It can be easy to add too much ginger to a recipe if it is fresh. Flavor intensity can vary quite significantly. So here are some of our tips for dealing with this problem.
Sometimes following a recipe to the letter can still mean an overly strong flavor of ginger due to variations in fresh ingredients. To save a recipe from this problem you can remove the ginger, dilute the dish, cook for a little longer or add additional ingredients to take the bitterness away.
Let’s look at how this will actually work in real life as it’s not quite as straightforward as it may seem.
A great option if you have added large chunks of ginger into your food is to physically remove it. You can use a teaspoon and this will be the first step to recovering your dish. Leaving it in as you cook will only mean a stronger flavor. Once removed you will need to then try one of the next few options as well.
With ground ginger you are a little less lucky as you wont be able to remove it.
Dilute Your Recipe
This is a great solution to adding too much ginger as you will then have a batch of your recipe to freeze as well. Make up your recipe minus any ginger and then add to your overly gingered dish. This is ideal if you cannot physically remove or you have gone passed the point of no return!
Not ideal if you don’t have the duplicate ingredients to hand. However this does mean that you can add a few new ingredients to give it a twist.
Add Sweeter Ingredients
Adding sugar is a good option for reducing an overpowering taste of ginger as it will take the edge off from the pungent flavor. The bitterness will be overcome with honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, molasses or even sweeteners. This needs to be handled slowly as otherwise you can overly sweeten a dish.
Add Citrus or Vinegar
Adding an acidic ingredient will mean that your ginger is somewhat subdued. For instance if you were cooking a stir fry using a rice wine vinegar would help, or in a stew a simple balsamic vinegar would be effective. It is a very effective way to take the edge off from that heat and bitterness that can overpower.
If you find ginger overpowering in general then you can use pickled ginger in savory dishes. This will give you a much more subtle flavor without the intensity and kick of raw ginger.
Cook For Longer
Once cooked the main flavor in ginger comes from zingerone and is a far less pungent one than the raw gingerols present in fresh ginger. Sometimes we can be a bit too eager and taste our cooking while the ingredients have not yet had time to mellow.
Give your ginger a little more time before worrying that it is overly strong.
Add Dairy Ingredients
Dairy can really take the edge off of a lot of intense flavors. But use it appropriately, A nice dollop of cream next to a spiced cake will go down very well. Adding cream or yogurt to curries or stews is a great way to minimize the bitterness of ginger.
If you are creating a vegan dish then coconut milk will work equally well to soften an intense flavor like ginger.
Use A Side Dish
If you are using ginger in a chili then it can be hard to add a dairy ingredient to it without ruining the dish further. So you can add side dishes to take the edge off. Guacamole or sour cream are great examples of dishes that would help to be eaten with an overly gingery dish.
The idea of adding tomatoes to a dish that is too heavy with the flavor of ginger is not always the best one. However in curries or stews this can work very well to ‘water down’ the flavor of the ginger.
Add Other Spices
If you have a dish that is being dominated with ginger then you can match the robust flavor with other spices. Go carefully as sometimes it is possible to completely kill a dish by adding other strong flavors. Garlic and chili work well to mask the flavor of ginger.
Add Fresh Herbs
When you serve your dish, if it has a strong ginger flavor then you can add an abundance of leafy herbs as a garnish. Herbs like cilantro, parsley and chervil all work well to freshen a dish and offer a lift from the heavy bitterness that can come from too much ginger.
What Next & Further Reading
- How To Replace Fresh Ginger In Recipes
- How To Save A Recipe From Too Much Garlic
- What To Do If You Add Too Much Rosemary To Cooking
- How To Cool Your Mouth After Too Much Spice