If you’ve baked a pumpkin pie in the last decade, chances are you have a jar of ground ginger lying around in your spice cabinet. And, if you’re caught up on your trendy wellness reading (ginger is said to have anti-inflammatory properties, and aid with motion sickness, upset stomachs, and low energy), you may even have a few roots of the fresh stuff lying around in your crisper drawer. The warming, pungent flavor packed within this nubby root has many powers in the kitchen—for sweets and savory dishes and drinks alike.

Ginger shouldn’t be sequestered to holiday baking, gingerbread house making, and gingersnap crusts. It’s star ingredient in many main courses, and even a headlining backnote in some culture’s cuisines. It’s long been valued in China, India, Japan, and apparently was used historically for its medicinal properties in parts of Greece. You’ve no doubt seen it pickled, as an accompaniment to sushi, but the fresh sliced stuff can is also classically stewed with other spices and chickpeas in the classic Indian dishes chana masala or chicken tikka masala. It can be infused into homemade ginger oils, or simmered into syrups to make ginger beer, ginger ale, and (cocktails.

Cooking with ginger doesn’t have to stop at dinner and drinks. You can use it in hot breakfast cereals or rice porridges, lunch soups, and refreshing salad dressings for added kick. These 35 creative uses will leave your taste buds dancing a spicy ginger jig.


Ginger and Cocoa Nib Cannoli

Two days resting in the fridge helps cannoli dough become light and bubbly. You will need cannoli molds for frying. Serve within a few hours, before the shells soften. Get the recipe for Ginger and Cocoa Nib Cannoli »

Sho’ Nuff Noodles

We first fell in love with these lightly spicy lo mein noodles when chef Marcus Samuelsson dropped by our kitchen to test drive some recipes for his Harlem restaurant, Streetbird Rotisserie. Laced with oyster sauce, ginger, and yuzu kosho and tossed with pickled mustard greens, the dish is a medley of sweet, tangy, spicy, and sour. Get the recipe for Sho’ Nuff Noodles »

Sesame Noodles

A garnish of chopped peanuts and slivered cucumber and carrot add crunch to the silky, savory Chinese-American noodle dish. Get the recipe for Sesame Noodles »

Grilled Lamb Chops with Ginger Sauce

Grilled Lamb Chops with Ginger Sauce

Carrot Soup with Leeks and Ginger

This spicy carrot ginger soup is an easy winter weeknight meal. See the recipe for Carrot Soup with Leeks and Ginger

Kombu and Squid Steamed Rice

This one-pot sticky rice dish from chef Tadashi Ono combines sweet squid, spicy ginger, and shredded seaweed. It makes for a surprisingly satisfying, simple meal thanks to the complex layering of savory, spicy, and subtly sweet flavor.

Razor Clams Fantasia

Colatura, an Italian fish sauce, brings an umami note to this simple appetizer of meaty razor clams. Get the recipe for Razor Clams Fantasia »

Fonio-Crusted Crab Cakes

Fonio, a variety of millet, gives Pierre Thiam’s West-African-inspired crab cakes a satisfyingly crisp crust. Get the recipe for Fonio-Crusted Crab Cakes »

Braised Pork Belly with Leeks and Ginger

Awamori, a lightly sweet rice distillate, is used to blanch and cook—as well as coat—tender pork belly, resulting in a sticky, umami-rich sauce. Get the recipe for Braised Pork Belly with Leeks and Ginger »

Chocolate Ginger Chess Pie

A decadent mix of chocolates and ginger ups the ante on a classic Southern pie. Get the recipe for Chocolate Ginger Chess Pie »

Chinese Spicy Garlic Eggplant (Yu Xiang Qie Zi)

Steaming eggplant, as opposed to deep-frying it, lightens this fragrant stir-fry adapted from a recipe in Grace Young and Alan Richardson’s The Breath of a Wok (Simon & Schuster, 2004). Get the recipe for Chinese Spicy Garlic Eggplant (Yu Xiang Qie Zi) »

Ginger Curry Candied Almonds

Sweet, salty and just a little spicy, these glazed almonds are a popular addition to holiday gift baskets and party spreads. Always make more than you think you’ll need as it’s hard to resist snacking on them when they’re still warm. This recipe comes to us from Marisa McClellan, author of Food in Jars: Preserving in Small Batches Year-Round. Get the recipe for Ginger Curry Candied Almonds »

Fresh Ginger Beer

Ginger root is peeled, cubed, and then juiced in an electric juicer to create the spicy, intense base to which lime juice, simple syrup, and soda water are added. Get the recipe for Fresh Ginger Beer »

Seared Scallops with Wasabi-Ginger Butter

After discovering that fresh whole wasabi plants were available in the United States, Adrian J.S. Hale found all kinds of innovative uses for them, such as this butter-rich sauce in which the pungent heat of the wasabi root, or rhizome, is balanced by the delicate earthiness of the leaves for a mild heat and slight bitterness that accentuate the sweet flavor of plump pan-seared scallops. Get the recipe for Seared Scallops with Wasabi-Ginger Butter »

Chana Masala

Chana Masala is a simple chickpea stew with many variations, eaten by a multitude of people across India. Get the recipe for Chana Masala »

Gluten-Free Ginger Molasses Cookies

This recipe, from Gluten Free Girl & The Chef blogger Shauna Ahern, appeared in our 2012 Cookie Advent Calendar. Shauna says: “Every year when my mother made her pillow-soft molasses cookies, I just sighed with happiness at the holidays. But by the time she was ready to hand over the baking, I could no longer eat gluten, and she couldn’t find that recipe. So I fiddled and baked until I came up with these.” Get the recipe for Gluten-Free Ginger Molasses Cookies »

Dark ‘N Stormy

By trademark, this Bermudan combination of rum and ginger beer requires Gosling’s Black Seal Rum; similar drinks with names like dark ‘n foggy or light ‘n stormy use other rums. Get the recipe for Dark ‘N Stormy »

Poulet Grillé au Gingembre

Poulet Grillé au Gingembre

Japanese-Style Chicken Wings

Sansho, the Japanese equivalent of Sichuan pepper, adds kick to these sake-and-mirin-marinated wings. A fresh squeeze of lemon brightens them up for serving. Get the recipe for Japanese-Style Chicken Wings »

Carrot Ginger Dressing

This vibrantly orange dressing was made famous by Japanese-American steak houses. It gets its incomparably clean flavor from puréed carrot and fresh ginger. Get the recipe for Carrot Ginger Dressing »
This extravagantly spiced black chai tea, infused with ginger, clove, cardamom, cinnamon, and black pepper, is a staple in Northeast India. It is often served on city streets by vendors, who hawk the hot steaming beverage from makeshift metal trays. See the recipe for Masala Chai »

Ginger Syrup

Infused with ginger and black pepper, this syrup makes a great homemade ginger beer: Just mix one part syrup to three parts soda water. Get the recipe for Ginger Syrup »

Singaporean Black Pepper Crab Legs

Singaporean Black Pepper Crab Legs

Pumpkin Cheesecake Tart with Gingersnap Crust

Creamy pumpkin filling over a ginger cookie crust provides a comforting balance of sweetness and spice.

Pimm’s Cup #21

Inspired by our list of Friday cocktails, bartender Michael Neff noticed that bitter flavors were prominent, as were fizzy drinks made with fresh fruit and herbs. To that end, he created a modified Pimm’s Cup, using Cynar to add a bit more bitter tang and ginger beer for spice. Fresh fruit and herbs round out the (almost) traditional summer refresher. Get the recipe for Pimm’s Cup #21 »

Cool Confusion

A refreshing marriage between a Tom Collins and a Dark n’ Stormy, this lime and ginger beer-spiked gin cocktail has an intriguing herbal undertone thanks to Amaro Abano, a zesty Italian digestif with notes of bitter orange, cardamom, and white pepper. Get the recipe for Cool Confusion »

Indonesian Coffee with Ginger (Kopi Jahe)

In Indonesia, coffee drinkers partake in a heady infusion of fresh ginger, cloves, and other spices brewed with sugar and ground coffee to produce kopi jahe. Get the recipe for Indonesian Coffee with Ginger (Kopi Jahe) »

Sweet Brown Rice Pudding with Rhubarb-Ginger Compote

This vegan rice pudding uses coconut milk in lieu of eggs and cream creates to create richness. Get the recipe for Sweet Brown Rice Pudding with Rhubarb-Ginger Compote »