Try cooking with ginger – a complex and versatile ingredient

The subtle chemical complexity of ginger makes it an astonishingly flexible addition to both sweet and savoury food, finds Sam Wong

Life 13 April 2022

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WITH its citrusy aroma and mild heat, ginger is a phenomenally versatile ingredient used in both sweet and savoury foods. This month, I have learned how to use an unexpected property of ginger to create a delicious dessert.

Ginger’s prickly flavour comes from a compound called gingerol, which has a similar structure to capsaicin, the molecule that gives heat to chilli peppers. It binds to the same receptor protein, TRPV1, in nerve endings that stimulates the sensation of heat and pain, albeit more mildly.

Preparing ginger in different ways can increase or decrease its potency by transforming gingerol …

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