Knobby and sometimes intimidating, ginger can fire up your diet and your central nervous system, boosting your metabolism by as much as 20 percent. Once peeled and grated, ginger also can easily be thrown into various sauces, glazes, and marinades: soothing morning sickness, reducing exercise-induced muscle pain, relieving chronic indigestion, lowering blood sugar, and suppressing the growth of cancer cells.

Part of the holy trinity of Asian cooking, if you really enjoy the burn of fresh ginger and want even more, dehydrate it—this causes the spice level to double. Can’t take the heat? “Cut the ginger into coins to perfume a dish with a light ginger flavor with little-to-no burn,” says Hali Bey Ramdene, Kitchn’s Food Director. You can store unpeeled ginger wrapped in plastic in your fridge for three weeks or in your freezer for six months. Need to store peeled or cut chunks? Freeze the nubs or submerge them in vodka.

Tangy freshness, light spiciness, warmth, and mellow sweetness: here are 8 recipes that’ll deliver a fiery punch to your dinner plate.


Vegan Carrot-Ginger Soup

ginger recipes

Photo courtesy of Lydia Walshin

What you need:

  • Olive oil
  • Chopped onion
  • Roughly-chopped carrots
  • Grated ginger
  • Thinly-sliced garlic
  • Sweet curry powder
  • Ground coriander
  • Long-grain white, brown, or basmati rice
  • Orange juice
  • Agave nectar
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh black pepper
  • Pumpkin seeds or chopped flat-leaf parsley for garnish

Pureéd to silky smoothness, Soupchick’s carrot-ginger soup is a mix of spicy and bright ginger root, garden-fresh carrots, and summer citrus topped with crunchy pumpkin seeds. Vegan and gluten-free, with nutty coriander, mild sweet curry powder, and agave nectar—an all-natural sweetener that’s one and a half times sweeter than sugar—will tickle your roughly 10,000 taste buds.


Ginger Pear Smoothie

ginger recipes

Photo courtesy of Silk/Danon North America

What you’ll need:

  • Sliced pear
  • Grated ginger
  • A chopped and frozen banana
  • Cinnamon
  • Ground flax
  • Vanilla almond, soy, or coconut milk

Power through your workday with Silk’s ginger pear smoothie. A blend of potassium-rich bananas, antioxidant-packed pears, inflammation-busting ginger, and dairy-free almond milk, this five-minute, 230-calorie smoothie will help you keep your cool.


Instant Pot Korean Beef Tacos


Photo courtesy of Jenna Arend

What you’ll need:

For the Korean beef

  • Canned or fresh pears
  • Fresh ginger
  • Garlic cloves
  • Soy sauce
  • Brown sugar
  • Sesame oil
  • Top sirloin or chuck roast

For the tacos:

  • Chopped cilantro
  • Chopped peanuts
  • Sriracha mayo or yum yum sauce
  • Flour or corn tortillas
  • Kimchi or coleslaw

Fire-eaters, if you can’t beat the heat, join it. Straight out of an instant pot, Pinch of Yum’s food-truck, fusion-style tacos are like edible heatwaves. Gingery, garlicky, melt-in-your-mouth beef is piled onto bendy, pillow-soft tortillas and topped with chopped peanuts, sriracha mayo, and kimchi—a hot and spicy Korean staple made from fermented veggies.


Coconut Ginger Sweet Potato Casserole

ginger recipes

Photo courtesy of Diana Johnson

What you’ll need:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Grated ginger
  • Coconut milk
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Orange zest
  • Orange juice
  • Chopped pecans
  • Chopped candied ginger

While sweet potatoes may have honeyed flavors and velvety textures, they’re not potatoes or yams. They’re actually part of the morning glory family. What’s inside of these gorgeous orange root tubers? Vitamin A, manganese, calcium, fiber, and vitamin C. All the more reason not to confine these root veggies to Thanksgiving day —where they’re topped with cornflakes, pecans, brown sugar, and gooey marshmallows. Eating Richly’s coconut ginger sweet potato casserole features coconut milk, orange juice, chopped pecans, ground cinnamon, and candied ginger that’s at home on any plate at any time of the year.


Asian-Style Garlic Ginger Chicken Wings

What you’ll need:

  • Chicken wings
  • 7up regular, ginger ale, club soda, or sparkling wine
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Grated garlic
  • Grated ginger
  • Sea salt
  • Diced scallions
  • Finely-chopped cilantro

Up your chicken wing game with Dennis Littley’s garlic ginger chicken wing recipe. The finger-lickin’-good chicken is marinated in 7up—Littley’s favorite mixer and childhood friend—for half an hour. Soy sauce, sesame oil, red pepper, grated ginger, and grated garlic are roundhouse kicks to your tongue.


Homemade Gingerbread Ice Cream

ginger recipes

Photo courtesy of Sue Moran

 What you’ll need:

  • Heavy cream
  • Low-fat milk
  • Sugar
  • Ground ginger
  • Cinnamon
  • Allspice
  • Ground cloves
  • Grated nutmeg
  • Molasses

Beat the heat with The View From the Great Island’s homemade ginger ice cream.   A simple mix of heavy cream, low-fat milk, sugar, molasses, and ground ginger with just a touch of vanilla, its fiery flavor will catapult your taste buds into the magic of Christmastime.


Grilled Eggplant with Ginger Dressing

ginger recipes

Photo courtesy of Sarah Gory

What you’ll need:

  • Japanese eggplants
  • Spring onions
  • Fresh ginger
  • Sesame oil
  • Mirin
  • Tamari or soy sauce
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Sesame seeds
  • Bird’s eye chilies
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Coconut rice

Fire up the grill and your flavor palate. Highgate Hill Kitchen’s Japanese eggplants are cut lengthways, coated with olive oil, and charred for 15 minutes until creamy and tender. Then they’re sprinkled with a flaming-hot ginger sauce and placed on a bed of cooling coconut rice—which is prepared by soaking white rice in coconut milk or cooking it with coconut flakes. Sesame seeds, spring onions, and bird’s eye chilies top this dish off, adding crunch and a rainbow of colors.


Asian Pork Meatballs

ginger recipe

Photo courtesy of Colleen Kennedy

What you’ll need:

For the meatballs:

  • Ground pork
  • Minced sweet or red onion
  • Minced garlic
  • Sesame oil
  • Kosher salt and pepper

For the ginger garlic sauce:

  • Sesame oil
  • Minced garlic
  • Minced ginger
  • Red wine vinegar
  • Honey
  • Chili with garlic sauce
  • Cornstarch
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)

Here’s your go-to, foolproof, Asian-style meatball recipe that you’ll never want to be without. Souffle Bombay’s pork meatballs are stuffed with minced red onion, garlic, and ginger. After being fried in olive oil until golden brown, they’re baked on a sheet pan and slathered in a ginger-honey sauce that has notes of garlic and chili.