When we asked Reston Farmers Market mainstay The Farm at Sunnyside what they recommend we buy now, they enthusiastically told us about their crop of baby ginger. Baby ginger is regular ginger only harvested early from September – November. It’s quite different from the ginger we are used to seeing in grocery stores. Mature ginger has a tough husk and is very potent whereas baby ginger is very tender and milder in flavor. You can simply chop and use it without having to peel through the skin and fibrous center.
Ginger root is touted as wonder-drug beneficial for motion sickness, digestive problems, chills, cold, flu, poor circulation, menstrual cramps, the list goes on and on. It is a powerful anti-inflammatory easing arthritis, fevers, headaches, toothaches and bronchitis. It is also said to lower cholesterol and blood-pressure and aid in preventing internal blood clots. Basically, we should be eating it with every meal!
But can baby ginger be used in recipes calling for mature ginger? We decided to put it to the test in the famous Ginger Scallion Sauce from David Chang’s Momofuku in New York. David Chang just announced that he will be opening another outpost of Momofuku in D.C. in 2015 so here is a little introduction to his genius.
DAVID CHANG’S GINGER SCALLION SAUCE
2 1⁄2 cups thinly sliced scallions (greens and whites; from 1 to 2 large bunches)
1⁄2 cup finely minced peeled fresh ginger (or baby ginger, in our case)
1⁄4 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
1 1⁄2 teaspoons usukuchi (light soy sauce)
3⁄4 teaspoon sherry vinegar (rice vinegar or mirin could also work)
3⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste
Mix together the scallions, ginger, oil, soy, vinegar, and salt in a bowl. Taste and check for salt, adding more if needed. Though it’s best after 15 or 20 minutes of sitting, ginger scallion sauce is good from the minute it’s stirred together up to a day or two in the fridge.
Wow, this is a flavorful and complex sauce. Toss it with ramen or udon noodles and top it with a fried egg. I can’t imagine what this tastes like at full-strength with mature ginger. That said, we couldn’t eat it fast enough. It was totally addicting. The runny yolk of the egg tempered the sauce a bit and added some creaminess. Actually, I might mix it in some scrambled eggs in the morning. This is comfort food at it’s finest.
Be sure to visit The Farm at Sunnyside at the market on Saturday morning. They also have a fantastic selection of chili peppers in the height of their season. Get them before they’re gone.
What’s your favorite thing to buy at the Reston Farmers Market? What do you make with it?