Magic Ginger Milk Curd

I was inspired to attempt this recipe after learning about it from Francis Lam who explained its Chinese origins and the dish’s simple elegance.

The ginger milk curd is made of only three ingredients: milk, sugar, and ginger juice. The ginger juice contains a proteolytic enzyme that denatures the milk proteins to create a fragile gelled dessert. SOLD.

But as it often goes with super simple recipes, there’s some real magic involved. I think I’d better go back to wizarding school.

A bowl of ginger milk curd with a wooden spoon.

Ginger Milk Curd – No Eggs, No Starch?

This simple dessert is the result of ginger enzymes denaturing milk proteins forming a delicate yet delicious dessert.
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 1
Calories 162 kcal

Equipment

  • stove or microwave

Ingredients
 
 

  • 200 ml. whole milk
  • 2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp. ginger juice freshly squeezed

Instructions
 

  • Grate a 2"-3" piece of fresh ginger. Use a fine-mesh strainer or a piece of cheese cloth to squeeze out the juice. Measure 1 tablespoon into a ceramic bowl.
  • Pour the milk into a saucepan. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Heat medium to 176˚F/80˚C.
  • Immediately pour the hot milk into the bowl with the ginger juice.
  • Wait 10 minutes and serve.

Notes

  • Do not stir the hot milk and ginger juice. Doing so will disturb the fragile curd.
  • It’s recommended to pour the milk from a height of a few inches to help combine it with the ginger juice. 
  • Adapted from Red House Spice
  • Inspired by Francis Lam’s article.

Nutrition

Calories: 162kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 6gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 87mgPotassium: 264mgSugar: 20gVitamin A: 324IUCalcium: 226mgIron: 1mg
Keyword curd, custard, dessert, ginger, ginger milk, ginger milk pudding, milk
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

You can watch my multiple attempts at this recipe here:

What is this magic?

Happy magic milk curd making, lovelies!

27 thoughts on “Magic Ginger Milk Curd”

  1. I haven’t tried coconut milk, but I after all of my regular milk failures my hunch is that coconut milk wouldn’t work.

  2. 5 stars
    Hey Emmy! There was a comment on a different tutorial on YouTube saying that old ginger (one that looks dry and dusty) should be used instead of young ginger. I tried old ginger that has been sitting out for a few weeks and it worked so I thought I should let you know 🙂

  3. Ha! I’m so glad it worked for you.:) Lots of people have mentioned using old ginger, so I’ll have to give it a go. Thanks for reporting back with your findings.

  4. This looks really similar to lemon posset (and I assume is using the same basic science). Posset generally has you chill the pudding until it sets. That might be worth a try.

    Side note, lemon ginger posset is delicious and I highly recommend it. This does make me want to try a full ginger version though.

  5. I made this a while back and it also worked for me. Like Charlotte said, the key was using old ginger. The ginger I used was so old it was starting to wrinkle. It was hard to get juice out of it. Worked like a charm!

    I also think it might be the fact that you probably used homogenized milk. It isn’t just the fat/protein content and pasteurization that affects milk chemistry, homogenization messes with the whole structure of the proteins that are meant to coagulate. (This is why they have to add carrageenan and other gums to homogenized whipping cream – if you buy cream straight from a dairy that hasn’t homogenized it, you can whip it by hand in a few minutes, no problem). The milk I used was “cream on top” milk, or whole, unhomogenized milk (it was pasteurized). The heating and then cooling thing may also help, because it might help the protein to get into a disorganized state, ready to tangle/coagulate (and then the cooling will make it so it isn’t so hot that it would denature the protein that causes the reaction).

    Sometimes on these videos I wish I knew how to give you tips in advance, when I’ve previously struggled with something and know the answer!

  6. I use ginger that is really hard and a pale yellow color inside. When the milk in the pot has really small bubbles in the edges, I quickly pour it in the bowl. The bowl has to be on the same table you are going to let it rest on, so you don’t have to move the bowl. The table should not shake when you walk past it, (my grandma walk past mine, and it kind of ruined the curd) Also very important, make sure the white stuff in the ginger juice is completely settled. I notice that the bowl you used the the video is kind of big. Maybe use a smaller bowl and less milk?

  7. I forgot to mention this but you should wait 15 mins instead of 10. Your curd will be less warm but more settled.

  8. I know that a lot of recipes recommend pour from a tall height away from the bowl, but I don’t do that. The reason being that it takes too long. Your curd will settle fast, so you should pour as close as you can get as fast as possible.

  9. Hi, I tried this using whole milk which I overheated by accident, then cooled slightly before adding to (probably slightly too much, definitely old ginger) juice- worked really well, texture similar to set yoghurt/silken tofu?

  10. Hey Emmy! I am from Singapore! I just saw your ginger milk curd video and wanted to try it. I googled for another recipe and made mine successfully on first try! I DM-ed you on IG to share my findings and video. Do take a look and let me know if you succeed this time.

  11. 5 stars
    Hi Emmy, [5/7th/2021]

    Tried it as well an hour ago and it worked, followed the first recipe 50% and the rest by feel…

    I did not measure, I used my Turkish coffee pot on the stove to heat the milk…I added water on my mini pot and add 2.5 tbsp of NIDO full cream milk [I don’t have fresh milk in the fridge and I don’t feel like going out lol] and 2 tbsp sugar…I grated a mature ginger peel and all, I used my hands to squeeze the juice and no cloth or mesh strainer. I want all the ginger essence 🙂 just in case I leave out one or 2 essential component of the ginger. I followed the 150-156 F temp. and the only thing I have changed was the waiting time. I let it rest undisturbed and covered with ceramic/porcelain plate for 15 minutes…

    Anyway here’s my short doc. vid–> https://youtu.be/1m-7BYZUhiM

    Thanks,
    Maria

  12. The Youtuber Mboke Memey’s employer, who is from Taiwan, has the correct recipe that works very well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kOzgbYzS4jk
    I haven’t tried that recipe myself. Before that, I have tried so many recipes with no success. My guess is that the ginger sold here is too young, or too spicy with not enough enzyme compared tonthe ginger there.

  13. 5 stars
    I just made it. I used old ginger (definitely by accident – bought the ginger weeks ago, thinking I would try this when I was sick, but gave up on the idea after watching your video lol). I juiced my ginger using a garlic press and then filtering with a small sieve. It seems to be important that you get that part of the ginger juice that is thick and cloudy, it often settles on the bottom rather quickly, which is why you need to stir before pouring milk. I think using cheesecloth makes you lose some of that. Once you stir it up, pour the milk fast so that it mixes with the ginger juice without you stirring. For milk, I just used regular whole milk, heated in the microwave in a silicone measuring cup for 2.5 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until it measured 175⁰F.

    It’s delightful! Good luck!

  14. I’ve made this dish successfully several times.

    After reviewing many recipes and their comments along with yours: The one consistent throughout all of your attempts according to your recipe (besides your not showing the age of your ginger as older ginger has more enzymes) is this: Your recipe’s temperature is too high.

    Heating to 176˚F/80˚C and using it kills the enzymes in the ginger, you would have to *cool it down* to 70˚C before pouring it over immediately stirred mature fresh ginger juice.

    The recipe will work with milk poured at 65ºC—75ºC.
    Target the 70ºC—75ºC for best results directly from the saucepan.

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