Fried Ginger Threads

This is a startling ingredient—a hair-fine sliver of deep-fried fresh ginger that tingles the palate and gives zest to a dish. We use pinches of them to garnish most anything that needs a jolt of spice.

Your knife must be sharp and your julienne very fine or the ginger threads will look klutzy. The frying oil will taste terrifically of ginger. Keep it for dressing noodles and salads, basting fish and meats, sautéeing vegetables, and so on.

My friend Anne Rosenzweig, who runs Arcadia, the wonderful New York City restaurant, calls this “frizzled ginger.” It loses its frizzle if kept for more than several days, so fry only what you need.


  • 2½ to 3 ounces fresh ginger in long rectangular pieces
  • 2 to 4 cups corn or peanut oil for deep-frying


  1. Peel the ginger and trim it into 1 or more easily managed rectangular blocks.
  2. With a sharp knife, slice the ginger lengthwise into thin, nearly translucent slices. Stack or fan the slices, then cut them lengthwise into a fine julienne. You should have about ½ cup. (The julienne should fall from your fingers in separate threads; if it sticks and wads, you’ve cut it too fine or with too much pressure. If the edges are raggedy, your blade is dull.)
  3. In a wok or deep, heavy skillet, add oil to a depth of inches, and balance a deep-fry thermometer on the rim of the pot. Heat the oil to 375°F; a thread of ginger will bubble on contact. Adjust the heat so the temperature doesn’t rise.
  4. Fry the ginger in 2 batches until golden, about 10 seconds per batch. Scoop swiftly from the oil with a Chinese mesh spoon, then set aside on a paper towel-lined plate to drain and crisp. Don’t fry it too brown or it will taste bitter.
  5. Use within a day or two. Store at room temperature in a paper towel-lined bowl sealed with plastic wrap.