Ginger season is finally upon us! We harvested our first tender baby ginger last week, and are so excited to share it with you. I know some of you have been waiting all year for this delicacy—thank you for your patience! Since it’s a tropical plant, it needs a long stretch of warm weather to get underway, and takes several months to grow large enough to harvest. Turmeric matures later than ginger, and ours still has a ways to go.
Fresh young ginger is more tender and milder than the mature ginger available in stores. It lacks the thick cuticle and fibers that mature ginger have, so there's no need to peel it. Add it to smoothies or stir fries, candy it or use it in sweets! And it’s a natural to pair with lemongrass for Southeast Asian dishes.
We sell our ginger with stalks and leaves attached; they're not only dramatic, but useful, too. Ginger stalks and leaves make a delicious tea or stock for Asian soups. To make tea, just put the leaves and crushed stalks in your cup, muddle, and steep. To make stock, simmer the leaves and crushed stalks--along with lemongrass, lime leaves, garlic, chiles, or mushrooms if you wish--in water until the flavors are thoroughly infused and your kitchen is wonderfully aromatic!
Baby ginger has a shorter shelf life than mature ginger, and is best stored at 55-60 degrees. It will last longer if you refrigerate it, but the root may get a little rubbery. You can also freeze your ginger and then grate off what you need for a recipe, but don’t allow it to thaw or it will get mushy. Your ginger will keep best if you remove the stalks and leaves and store them separately (the leaves and stalks can also be frozen for use in stock later on).
You can also dehydrate, candy, or pickle baby ginger to preserve it.
Whatever you do with your baby ginger, have fun playing with this treat while it's in season!