Candied Ginger (Crystallized Ginger)

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Homemade candied ginger is a deliciously sweet way to enjoy ginger. Plus, it’s super easy to make! All you need are three ingredients and some time to let the ginger boil, simmer, and cool down. Watch the video below to see how it comes together!

A bowl of candied ginger
Photo: Gayle McLeod

I’m always looking for ways to eat ginger as part of an overall healthy diet. This flowering plant has high levels of gingerol, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help with many symptoms — from indigestion to nausea to improving brain function. I guess you could say that ginger really does it all!

Ginger shots and quick pickled ginger are staples in my house, but when I want a sweet treat that also provides some of those same benefits I turn to this candied ginger recipe (also known as crystallized ginger). It’s chewy, spicy, slightly sweet, and a personal favorite of mine. It also makes for a great holiday food gift, similar to my candied orange peel recipe.

After you make this recipe, you’ll also have some leftover ginger syrup that can be used for teas, cocktails, marinades, and more (which I’ll talk about below). It’s a natural two-for-one deal you didn’t know you needed!

Ingredients for candied ginger

Candied Ginger Ingredients

  • Fresh Ginger: It’s best to use young ginger that’s tender and mild in flavor, compared to mature ginger that is fibrous and has an intense flavor. Your best bet at finding large pieces of young ginger is at Asian markets such as H Mart or 99 Ranch.
  • Reserved Water: This is the liquid you get from boiling the ginger first, which will then be re-used to boil the ginger with sugar.
  • Granulated Sugar: You can use any granulated sugar you like. Just remember that the color of your sugar will determine how dark or light the candy is. White sugar will give your candied ginger a light and bright coloring with a snowy sugar coating, while less processed coconut or turbinado sugar will darken the ginger slightly.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below

How To Make Candied Ginger

Peel the ginger using the edge of a spoon. I find that this is the easiest way to peel it!

Peeling ginger with a spoon

Slice the ginger. Use a mandoline or sharp knife to slice the ginger ⅛-inch thick. You can slice the ginger into rounds or wider pieces, it’s up to you. Note: the ginger slices will reduce in size from boiling.

Sliced ginger on a wooden board

Boil the ginger. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat and add the sliced ginger. Boil for 30 minutes, covered, then drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving the water.

Boiling ginger slices in a pot

Simmer with sugar. Add the ginger back to the pot along with 2 cups of the reserved water and two cups of sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the simple syrup has evaporated and the ginger is tender. Note: if your simple syrup is evaporating more quickly, you might be simmering too hot. You can always add a little bit more water.

Making candied ginger in a pot

Drain and cool. Drain the ginger again in a colander over a bowl to save the ginger simple syrup for future use (see note below). Then, lay the ginger in a single flat layer on a cooling rack over a parchment-lined baking sheet. Let cool for 30 minutes.

Drying candied ginger on a sheet pan

Toss in sugar and dry. While the ginger slices are still sticky, toss them in a bowl with extra sugar for a final coating. You can also omit this part if you don’t want the sugar coating, but I find it extra delicious! Then, lay the ginger flat on a parchment-lined baking sheet to completely dry (I prefer to let it dry overnight) before storing it in a container.

Making crystallized ginger

Common Questions

Is too much candied ginger bad for you?

Ginger is generally a great ingredient to incorporate into your diet thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. But as I always say, eat everything in moderation and do what’s best for you and your own body. Also, keep in mind that these are boiled and coated in sugar. So if you’re trying to reduce your sugar intake, it’s best not to eat too much.

What other variations can you make with candied ginger?

If you want to do a little flavor experimenting, add a hint of flavor as you boil. Vanilla bean (or vanilla extract), cinnamon, or other spices work beautifully!

What can you do with the leftover ginger syrup?

Don’t let the ginger syrup go to waste! Use it anywhere you would normally use a simple syrup. You can make a really simple ginger drink (just mix it with hot water) or add a splash to this turmeric tea or elderberry tea. You can also use it for cocktails, sauces, or marinades!

Candied ginger in a bowl

Ways To Use Candied Ginger

  • Add to granola bars or energy balls. Since candied ginger has the same consistency as dates, it’s great for adding to trail mix granola bars or any sort of energy ball, like these mango date energy balls!
  • Top onto sauces or jams. Add little chopped-up bits onto sauces or jams where you want a spiced ginger punch. I’m thinking cranberry sauce for the holidays or even a chia seed jam.
  • Mix into salads. Chop up fine bits to add to salads for more texture and a hint of ginger! This is great for salads that have an Asian flair to them, like this Mandarin chicken salad.
  • Eat it straight up. This is what I do most often! I store it in a jar and then grab a piece or two when I want a sweet treat.

Storage Tips

  • Storing sugar-coated candied ginger: Fun fact — coating the candied ginger in sugar will extend the shelf life to up to 3 months at room temperature. But keep it stored in an airtight container in a cool and dark place.
  • Storing plain candied ginger: If you didn’t sugar coat the ginger, it’s best to store it in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for up to 3 months.

More Ginger Recipes

I hope you enjoy this candied ginger recipe! If you make it, I’d love to hear how they turned out in the comment box below. Your review will help other readers in the community!

A bowl of crystallized ginger

Candied Ginger (Crystallized Ginger)

5 from 4 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cool Time: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan

Description

This easy homemade candied ginger is a tasty way to enjoy ginger while reaping all its wonderful health benefits. Watch the video below to see how I make it in my kitchen!

Video

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 pound fresh ginger (preferably young ginger)
  • 2 cups reserved water (from boiling ginger)
  • 2 cups granulated sugar, plus extra for final coating

Instructions 

  • Peel the ginger using the edge of a spoon.
    Peeling ginger with a spoon
  • Slice the ginger. Use a mandoline or sharp knife to slice the ginger ⅛-inch thick. You can slice the ginger into rounds or wider pieces, it's up to you. Note: the ginger slices will reduce in size from boiling.
    Sliced ginger on a wooden board
  • Boil the ginger. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over medium heat and add the sliced ginger. Boil for 30 minutes, covered, then drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving the water.
    A pot boiling ginger slices
  • Simmer with sugar. Add the ginger back to the pot along with 2 cups of the reserved water and two cups of sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the simple syrup has evaporated and the ginger is tender. Note: if your simple syrup is evaporating more quickly, you might be simmering too hot. You can always add a little bit more water.
    A boiling pot of candied ginger
  • Drain and cool. Drain the ginger again in a colander over a bowl to save the ginger simple syrup for future use (see note below). Then, lay the ginger in a single flat layer on a cooling rack over a parchment-lined baking sheet. Let cool for 30 minutes.
    A sheet pan of candied ginger
  • Toss in sugar. While the ginger slices are still sticky, toss them in a bowl with extra sugar for a final coating.
    Coating candied ginger in sugar
  • Dry and store. Lay the ginger flat on a parchment-lined baking sheet to completely dry (I prefer to let them dry overnight). Then store in a sealed container.
    A big bowl of candied ginger

Nutrition

Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.5g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 9mg | Potassium: 189mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Candied Ginger, Candied Ginger Recipe
Did you make this recipe?Mention @downshiftology or tag #downshiftology!

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About the author

Lisa Bryan

Lisa is a bestselling cookbook author, recipe developer, and YouTuber (with over 2.5 million subscribers) living in sunny Southern California. She started Downshiftology in 2014, and is passionate about making healthy food with fresh, simple and seasonal ingredients.

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Recipe Rating




18 Comments

  1. Just finished making these. Looking forward to trying the simple syrup as well!
    Great instructions and a very good recipe!

    Thank you for sharing it with us.5 stars

  2. I made this when I had an upset stomach, and it’s wonderful! Now I keep it around most of the time. I didn’t use a mandoline, just used a knife to make thin slices. I saved the ginger simple syrup for the next batch. Wonderful any time, not just for tummy upset.5 stars

  3. What is the serving size? The nutritional values don’t mean anything without knowing the serving size or number of servings used to calculate them. Thanks.

    1. Hi there – you can always find the amount of servings listed at the top of the recipe cards. As for serving size, it will depend on the shapes and sizes of your ginger pieces.

  4. Just made this and am at the cooling stage. Don’t think I’ll dip in more sugar but what do I do with the ginger syrup? It says note below but there is no note!5 stars

    1. I have it written in the post! But, you can use it anywhere you would normally use a simple syrup. You can make a really simple ginger drink (just mix it with hot water) or add a splash to this turmeric tea or elderberry tea. You can also use it for cocktails, sauces, or marinades!