With most spices, the dry or the powdered version is more potent and stronger-tasting than the fresh, but with ginger, the opposite is true. Fresh grated gingerroot has an intense, almost hot flavor that reminds you of ground pepper, while ground ginger has a warmer, more spicy flavor.
In fact, Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg, authors of The Flavor Bible, classify fresh ginger as having a loud essence, meaning that you can't ignore its flavor, and they rate ground ginger as moderate to loud, working in the background of a dish.
Ground ginger adds interesting flavor to vegetables such as carrots, onions and sweet potatoes and to fruits like bananas, melon and pineapple. For fruit, sprinkle powdered ginger into plain yogurt as a topping and sweeten the mix with honey.
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Ground Ginger in Baked Goods
Substituting ground ginger for the grated gingerroot in cookies, cakes and breads depends on what the recipe calls for initially:
- Substitute 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger for each tablespoon of grated ginger if your recipe asks for only grated ginger. The Cook's Thesaurus recommends 1/4 teaspoon while The Deluxe Food Lover's Companion, by Sharon
Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst, suggests 1/8 teaspoon.
- Add an additional 1/8 teaspoon of ground ginger if your recipe calls for both ground ginger and grated ginger to give the final product a more intense flavor.
Ground Ginger in Other Foods
Substitute each tablespoon of grated gingerroot with 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger in curries, soups and vegetable side dishes in the same way as you would for baked goods. Then, taste the food -- something you aren't able to do with baked goods -- to see if it needs more or less ginger.
Use the same ratios of ground ginger to fresh in marinades and rubs for beef, chicken, lamb, pork or fish, tasting before you add the meat or fish to the marinade.
When using a ginger marinade, always marinate the meat, fish or poultry in the refrigerator and never reuse the marinade that the meats or fish have been sitting in, because uncooked meat or fish can harbor unsafe bacteria, according to the Foodsafety.gov website in a discussion about marinating.
Substituting Fresh for Ground Ginger
Use the same ratios when substituting fresh grated gingerroot for ground ginger; add 1 tablespoon of grated ginger for each 1/8 teaspoon of ground ginger called for in your recipe.
Chopped crystallized ginger works for either grated ginger or ground ginger once you rinse off its sugar. Replace each tablespoon of grated ginger or each teaspoon of powdered ginger with 1/4 cup of finely minced crystallized ginger for each tablespoon of grated ginger.