Tai’s Rhubarb Ginger Jam

As we’ve discussed before, Tai, although a pastry chef by training, almost never cooks. We have an agreement that he will cook dinner once a week,  which, at this time of year is usually sausages on the grill, with some grilled asparagus or kale, and he is an awesome sous chef, especially when I am preserving the harvest. He stirs, chops, lifts, pours and does dishes with the best of them, but as for pulling out a cookbook and actually combining raw ingredients to produce a cake, bread, sauce, preserve; well, like I said, almost never.

Except for Rhubarb Ginger Jam. He loves this jam and makes it every year with no input from me. It always takes a little prodding (as in, “if you don’t make your jam this weekend, I’m going to steal the rhubarb and use it for something else”), but once he makes it he always exclaims over how simple the recipe is and how delicious the result. Friends who are ginger freaks (yes, I’m looking at you Melissa) rave over this one. This recipe is quick and simple to prepare, uses no pectin or gelatin, and can easily be doubled.

Adapted from Rhubarb-Ginger Jam, Bon Appetit, July 1997.

Not your fancy? Try other rhubarb recipes here.


Tai’s Rhubarb Ginger Jam


  • 1 lb rhubarb, trimmed, washed and sliced to 1/8-inch pieces (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup turbinado sugar
  • 3 oz crystallized ginger, chopped (about 9 tbsp)
  • 1.5 tsp lemon & orange zest (about half:half), coarsely chopped


  1. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar and prevent scorching.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring frequently, until jam thickens and mounds on a spoon, about 20-30 minutes. Transfer to a glass bowl or jar, cover and chill in the refrigerator.

Yields about 1 and 1/2 cups.


  1. Evaporated cane juice, or processed white sugar, will produce a more rosy colored jam than the turbinado sugar, but turbinado gives a hint of caramelized flavor.  Your choice.
  2. This produces a quite gingery jam; if you don’t love ginger, try making it with 1-2 oz ginger first. If you adore ginger, try 4 oz.
  3. Given the acidic rhubarb and dried, candied ginger, this recipe is safely acidic for water-bath canning should you want to increase the amounts and save some for room temperature storage.


Refrigerated, for up to 3 months, or canned, in a cool, dark spot, for up to 1 year.


Spring, or year-round with frozen rhubarb.


  1. Kim

    Well, I have an accurate pH meter at work, but I’m not sure how they’d feel about me ‘borrowing’ it. 🙂 Though I’m not really sure I would want to borrow it either, considering some of our compounds!

    I guess litmus paper doesn’t count…?

  2. localkitchen

    Who knew I should have “borrowed” one of my pH meters back in the day? But, yes, considering the radioactive compounds that we routinely measured, not sure I could ever have decontaminated the thing.

    Litmus paper doesn’t really work, as it is so color dependent – and I’m too much of a geek – I need a number. Not usually a problem anyway – I guess we’ll just keep this one in the fridge.

  3. Kelly

    We opened and finished this jar this week for my parents’ visit. We were slathering it on toast with tea and it was delicious!! I was wishing I could have added some to greek yogurt or a marinade! Thanks for sharing 🙂
    xoxoKel and the Magpie

  4. sassymesheree

    Ok, I know this is totally niave (and I am stil relatively new to canning) but there are ph meters you can buy that tell you if the ph is acid enough to safely water bath can stuff?!?!?!?!? What are they called, where can I get one, and is there a book you can recommend that explains ph balance and the canning process? I am just amazed!

    and I cannot wait to try this. I have to hit up the farmer’s market to see if anyone has rhubarb cause the stuff at the grocery store just looks icky! oh, and can you use homemade crystalized ginger?

  5. Hi Sassymesheree,

    Yes, there are pH meters that you can buy for home use. I don’t have one (yet!) but here is one that looks good: http://www.amazon.com/Hanna-Instruments-98103B-Replaceable-Electrode/dp/B003IKNJPW/ref=sr_1_4?s=industrial&ie=UTF8&qid=1307468416&sr=1-4

    There is also a new preserving book out that apparently discusses pH, canning safety and testing new recipes for acidity: http://www.amazon.com/Putting-Up-More-relishes-chutneys/dp/1423607392/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1307468499&sr=8-1

    And, using homemade crystallized ginger should not be an issue as long as it was thoroughly dried (i.e. room temp stable for at least 6 months).

  6. sassymesheree

    Thankyou! I am heading off to look at them now. i honestly had no idea, although there is a blog I read on canning and she cans pumpkin butter because of the added acid to make a safe ph level. Somewhat scary but quite interesting to say the least.

  7. Pingback: Strawberry Rhubarb Ginger Jam + Giveaway « Snowflake Kitchen

  8. katherine

    ok I know this is a weird thing to get stuck on while looking at your amazing recipe, but where did you get that spoon! or is it a knife? Don’t care it’s too awesome!

  9. Hi Katherine,

    Aren’t they fab? I have a pair of those little condiment knives; however, they were a gift from many years ago, so I have no idea where to find them for you. I’ve never seen others like them – it’s like someone knew I would eventually be into food photography! 🙂


  10. Anna

    This is one of my favourite jams! I’ve made it at least 4 times now. I love the sweet, tangy, spicy flavours. I usually just eat it with yogurt.

  11. OMG, this is good!!! I am wondering why it took me so long to discover this one. I was lazy and prepped it last night and let it macerate overnight in the refrigerator. And even though the first batch has not cooled completely from the water bath, I am already thinking of making a second batch. I need to see how much more rhubarb I have left. Plus I need more to dehydrate too. And to make rhubeena. I see a trip out to the orchard to get more. And figuring out where I can plant some rhubarb in my garden too

  12. Pingback: Rhubarb Ginger Jame | Knit & Play with Fire

  13. Jenny C

    I know this is an old post, but I wanted to let you know it’s been one of my family’s favorites since I first discovered it, I think in 2011. We’re completely obsessed with rhubarb in general, and the ginger makes the jam really unique. I make a multi-pound batch, which is probably why my set isn’t nearly as “chunky” as yours, but we don’t care because we love the flavor so much. Super delicious in yogurt!

    • Thanks, Jenny! I’ll tell Tai: this is one of the (very) few recipes that he & he alone makes, so it’s special. He’ll be thrilled to hear that it’s a favorite of yours.

  14. Pingback: Kick-Up the Jams Round-Up - WellPreserved.ca

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