I have two beautiful ginger roots (rhizomes) which I had planned to turn into gari (pickled ginger). But I also have two children and the ever-changing schedule that goes with this. So the ginger sat in a bowl for a while, waiting.

While Wikipedia states that the rhizome

...it is immediately scalded, or washed and scraped, to kill it and prevent sprouting.

mine obviously weren't and appear to have gotten spring fever and started to sprout:

sprouting ginger

Now, I could put them in a planter, let them grow and harvest in fall when they start to wither, but before I sneakingly sell them to hubby as the latest addition of our ever-growing collection of plants I'm wondering:

Can I use sprouting ginger? Just like regular/dormant ginger? Or is there something to keep in mind?

My main focus is on the culinary aspect: While sprouted ginger isn't toxic, I'm wondering whether it requires special or different preparation, how to handle the sprouts, and do sprouting ("growing") and mature ("dormant") ginger taste differently in dishes.

(Should I decide to plant my ginger, I will ask the guys over at Gardening SE for advice, if required...)

  • Did you end up planting some of this, or just wasting/discarding? I have some that is sprouting, and wondering whether it's worth my time to try planting it!
    – Erica
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 1:52
  • 1
    @Erica this one went into my pan, but both my mum & I have planted "leftovers". It was surprisingly simple and content in a rather shallow but wide pot (4 / 8 in). The rhizome grew well, and when the greens whithered, it was nice, large and plump. So definetively an alternative to discarding it.
    – Stephie
    Commented Sep 21, 2016 at 9:12

2 Answers 2


From a culinary perspective, I find that when sprouted, the ginger just loses a bit of flavour, that's all. If you let it grow for a very long time and it becomes all shriveled, then you are talking about a flavourless piece of ginger. I've even used such shriveled and even moldy (cut the mold off, though) pieces... no flavour at all!


You can eat ginger sprout: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/part-ginger-plant-eat-74002.html

So my advice is to cut that part of, experiment with it (on a salad, as a garnish on a lemon grass soup...) and proceed with the rest of the rhizome as planned.

  • I know that it's safe (I googeled before posting here), I was wondering whether there is something to keep in mind from a culinary point. Perhaps I should clarify my question... As ist stands, it's a good and valid answer, thanks! (+1)
    – Stephie
    Commented May 20, 2015 at 19:12

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