Day 118: Tomato Ginger Jam ♥

Tomato Ginger Jam, an unusual but delicious stovetop jam, no canning required.
A favorite stovetop jam, one of the easiest and most surprising jams ever. It's a mix of fresh summer tomatoes and fresh ginger cooked down into a thick and gingery spread. If you love ginger, you'll love-love-love this jam.

~recipe & photo updated 2010 & 2014~

2005: Hey, Mark Bittman! I've out-minimalized The Minimalist! Regular followers know I love the cooking panache of Mark Bittman, whose minimalist nomen and style mirror my own. (HE just happens to be famous.) Last week his regular column in the New York Times featured a ginger jam that required peeling and chopping a pound – yeah that's right, an entire POUND – of ginger. Do you know how long that would take? Oh my! I substituted a bottle of a favorite product, a ginger paste. It's like the bottles of chopped garlic found in grocery stores except that it's ginger. And it worked like a dream!

How to Use Tomato Ginger Jam 2005: It is delicious on a nutty toasted bread for breakfast. It would be fabulous with hot biscuits or scones, bran muffins, as a thin layer with pound cake, any time you might use marmalade. The heat disappears in a tomato sandwich: just good bread with a smear of ricotta, then a smear of the jam on both pieces of bread with leafy lettuce tucked in with the tomatoes. I gotta admit: it is something! Mark's column suggests serving the jam with grilled pork or chicken. And something tells me this would be fabulous turned into ice cream. I am tempted to try that yet this afternoon ... and may yet. 2010: This got raves when spread thin on slivers of good bread as an appetizer, it's just so good!

2010: What a zippy little jam this is, so easy to make. People EAT it up! It does pack some heat, even though I left the chili in for only a few minutes. That means, all the heat comes from the ginger itself, not the chili. To make something "less hot", I would use more tomato or less ginger, changing the proportions.

Note to Family: If you have a hankering for "Sharon's Pickle", this is similar though a lot less work.

"... oh my goodness was this delicious!" ~ Manda
"... it was fantastic!" ~ Lapis
"Definitely a keeper!" ~ Rachelle


Hands-on time: 10 minutes plus occasional attention while cooking
Start-to-finish: 1 - 2 hours
Makes 1 1/2 cups

1 1/2 cups water
7.5 ounces ginger paste (see TIPS)
5 teaspoons garlic
3/4 cup sugar
1 pound tomatoes, chopped (see TIPS)
Pinch salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 small hot fresh chili (see TIPS)

Mix all the ingredients in a large saucepan over medium high and cover. Bring to a boil and let boil, stirring occasionally, for about 45 minutes or until the mixture has cooked down and thickened considerably. (2005: The recipe said to "simmer for 30 - 45 minutes". This wasn't enough heat to cook down the mixture. I ended up letting it boil at a good clip, that is with bubbles across the entire surface, for a full 45 minutes AFTER it'd simmered for 50 minutes. It's possible that the ginger paste has more liquid than what you'd chop yourself. 2010: Once again, the mixture took much much longer to cook, a good couple of hours. Do keep checking, especially near the end for once it begins to thicken, I suspect it might burn quite quickly.) Cool and refrigerate.

This is a "refrigerator jam" -- it is not actually canned and thus isn't preserved. It will, however, keep for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator.

JARS of GINGER The international market in my town carries several brands of good-quality minced ginger and minced garlic and I rely on these all the time. Here's a photo of the minced ginger in a jar.
FRESH GINGER If you use fresh ginger, the recipe says calls for starting with a pound of ginger knobs, from which you'll get 1 1/2 cups of grated ginger.
SEEDING the TOMATOES The inspiring recipe says to seed the tomatoes before cooking but I didn't bother either time.
CHILI 2005: Next time I'll definitely skip the chili or maybe take it out after a few minutes. 2010: I used a small Thai chili but removed it after just a few minutes in the cooking tomatoes and ginger. I do think that the chili adds an important taste dimension -- another 'kind' of heat -- so will continue using this technique in future batches.

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Still Hungry?


~ Homemade Zucchini Relish ~
~ Gramma Millers' Ripe Tomato Relish ~
~ Green Pepper Jelly ~
~ more canning & preserving recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ How to Make Rhubarb Jam & Rhubarb Jelly ~
~ Slow-Roasted Tomatoes ~
~ Cranberry Chutney ~
~ more Jams, Pickles & Preserves ~
from Kitchen Parade

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2005, 2010, 2014
Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Hi Alanna! I saw this recipe and since I had a surplus of cherry tomatoes left over in the fridge. I gave it a try and oh my goodness was this delicious! The cherry tomatoes were so sweet! I even cut back on the sugar amount because of this by almost half and it was a perfect balance of sweet and spicy. Thank you for your awesome recipe and many others alike.

  2. Excellent, Manda. I remember this being a really fun recipe, easy but memorable. Thanks to you, I've added it to my "make again soon" list.

  3. Wow! I made this jam yesterday and it was fantastic! I went with fresh ginger and that was tons of work, having someone peel while i sliced and chopped made it so much faster. My housemates and I love spicy foods so I left the chilies in; next time I plan on using a little less sugar.

    The smell went from spaghetti sauce to something deeper and sweeter... I ate some with chevre and crackers for dinner. Yum!

  4. Lapis ~ Wow, indeed! I can't get enough of this since making it a few days ago. I'm so glad you love it too! Thanks for taking the time to let me know, I'm so impressed that you used fresh ginger!

  5. I love this, but I didn't at first. I made it as instructed but used fresh ginger. I found the ginger overpowering but the overall flavour strangely bland. I dumped the whole thing back in the pot the next day, added another pinch of salt (so around 1/4 tsp in total) and 3 T of cider vinegar. I boiled it for another half hour, scorched it just a tad, and the result is magic. Maybe my tomatoes weren't acidic enough or something, but I just found the cider vinegar had a nice brightness that made this just right for my taste buds. Next time the only change I'll make is using brown sugar to give it a little more depth of flavour. Definitely a keeper!

  6. Rachelle, so glad you persisted, yours are great tips for anyone who makes this using fresh ginger. Thanks so much for taking the time to let me know!


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna