Crystalized Ginger

This is a “three-for-one recipe” using only two ingredients – ginger and sugar!

You can always have crystalized or candied ginger in the pantry if you make it yourself! If you have a local source for ginger, even better!

Our Vermont farmers have started growing fresh ginger during our long daylight hours of summer. They grow well in the humid weather in a greenhouse, and the resulting ginger is the most flavorful I’ve ever had, most likely because it is so fresh.

Fresh local ginger in Vermont??? Of course! And when you find it, buy it and tuck knobs of it in the freezer to use all year.

I tuck a lot in the freezer for grating the rest of the year, and pickle some for sushi. But I use a fair amount of crystalized (candied) ginger in recipes, so making my own was obvious. The candied ginger is great in breads and muffins, cakes, puddings and other desserts, as a topping for fruit salad, or addition to any number of savory dishes and gravies. Any time you want a little pop of sweet and heat.

When making the crystalized ginger, you get two luscious byproducts: ginger tea, and ginger syrup!

The ginger tea is for immediate drinking. Ginger’s healing properties and health benefits have been recognized for thousands of years for just about everything from upset tummies to cancer protection. If you aren’t in the process of making candied ginger, you can make a cup of the tea simply by steeping a few thin slices of grated ginger in boiling water for 15 minutes.

The final simple syrup you have when making this recipe becomes ginger syrup. It can be stored in the refrigerator and used as a sweetener, glaze, topping, or flavoring for anything from seltzer water to meringue.

Just ginger

Crystalized Ginger

200 grams fresh ginger, skin scraped or peeled

400 grams white sugar, plus more for coating

Scrape off the peel of the ginger with a spoon. If it is freshly harvested, it will come off easily, or, if thin enough, you won’t need to peel at all. If it is an older root, scrap and remove any discolored spots as well.

Cut the ginger into thin slices, around 1/8 inch, or chop into cubes.

Place in a small saucepan and cover with water by an inch or two. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and cook at a simmer for a half hour.


Drain this over a bowl, reserving all the liquid. Place the ginger back in the pan and add two cups of the ginger boiling water. Save the rest, it is delightful ginger tea that you can drink immediately.

Add the sugar to the pot.

Bring this to a boil again, then simmer gently for about 45 minutes, or until it reaches a temperature of 225 degrees.

Strain out, but save the ginger simple syrup for use in any number of beverages or desserts.

Remove the ginger slices to a wire rack to cool for four hours or overnight. They need to be tacky, but not wet. If too wet, the coating sugar will dissolve.

Roll them in coarse sugar to coat all around.

Let dry completely and store in an airtight container.

On the shelf

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22 Comments Add yours

  1. Good to know. I never knew how to make it. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Ally Bean says:

    I’ve never thought about making my own crystallized ginger. I love the stuff, eat a couple pieces just about every day as a matter of fact. I need to up my game here and try to make some myself. Thanks for the recipe.

    1. I usually have a little nibble every day as well! I love the heat!

  3. I should do that. I do too. 🙂

  4. trkingmomoe says:

    Thanks for the instructions on how to make this. I raise my own ginger here in Florida.

    1. How wonderful to have your own ginger!

  5. Good to know here too! I’ve not had crystallized ginger, but I have heard of it and been wanting to make some so I started growing ginger this summer.

    1. Was it easy to grow? Have you used the greens?

      1. I killed the last one. I think I forgot to water it too often. I’ve got another one growing, but I haven’t used any of it yet. Didn’t know about using the greens. I think it needs a much wider pot. It’s never has gotten very large for me.

      2. Thanks! I might actually give it a try next year.

      3. You could grow it inside over the winter too, then move it outdoors late next spring. Especially since it’s so slow to start. 🙂

      4. Thanks for the tip!

  6. Dorothy, crystallized ginger is something I always keep on hand. Mmmmm. 😋

  7. Generally kids don’t like gi ginger, this is such a clever way of making them have it again and again.

    1. You can use it in so many things!

      1. Yessss

  8. I have a book that has a recipe with dark chocolate-coated candied ginger, which I’d really like to try someday.

    1. You will love it, it’s one of my absolute favorites. When I am making my chocolate dipped candied orange peels at holiday time, I always dip some ginger too! There’s a shot of a plate of assorted dipped delights in my simple treats for the holidays blog entry.

  9. Awesome recipe. I’ll have to try it soon as we are getting some very tender ginger lately at the farmer’s market.

    1. I’m sure you will enjoy it. The tender new ginger is such a lovely thing!

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