What is Ginger Chicken?

Sheri Cyprus

Ginger chicken is a flavorful main dish. Typically, fresh, minced ginger is added to chicken, vegetables and other ingredients to add a rich, spicy flavor. The ginger also gives off a very fragrant aroma when it's cooked. Ginger chicken recipes vary widely in their exact ingredients and method of cooking.

Chicken breasts are a key ingredient in many culinary dishes.
Chicken breasts are a key ingredient in many culinary dishes.

For instance, chicken cooked with ginger may be made in a microwave, regular or convection oven. It may also be fried in an electric or stove top skillet or frying pan. The list of ingredients may be extensive or minimal. While some cooks like to use a variety of poultry pieces when making ginger chicken, others prefer just the breasts, thighs or wings. The chicken may be first dredged with flour and seasonings or left plain.

Peanut oil has a high smoking point and can be used to stir-fry ginger chicken.
Peanut oil has a high smoking point and can be used to stir-fry ginger chicken.

A marinade of minced ginger and garlic plus sherry, honey and seasonings for chicken wings is simple to mix together. This type of marinade can be used to make an Indonesian style ginger chicken. The chicken wings are oven baked after the raw poultry is left in the marinade in the refrigerator for several hours. Variations on the basic marinade include adding seasonings such as paprika or sage, and/or stirring in some lemon, lime or orange juice.

In Pakistan, turmeric is frequently used to season ginger chicken.
In Pakistan, turmeric is frequently used to season ginger chicken.

Some cooks like to top baked or fried ginger-seasoned chicken with preserves such as peaches or apricots. Others like to serve this chicken dish over rice with peanuts sprinkled on top for crunch. Chopped parsley is a popular garnish for many ginger chicken dishes. Peanut ginger chicken recipes are available in many variations; some of these feature curry in the coating or dredging mixture.

Ginger honey marinade may be used to season chicken wings.
Ginger honey marinade may be used to season chicken wings.

In Pakistan, vegetables such as chopped onions, tomatoes and chili peppers, along with spices, are commonly cooked in hot oil in a pan before adding chicken pieces. The chicken is then heated in the thick sauce until it is cooked through. Tumeric is a spice often added to this style of ginger chicken.

Minced garlic is typically used in ginger chicken.
Minced garlic is typically used in ginger chicken.

Thai ginger chicken is a popular dish called Gai Pad Khing. "Pad" refers to the dish being stir-fried, "Gai," to the chicken and "Kning" means ginger. Although it uses many ingredients similar to the Indonesian version above, the Thai style recipes typically call for the addition of molasses, peanut butter and chili powder as well as fish, or oyster, sauce. Mushrooms are also often used in this main dish made in a wok.

Honey is used in the marinade for the meat in ginger chicken.
Honey is used in the marinade for the meat in ginger chicken.

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