Video: Ginger from Spices of Life

Here's another quick video bite from Nina Simonds and Spices of Life. This week it's all about ginger - watch for tips on buying fresh ginger, the differences between crystallized and uncrystallized candied ginger, and how to make ginger tea.

For more on ginger, including recipes for Orange Slices with Cinnamon, Brown Sugar, and Candied Ginger and Homey Chicken Soup, read on.

Try one of these recipes - they both look so good! Also check out some other recent posts on ginger:

How to Peel Ginger
Ginger Cinnamon Caramels
Ceramic Ginger Grater
Spiked Lemon Ginger Sorbet
Recipe: Flu Season Ginger Honey Lemon Tonic

Orange Slices with Cinnamon, Brown Sugar, and Candied Ginger

6 Navel Oranges, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon minced candied ginger

Arrange the orange slices side by side on a serving platter. Combine the brown sugar, cinnamon, and candied ginger and sprinkle over the oranges. Let sit for 15 minutes at room temperature, and serve.

Variation: substitute grapefruit slices for the oranges

(c) 2008 Nina Simonds "China Express"

Homey Chicken Soup

Classic Chicken Broth:
9 cups water
1 whole 3- to 3½ pound chicken, fat trimmed and cut into 10 or 12 pieces
1 cup rice wine or sake
6 slices fresh ginger, each the size of a quarter, smashed lightly with the flat side of a knife
6 whole scallions, ends trimmed, smashed lightly with the flat side of a knife

1 small head Chinese cabbage (preferably Napa) (about 1½ pounds)
1 teaspoon canola or corn oil
6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed lightly with the flat side of a knife
2 tablespoons rice wine or sake
½ pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems trimmed, and cut into quarters
2 ounces bean threads (cellophane noodles), softened in hot water to cover (if unavailable, substitute 1/3 pound thin rice noodles or vermicelli, softened in warm water to cover)
2 teaspoons salt

1. Prepare the Classic Chicken Broth by putting the water with the chicken, rice wine or sake, ginger slices, and scallions in a large pot and bringing to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 1½ hours . Remove the chicken pieces and skim the broth to remove any impurities.
2. Using a sharp knife, cut away the stem of the cabbage and discard. Cut the cabbage in half and cut the leaves into 2-inch squares, separating the leafy sections from the tough ones. Place the cabbage sections in a bowl. Set by the stove with the shiitake mushrooms.
3. Heat a Dutch oven or casserole, add the oil, and heat until very hot. Add the garlic cloves and the harder sections of the cabbage and stir-fry over high heat about 1 minute. Add the rice wine or sake, cover, and continue cooking about 5 minutes, until tender. Add the leafier sections, the shiitake mushrooms, and the chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer 20 minutes uncovered.
4. Drain the bean threads and cut them into 4-inch lengths. Add them to the soup and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Return the chicken pieces to the soup and stir in the salt. Ladle into soup bowls and serve.

(c) 2008 Nina Simonds "A Spoonful of Ginger"

Thanks, Nina!