The mysterious Sand Ginger

Cekur or Kencur in Malay, 沙姜 in Chinese, can be found in markets in Singapore and Malaysia but in all the Asian stores I’ve been to in the US, it is a “never to be found” item ~ a mysterious underground substance.

So, via a kind gift from a GardenWeb Ginger Forum member, I got a piece to carefully grow in my backyard, to become my small personal supply.

Edible leaves of the Sand Ginger

Edible leaves of the Sand Ginger

Delicate Blooms of Cekur

Delicate Blooms of Cekur

Cekur Roots

Cekur Roots

They grow well in the Florida summer but not as fast as in the tropics. With that little bit, yes that’s considered a little bit, I will make a sauce (pesto like), some for dipping, at the dining table (sesame oil & calamansi lime juice need to be added to dipping sauce), and some to be used as part of a marinade for chicken, shrimps or firm toufu.

For the above amount of Cekur which needs to be skinned (easily scraped off with a vegetable knife), I will use:
20 cloves shallots (peeled)
5 cloves garlic
4 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tbsp roughly ground black pepper
3 tbsp Taucheo (fermented soy bean paste)
1/2 cup of rice wine.
Put all in blender and blend till smooth (pesto like texture)



2 responses to “The mysterious Sand Ginger

  1. Hello… would you mind telling me where to get this plant? I love kencur and i never been able to find the fresh one here in the US. I always used the powder one, but the taste is just not the same.
    Thanks you.

    Magie Adams


    • Asian grocery stores in the US do not sell kencur in root form. Wait for a Gardenfest in your area & look for a stall that specifically sells gingers… all kinds of gingers. Chances are you will find kencur sold as ornamental or groundcover ginger. Some nurseries might sell them too BUT not as a kitchen item; you watch for them in gingers section. Good luck!


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