Roast Ginger For Elevated And Complex Flavors In Your Favorite Dishes

Ginger is already packed full of flavor on its own. Add it to any dish, whether it's sinus-clearing wasabi guacamole or a Thai pork bowl and you'll get a warming kick full of hot, peppery notes. But while most of us add grated or ground ginger to our recipes when cooking with this spice, roasting it is an underrated and delicious way to use it.

When you roast ginger, you dull the flavor a little. This sounds like a bad thing at first, but considering how spicy the fresh stem is by itself, cooking it can add deeper and more complex flavors to your dish. You still get all those peppery ginger notes, but they're more muted, so they won't overpower the other ingredients in your meal. Plus, you're adding in the deliciously toasted, nutty flavors that often come with roasting food and turning the firm texture into something soft and pliable. 

How to roast your ginger

Thankfully, you don't even need a baking sheet to roast your ginger. All you have to do is peel your stem and slice off the ends, place it right on the oven rack, and bake it for about 45 minutes at 475 degrees Fahrenheit. To maximize the caramelization and smokiness, place your stem under the broiler instead. But either way, make sure to flip it halfway through so both sides get a little char. As an alternative, you can air fry your ginger for about half an hour at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, also flipping halfway through so both sides are evenly cooked.

You'll also want to deploy your roasted ginger a little differently than you would a fresh stem. Let it cool and puree it in a blender until it's smooth and then you can add a little to soups like chicken noodle or carrot ginger, curries, dressings, or even marinades. If you're getting fancy, incorporate a bit of the puree into a cocktail to give it a bit of a kick, or use it to make ginger syrup for boozy beverages, gingerbread lattes, and more.