Ginger is a popular spice used in many Asian dishes and it is included in a number of dessert recipes as well. Its pleasant zesty flavor can complement other spices or stand on its own as the main flavor in a dish. However, you only get its benefits if you use it correctly. Too much ginger can make your dish hot and bitter in much the same way that too much chili pepper would. Your strategies for toning down ginger are therefore similar to those recommended for countering excess pepper heat.
Table of Contents
- Physical removal
- Double the ingredients
- Add sweetness
- Double the other spices
- Creamy ingredients
- Add acid
- Must-read related posts
The physical removal method works best if you have added large pieces of fresh ginger to your dish. Because fresh ginger can vary greatly in potency, it is easy to add too much by accident. Simply remove the ginger pieces from your dish with a slotted spoon or a fork as soon as you have identified your error.
Something as simple as this Farberware slotted spoon can be helpful in removing larger pieces (and even some smaller pieces) of ginger.
If the ginger has already made your dish too spicy, you may also need to use one of the other strategies in this list but you should still try to remove it first. Leaving it in will further contaminate your dish. If you have added powdered ginger or ground ginger to a thick soup or sauce and have not yet stirred it in, try to skim the excess from the surface.
Double the ingredients
Doubling all of the ingredients aside from the ginger allows you to dilute its flavor. The ginger flavor will be dispersed among more ingredients, which means that it becomes weaker. Of course, this means that you may wind up with leftovers but this is better than having to throw your dish out and start from scratch.
One of the ways to counteract too much heat from chili peppers is to add sugar. That method can also work with other hot spices including ginger. Sweetness can temper the heat and make the dish more palatable.
Adding sweetness can be an even more effective solution than others on this list since many dishes that require ginger also require sugar or honey. Just add a little more than the recipe requires. Note that this works best if you have added a little too much ginger. The amount of sugar that you would need to counteract a more excessive level of the spice may make the dish too sweet.
Double the other spices
In some savory recipes, doubling spices makes your dish more flavorful while helping to mask the extra ginger. Of course, you will be running the risk of compounding your error by adding too much of multiple spices instead of just one. Proceed with caution and taste after every addition to find the right balance.
As with the capsaicin, the gingerol in ginger can be made milder with the addition of dairy. While this may not be appropriate for all dishes, it can work in some. For example, some curries may be aided by the addition of dairy in the form of yogurt. In other cases, you can use coconut milk. If you have made a cake that has too much ginger, consider serving it with ice cream.
In some soups and sauces, increasing acidity can be an effective way to hide the unpleasantness of too much ginger. You can do this with lemon or lime juice; vinegar may also be appropriate in some instances. Add your acidic ingredient in small quantities and taste after each addition to keep your dish from becoming too tart.
Must-read related posts
- Fresh Ginger Vs. Ground Ginger: How do they compare? Is one hotter than the other? Do they taste different? Learn all about it.
- Cooking With Ginger: We cover the dos and don’ts you should following when cooking with this spice.
- Is Ginger Spicy? What causes that warmth that you experience when eating it?