Introduction: Crystallised Ginger

Picture of Crystallised Ginger

I like crystallised ginger, and today I saw some good-looking root-ginger on sale @ 40p per pound. I figured all I really needed was some sugar, and I could turn a big root into tasty-sweet & spicy-lumps. This turned out to be correct.

Some claim that ginger is a remedy for nausea, motion sickness, morning sickness and general stomach upset. I don't, but I like the taste.

Step 1: Ingredients & Tools

Picture of Ingredients & Tools

Fresh root ginger ~1.5 LB (61p)
White refined cane sugar - ~3 LB (most can be recovered)

A knife
A saucepan
A sieve

Step 2: Preparation

Picture of Preparation

Choose the freshest, firmest and cleanest ginger that you can find. If it looks old or wrinkly it's not going to be good.
Peel the golden skin from the ginger-root, also cut off any "woody" bits, green, black or otherwise not-nice-looking parts.
Cut into fairly large-chunks slicing across the "grain" where possible.
If you think it necessary rinse the chunks under a tap to remove loose flakes of skin & peelings.
Put the chunks into a clean saucepan.

Step 3: Cooking

Picture of Cooking

I added ~ 1 LB of sugar and enough water to "cover" the ginger (it has a tendency to float).

The sugar & ginger were brought to the boil and simmered gently until the lumps looked translucent, i.e. no longer white-ish and opaque. This took ~ 3 hours, during which time the chunks shrank and the sugar syrup reduced to ~ half the volume. The sugar syrup was not cooked to the point of caramellisation.

The syrup was separated with a sieve and kept for future use (home-brew)

Step 4: Finishing

Picture of Finishing

The drained pieces were tipped into fresh sugar while still hot.
More sugar was added and the pieces stirred, then some more sugar sprinkled on top and the whole batch left to cool.
After ~ 30 min the pieces were picked-out and the excess sugar returned to the bag for future use (home-brew)

Tastes like it should, but somewhat fresher and more potent.

I'm not sure about the cost of this, but I reckon 99p per LB? (energy & labour excepted), as compared to retail ~4 pounds stlg (?)

!Bonus - I got ~500ml of ginger-syrup out of this


MichaelQ28 (author)2017-09-14


cooked1 (author)2015-12-13

DON'T peel ginger with a knife. Use a strong teaspoon, much less waste and definitely easier to do. Thumb on the back of the spoon as you go.

gregoryiain (author)2014-12-03

Great recipe, may I also suggest two energy and money-saving ideas to a pretty un-improvable recipe. After peeling and before chopping the ginger put it in the freezer overnight. This breaks down the cell-structure and strands wonderfully. After freezing chop in a tray as lots of water from the ginger will ooze as you chop, add this to the pot. Cook the ginger and sugar water in a pressure-cooker on the first boil for 20 minutes only and allow it to fully cool overnight. A hay-box or a box with old sleeping-bags stuffed around the pot to allow contents to 'steep' as long as possible with the residual heat. Subsequent short boils will evaporate water. Date-syrup, black-treacle or muscovado-sugar will also add full flavours and colours according to preference.

cant_decide (author)2011-08-07

Just tried this, and even with it still cooling, it tastes great! Now I've got to figure out what to do with the syrup and the excess sugar. Probably going to try one of the ginger ale recipes on here.

asymptotic (author)2009-07-02

Pro tip: peel your ginger with a spoon. It's easier to follow the bumps and crevices, and you won't lose as much of the good stuff.

Phiske (author)asymptotic2011-06-25

i may be a little late in commenting, but the spoon peeler idea is awesome. i'm making some now and it totally beats a knife. i live in ecuador and few people have ever seen ginger outside of the chinese communities. so i'll see what my friends here think if it's not to "spicy" for them.

lemonie (author)asymptotic2009-07-02

Interesting, but it'd have to be a sharp spoon? L

hlfwy.thr (author)lemonie2009-07-05

nope. I saw this trick on the food network, and it works pretty well : )

damienstafford (author)2011-02-10

This is awesome! Thank you so much for sharing this. I will be using this for sure!

Jayefuu (author)2010-03-18

I need to make some more of this. I just ran out.

Jayefuu (author)Jayefuu2011-01-30

Done! Yummy :D

{tauney} (author)2009-06-28 and ginger? delicious!

lemonie (author){tauney}2009-06-28

It'll be in the next brew... L

ausphoenixrising (author)lemonie2010-12-05

it's been an age - how did the brew turn out, i find that whole concept rather exciting :)

lemonie (author)ausphoenixrising2010-12-06

It had a touch of ginger, but I was just using the sugar - I can't touch the stuff unless it's been fermented...


nickodemus (author)2010-04-05

This stuff works wonders for my heartburn, thanks for the recipe!

lemonie (author)nickodemus2010-04-05

Oh good. For myself, I thought "That fresh ginger is cheap, crystallised ginger is expensive." and it went from there.


millersmith (author)2010-03-30

Being pregnant and often nauseated (ginger really does help for me!) I will cherish this recipe, thanks so much Lemonie!

The Ideanator (author)2010-03-09

Last batch of it I made I added a bit too much lemon juice concentrate, the ginger tastes very non-gingery, however the juice from it makes great lemon-ginger tea. Ive got another batch going right now with half of yesterdays syrup.

I routinely have an issue with the coating though, my ginger likes to hold onto some syrup and let it out when coating and stays a bit soggy.

lemonie (author)The Ideanator2010-03-10

It needs a good long while in the sugar to dry out. Still this seems to be a great way to make syrup?


The Ideanator (author)lemonie2010-03-10

It makes great syrup, its good when drizzled into cornbread. Its also good on ice cream and easily makes syrup and candy if you boil off alot of the water.

d2j5 (author)2009-12-07

oooo looks good

yourcat (author)2009-10-24

Just made some, and it is great!

I used lemonade instead of water, and the relatively unrefined brown sugar for the cooking. You can taste both of them in the finished product. I used normal sugar for the last bit but there wasn't quite enough of it (this stuff used all of the sugar in the house, white and brown) so it's all really sticky, but who cares as long as it tastes good?

lemonie (author)yourcat2009-10-25

Oh good. The lemonade will have citric acid in it, interesting idea.


whopoder (author)2009-07-04

mmm... The pan/container/pot must be lid while boil/cook? (Sorry about my english)

lemonie (author)whopoder2009-07-05

I did not use a lid, it would surely work with one. L

kennyeddy (author)lemonie2009-07-09

Covering would reduce evaporation, whihc would lengthen the time needed to reduce the liquid. Also, the possibility exists to boil over when it's covered.

yourcat (author)kennyeddy2009-10-24

Hey, how come your July comment is posted as a reply to my October comment? (Glitch)

vriezed (author)2009-10-14

I'm going to try this this weekend and I'm pretty excited aboutit.  I also homebrew and am curious as to what type of beer youended up putting this into.  Was it a porter, stout or some Belgianale?  Thank you.

funwithdiode (author)2009-10-09

a great bonus is that ginger is great at preventing sea sickness but unlike sea sickness tablets it wont make you lathargic it also tastes great

lemonie (author)funwithdiode2009-10-12

I'd heard that but not tried it. But then I like bumpy rides, it's fun to be up and about when half the passengers are feeling ill... I did it for the taste.


yourcat (author)2009-10-09

Sounds great. I can't wait to try it!

albylovesscience (author)2009-08-30

can any one say diabetic coma (i almost got diabetes once)

lemonie (author)albylovesscience2009-08-31

What do you mean by "almost got" - you overdosed on sugar? L

albylovesscience (author)lemonie2009-08-31

my doctor said i was very close to diabetes so i had to cut down on consumption for the whole of 5th grade diets suck :( but it least im healthy now

lemonie (author)albylovesscience2009-08-31

Ah right, I see what you mean. L

mikeasaurus (author)2009-08-16

ha-HA, very easy indeed! What a difference to the store bough stuff, this ginger is so fresh and soft mmmm! I tried boiling my ginger with a few limes, hard to say if it made much difference the power of ginger overpowers everything. You can't really go back to store bought stuff after making this, the difference is amazing. Maker beware!

*belly rumbles with delight*

lemonie (author)mikeasaurus2009-08-16

Looks good there. Maybe I should do some baking with mine? L

mikeasaurus (author)lemonie2009-08-18

Maybe I should do some baking with mine?
You mean with the left over sugar? I thought I read that you were going to use it for home brew? I saved all my extra and will probably do the same, there's an outside chance I'll change my mind and use it when making some tasty pies!

Sadly, it's been 3 days since I made my ginger and I had the last piece last night (shared with 3 friends). How long the ginger lasts is inversely proportional to how tasty it is!

lapinerobert (author)2009-08-17

Great recipe. I start with a fruit juice though, enough to cover the root pieces and boil for awhile with out the sugar. The ginger takes on just a hint of the type of juice and after I add the sugar the remaining syrup is excellent. Pineapple ginger syrup over plain yogurt, or a bit of the raspberry ginger syrup in a salad dressing.

lemonie (author)lapinerobert2009-08-17

Sounds good, lemon-juice ever? L

lapinerobert (author)lemonie2009-08-17

Yes, Lemon and Orange both good choices. Robert

DrWeird117 (author)2009-08-15

Smoke it.

lemonie (author)DrWeird1172009-08-16

Urgh, no. L

Jayefuu (author)2009-08-12

I'm going to try this tonight Lemonie. Will post some pictures if it goes well!

lemonie (author)Jayefuu2009-08-12

Hope it works, note the other comments (I only did this once) L

Jayefuu (author)lemonie2009-08-12

Me too! My mum loves crystallised ginger. It's going to be part of her birthday present. Just peeled it all, seems like a waste to throw away all that skin, so I've washed it and am going to boil it up with some sugar in another pan then strain it and add it to the juices from the main batch to make stronger/more gingery syrup. Goes great on icecream!

lemonie (author)Jayefuu2009-08-12

I've got some lovely sugar-crystals in the syrup, but I doubt I'll get them out of the bottle... L

Jayefuu (author)lemonie2009-08-14

Right! I thought I'd share some of my tips with you for the benefit of anyone else that was thinking about making this. 1) It's delicious! And hotter than the stuff you get in the store. (HURRAH!!!) 2) Mine I boiled for about 3.5 hours. I thought it was too crunchy when I drained it, but it's fine now. I wanted to boil it for another hour but I really needed to go to bed. *yawn* 3) After coating in sugar, leave on a tray or plate to cool and dry. Putting it in a tin caused it to go soggy and I had to recoat it with sugar in the morning. 4) Granulated sugar's a lot cheaper than caster sugar and worked fine for me. 5) The peelings I boiled didn't turn out as well as hoped. I got plenty of syrup from the main batch and the stuff from the peelings was cloudy, dirty looking and had an earthy taste. I threw it away instead of boiling it up with more sugar to thicken it. I'll be doing this again. Despite paying three times what you did for my ginger, £2.50 a kilo was still cheap. Julian Graves charge £3 for 400g of crystallised ginger, and I much prefer the stuff I made. And I got free syrup for in/on ice cream.

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Bio: I'm an experimentalist, a scientist and I have a tendency to do things just for the sake of doing them, or to find out ... More »
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