For the past few months all I can find is young ginger from the grocers. I am in need of old ginger which I can't quite purchase.

I have tried to leave it out in the kitchen in an open basket (no sunlight) but it went all mouldy. When I did this, the average temperatures in my (Australian) city were a high of 30C and a low of 15C.

How can I age young ginger, so as to have 'old' ginger?

Ginger photo :

Young (light coloured) ginger root

  • 5
    I'm not sure what you mean by old ginger. What are you trying to achieve?
    – GdD
    Commented Mar 19, 2021 at 12:00
  • 2
    I've never thought about it or looked into it, but I've always assumed that the difference between going ginger and mature ginger was purely growing time, not anything to do with aging or preparation. I'm keen to hear a knowledgeable answer, but if my blind assumption is right, the only way to get mature ginger from fresh ginger will be to sprout, plant, and grow ginger yourself. 🌱
    – AMtwo
    Commented Mar 19, 2021 at 12:26
  • I still don't get you, is there a flavor or texture difference?
    – GdD
    Commented Mar 19, 2021 at 12:28
  • you need to store it somewhere cooler. Like uncovered in the fridge.
    – FuzzyChef
    Commented Mar 19, 2021 at 15:42
  • 2
    @GdD -- Did some research & posted an answer. Mature ginger has a more pungent taste than fresh ginger.
    – AMtwo
    Commented Mar 19, 2021 at 15:51

3 Answers 3


What's the difference?

I did a little research, and this article does a good job at summarizing both the taste difference, and the growing difference.

Young ginger (or spring ginger) is harvested at the start of the growing season, before it has gotten as fibrous, and when the exterior skin is still thin & delicate. It also has a more mild flavor. Mature ginger (what the OP calls "old ginger" is simply grown longer and has a tougher skin, and more pungent taste.

Full text from the above article:

Fresh ginger is available both young and mature.

Spring ginger. Young ginger which is sometimes called spring ginger has a very thin skin that requires no peeling. The skin is edible. Young ginger is very tender and has a milder flavor than mature ginger. Young ginger is found in Asian markets in the springtime.

Mature ginger. Mature ginger is usually harvested in the fall and has a tough skin that must be carefully peeled to reach the flesh underneath. Mature ginger is more pungent than young ginger.

Just harvested ginger—whether young or mature–should have a fresh, spicy fragrance.

So what can you do?

Once it's harvested, there isn't really a way to "mature" it at home in your kitchen. That needs to happen when it's still in the garden. You could try simply using a "heavier hand" and use more ginger to compensate for the slightly more delicate flavor, though that still won't be the same thing as using mature ginger to begin with.

  • I shouldn't have assumed old would mean mature. Thank you for doing this. Answers succinctly. Commented Mar 20, 2021 at 5:45

You can buy dried ginger, which should be more or less the texture and flavour you're looking for - it comes in bags and is already chopped up. Otherwise, 'old' ginger is just old, shriveled up, desiccated, fibrous ginger that has lost all its fluid.

Unfortunately, trying to deliberately create it isn't easy because the fresher the ginger is when you buy it, the more fluid it contains, and it tends to go mouldy, as you discovered. You might have more luck leaving it somewhere cool with plenty of air flow, but it takes quite a while (months rather than weeks) to become completely fibrous.

  • 1
    Something akin to staying in the supermarket shelf for too long: lots of airflow, constantly moving (from people picking it up and tossing it back) until somebody buys it. Maybe hanging it somewhere?
    – Luciano
    Commented Mar 19, 2021 at 14:33
  • 3
    i don't think this answers the question as mature doesn't necessarily mean dried.
    – GdD
    Commented Mar 19, 2021 at 14:51
  • I didn't say it was the same as old ginger, although the fact its dried means it's probably pretty close, since all that happens to ginger to make it old is it dries out.
    – bamboo
    Commented Mar 19, 2021 at 16:11

Probably a long shot - but are you thinking about a preparation of dried ginger common across India ('sonth' in Hindi)? It is available in powder as well as root form, and is used as a spice. Here are some links:

  1. https://www.tarladalal.com/glossary-dried-ginger-powder-sonth-454i
  2. https://freshbitesdaily.com/ginger-powder/

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