Ginger by Jacklyn Rorke

Ginger by Jacklyn Rorke

Ginger Rhizome (root)
Ginger is a spice that is grown throughout many parts of the world; one of the primary areas being Asia. It was known to be one of the most commonly traded spices during the 13th and 14th centuries. Ginger is often used as a spice; however it is also widely used for therapeutic purposes in many parts of the world. The part of the Ginger that is used for spice and medicinal aid is known as the rhizome, also referred to as the underground stem. Growing up amidst an Asian American family the ginger root became a household necessity as an ingredient for many of our traditional dishes and as a medicinal aid. Whether it was nausea, a sore throat, or a headache, ginger seemed to be on the frontline to aid in our recovery. It is a source of dietary fiber, vitamin E, vitamin B6, iron, magnesium, and selenium.

I have learned many techniques for utilizing ginger root as a therapeutic aid from my Filipino heritage. When headaches occur it is recommended that you cut off a piece of the raw ginger root and chew it for approximately a half an hour. It is important to refrain from chewing too much or for too long, this may irritate the stomach. If chest and sinus congestion occurred it wasSliced Ginger: Ginger Tea always suggested by my mother to chop the ginger rhizome into 1 inch pieces and boil the root in hot water, creating a ginger tea. You must boil the ginger root for 10-15minutes so that the nutrients and flavor distributes amongst the water. The water is then strained and the tea is ready for drinking. The hot ginger tea, not only soothes the throat but it also provides anti-inflammatory benefits. When cooked or served raw the ginger rhizome gives off a bit of heat. This heat encourages sweat which then aids in the release of toxins from the body. Ginger also helps with digestive problems, we were often told to drink ginger ale to comfort our stomachs when nauseated. Here is a link that provides the ingredients and instructions to make Home-made Ginger Ale.

It is important to store ginger in a cool, dark, and dry place. My mother often stored the ginger rhizome in the freezer, this not only preserved the ginger but it extended the life and term of use. Ginger capsules and powder are also available in stores, although my mother always encouraged the use of fresh ginger.

Aside from using ginger as a therapeutic aid it is also used in many traditional Filipino dishes. Using ginger as an ingredient offers a healthy alternative for spice and flavor. As opposed to adding more salt to a dish, one can use ginger to enhance the flavor of the dish. One common Filipino dish that is used when people are sick is Lugua, otherwise known as Chicken Ginger Rice Soup.

BBQ Salmon with Ginger Miso Marinade
Lugua consists of the following ingredients:
1 Whole Chicken: cut into pieces.
Fresh Ginger
Salt and Pepper
Garlic BBQ Salmon with Ginger Miso Marinade
Chicken Stock
White Rice
Green Onions: chopped to garnish
Lemon and Soy Sauce: used as condiments

Cooking Directions:
Sauté chicken with chopped garlic, slivered ginger, salt and pepper. Pour water over chicken and let simmer for stock. Add uncooked rice until rice is soft and sticky. The soup should be thick. Chopped green onions can be sprinkled on top as garnish. Serve with lemon and soy sauce.

Information Sources:
http://www.plantcultures.org/plants/ginger_history.html
http://health.howstuffworks.com/medical-uses-for-ginger-ga.htm

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