'MasterChef': The Ginger Recipes You Should Be Making This Winter

It'd be impossible for 'MasterChef' to head to Queensland and not get stuck into the state's most interesting export -- ginger.

Over 75 percent of Australia's ginger is produced on the Sunshine Coast, with a large chunk of that coming from Templeton Ginger in Eumundi. 

Kylie Templeton is a third generation producer -- her grandparents first started the business way back in 1940 with a single square metre block of ginger.

She told 10 daily via phone that the Sunshine Coast is the perfect spot to grow the pungent, zesty and aromatic root because of the very specific microclimate. 

Photo: Network 10.

"So the microclimate is all about the right temperatures, the amount of rain that you have. We’re always after a particular soil for ginger which is a nice, red, loamy soil and we have that here in Eumundi," Templeton said. 

Ginger is grown once a year and matures throughout a 12-18 month period -- which is why its appearance will differ depending on the season.

"At the beginning of the year, starting in March, we call it new season ginger and it's a beautiful, pungent smelling white coloured ginger with pink tips," explained Kylie.

"The flavour is not as spicy as compared to what we call mature, old season ginger," she added. 

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But the good news is -- it doesn't really matter if you're using old or new season ginger because both work their magic in the same way and can be used with everything from a piece of Barramundi to a ginger caramel cake.

We decided to wrap up a few of the best 'MasterChef' dishes from recent years that truly make ginger the ~hero~ of the dish.

Ginger Beer Battered Fish and Chips

Queensland local and 'MasterChef' winner Elena Duggan knows all about ginger and another famous Sunshine State dish -- fish and chips -- so we completely trust her that the two work perfectly together. Find the recipe here.

Ginger and Cumin Chicken, Crispy Ginger with Pumpkin Puree and Chestnut

Contestant Jimmy Wong put together this luscious celebration of ginger for a mystery box challenge back in season 8 and the use of both pumpkin and chestnut puree makes it the perfect winter meal. Recipe here!

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Steamed Barramundi with Ginger and Coriander Salsa

Another 'MasterChef' winner who knows that ginger is the secret weapon of any challenge. Sashi Cheliah whipped up this Indian-inspired coriander and ginger fish -- complimented with a little pickled cucumber. Find the recipe here.

Photo: Network 10.
Prawn Dumplings with Mushroom, Bamboo Shoots and Coriander

This season, Tati Carlin has proved to be a real gun in the 'MasterChef' kitchen. She whipped up these ginger prawn dumplings with a spicy sauce and you're probably going to want to make more than just five. Recipe here.

Photo: Network 10.
Drunken Chicken with Spring Onion and Ginger Oils

Lisa Diep served up this flavour packed drunken chicken during last year's competition that uses a beautiful ginger oil and some fried ginger for added crunch. Recipe here.

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Ginger Caramel Cake with Ginger Ice Cream

Ginger and caramel are a match made in heaven and yes, please, we would like some ginger ice cream on top. Arum Nixon nailed this recipe a couple of years ago now and it uses the versatile plant in a few clever ways. Recipe here.

Photo: Network 10.
Ginger Steamed Pudding with Yoghurt Sorbet and Pistachio Praline

Perhaps a healthier version of the ginger caramel cake, this recipe from Nicole Stevenson is served up with a Greek yoghurt sorbet and a pistachio praline. Steamed means healthy, right? Recipe here.

Photo: Network 10.
Lemon Meringue with Ginger Ale Poached Pears

Matthew Hopcraft conjured up this ginger delight that pairs ginger with its good friends lemon curd and poached pear. Another perfect winter dessert. Recipe here.

Photo: Network 10.
MasterChef Australia airs Sunday to Thursday nights at 7.30pm. Only On 10 And WIN Network. Missed an episode? Catch up on 10 Play or 10 All Access!