17 Aug2005

Young Ginger

by Marketman

The rainy season triggers new growth in many plants aginger1that have survived a really hot and dry summer. In the past few weeks, fresh young ginger has been making it to the local markets and I got some for myself today. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) as it is photographed here is actually the rhizome of the ginger plant. It is an extremely important spice worldwide but is generally used in two forms – fresh in most southeast Asian cooking and dried in most western style cooking. India is one of the largest producers of ginger (more than half of the world’s entire crop) but it does grow in many other regions and countries around the globe.

I have been curious about the young ginger in the markets and wondered aginger2if there was really a huge difference in flavor. It seems that it is perfect for steamed dishes, particularly a steamed lapu-lapu (grouper) or other fish that has a light soya sauce, ginger and perhaps coriander treatment. I always wondered why the ginger in restaurants didn’t seem as fibrous or woody as the ginger I usually have at home and this is the answer… use young finger and julienne them into fine strips…superb for steamed dishes, almost sweet, in fact.

Another use for the young ginger is pickling. It goes great in atchara and I suspect would be perfect for those picked ginger slices that they serve with sushi in Japanese restaurants. The normal ginger used by the Japanese is Zingiber mioga or Japanese ginger and that is the original base ingredient for the pickles. The flavor of the young local ginger is totally noticeable but less sharp than usual. The ginger is juicier and aromatic, not tough and fibrous. At PHP20 for this small bunch, I thought it was reasonably priced. It does spoil quickly however. In Thailand, they make a ginger tea with young ginger… I wonder if our own salabat (ginger tea) would taste any smoother using this young ginger…



  1. virgilio says:

    I remember my grandfather using very young ginger when cooking snails he would get from his ricefields esp.during the rainy season. He would crush the ginger and together with the leaves add them to the boiling water with salt and pepper. As simple as that, everybody loved it. Same ginger treatment was given for the tulya soup, and for the salabat with kamote and sugar – but for this one the leaves would be omitted. My grandfather has been dead for many years now and ricefield snails become nearly extinct because of insecticides used by farmers. And I have yet to see again hay-covered beds of ginger plants.

    Aug 17, 2005 | 4:13 pm


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  3. aida says:


    Saan po ba ako makakabili ng luya na puwedeng itanim po?


    Apr 29, 2008 | 5:47 pm

  4. Marketman says:

    aida, sa palengke. All fresh ginger can possibly be grown.

    Apr 29, 2008 | 6:10 pm

  5. maverick says:

    Good day, may mga tanim po akong ginger yung galing sa malaysia, large ginger that was given to me by my sister in law from marawi. Those ginger are the spice or ingredients for chinese herbs medicine like “Betet, eficascent, balms, white flower and etc… those ginger that i have planted will be soon harvest in 8 months time. Please give me some information where i could market it… Thanks..

    Jun 23, 2009 | 2:41 pm


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