idea as a holiday gift for friends and neighbors! Unique and delicious!

Rebecca

Wednesday 30th of September 2020

I've never made stem ginger before, but it looks so good & such an easy way to use up ginger before it's no longer usable! thanks for sharing this great recipe