A few years back, ginger was only spotted discreetly in the corner of sushi plates. Foodies treasured their sushi stacked high with ginger, while non-adventurous eaters gave it a solid pass. However, peeling, prepping, and storing ginger for your food and drink is now an essential skill for the home chef.
The unique flavor of ginger has crept into smoothies, ice cream, tea, vegetables, meats, and more. Learning how to prepare ginger to include in your cooking will put you on track to creating the mostpopular ginger recipes of today.
What are the benefits of eating ginger? Ginger is one of the healthiest spices around. Pregnant women have depended on it to relieve morning sickness for centuries. It is also known to aid in digestion and help achy muscles after a killer workout.
Thebenefits of ginger go on and on. Every concoction or recipe requires ginger to be prepared differently, so it’s important to know how to peel, cut, grate, and mince ginger.
How To Eat Ginger
In general, ginger is not eaten alone, as its taste is overpowering to many palates. Words to describe the taste of ginger are woodsy, pungent, tangy, sour, sweet, soft, and spicy. It is not very high in nutrients, as a portion size is too small to classify a serving. With that said, when ginger is added to food or drink recipes, it can be transformational and addicting.
Ginger is a rhizome. What on earth is that, you ask? You can get yourrhizome fix here if you are fascinated by plant biology, but it is the edible part of the ginger stem that grows underground. Most people call the rhizome ginger root, and let’s leave it at that.
Before adding ginger to food and drink, there is some preparation involved, but the results of adding ginger are worth the labor. Grated ginger in savory soups and decadent desserts is delicious. Chopped ginger stirred into hot tea or coffee is popular all over the world. Minced ginger added into a tasty marinade for your favorite fish or meat is now standard on restaurant menus. The supermarket sells ginger in glass or plastic containers, but I would stay away from these as fresh ginger is always better. I recently purchased supermarket ginger out of pure laziness. It was in a squeeze bottle (gasp!), and it was disgusting.
Buy the freshest ginger so it lasts the longest. The best ginger is firm and smooth. There will not be a lot of wrinkles. If the ginger is soft or moist, scour for another piece or go to another supermarket. Fresh ginger will feel heavy for its size.
To peel or not to peel your ginger? Ginger does not always need peeling. It depends on the recipe and your preference. In fact, you can put ginger directly into your food processor and watch it go! It’s very exciting in fact, my kids fight for this job when I am prepping my ginger. We always leave the skin on, but this is really up to you. Some feel that the skin adds additional tanginess to the food or drink. To me that’s a good thing, though again, it’s all really up to you.
How To Peel Ginger
Because ginger is oddly shaped and awkward to deal with, peeling ginger can be a bit of a pain in the behind. The reliable spoon method is the way to go, so put down your vegetable peeler and read on! Plus, watch our helpful video tutorial showing how to peel ginger with a spoon at the bottom of the article.
Fresh ginger is easier to peel, as the skin is thinner than older ginger that has been lying around for a while.
- Firmly hold the ginger in one hand and the bowl of a spoon in the other. If the ginger is especially large, you can break it into a few smaller pieces and do this one piece at a time.
- Scrape the spoon downward against the piece of ginger root. Only peel what you are going to use, as the ginger will remain fresher when unpeeled.
How To Cut Ginger
- Break off the amount of ginger needed.
- Because of gingers peculiar shape, it will be easier to cut if broken into pieces. Cut a slice off and set the flat side down on the cutting board to steady the ginger.
- If cutting ginger into discs, just slice widthwise.
- For julienned ginger, cut the ginger lengthwise into strips. Stack the strips and cut the ginger into thin matchstick pieces.
How To Mince Ginger
To me, the only way to mince ginger is with the worlds best invention, the food processor. To be honest, I never had a food processor to mince my ginger before this past summer. I had a friend stay in my home with me from Ethiopia, and she was astonished that I didn’t have a food processor to prepare the mass amounts of ginger needed in Ethiopian cooking. So, I bought one, and the rest is history.
- Cut the large piece of ginger into smaller pieces and throw them into the food processor. Turn it on and watch the magic happen.
- Since you are getting out your food processor, you probably want to mince up the entire ginger root. If it is too much for your recipe, you can store it or give it away to your neighbors. They will definitely appreciate not having to mince their ginger!
- Wipe off your blade, as you will find lots of extra ginger tucked away there to add to your storage container.
How To Grate Ginger
- Cut off a piece of peeled or unpeeled ginger and hold with one hand.
- Hold a microplane or very fine grater with your other hand.
- Start grating the ginger against the microplane or grater. Make sure to do this over a bowl, as the ginger will produce a lot of juice. Just like that, you will have a lovely pile of fluffy ginger to throw into your favorite ginger-ready recipe.
How To Store Ginger Root
Many people want to know how to store ginger. One reliable way is to put it in a resealable plastic bag and slowly press all the air out. Put the ginger in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator, where it should last about three weeks. Ginger will last longer if the skin is on and if you dab the peeled end (or ends) with a paper towel. You always want to keep your ginger as dry as possible for proper storage.
If you are looking for another use for liquor other than drinking it, peeled ginger can be stored in a small glass jar with some vodka or sherry poured over it. This method could keep your ginger fresh for several weeks. However, know that mold could be growing if it starts looking cloudy, meaning it’s time to say bah-bye!
Frozen ginger can last a whopping six months in the freezer. Some articles will say that ginger will last indefinitely in your freezer, but I dont believe any food can last forever. The longest way to keep ginger fresh is putting it in the freezer in a resealable freezer bag or vacuum pouch. Frozen ginger is very easy to work with, so you can peel, cut, mince, and grate right from the freezer. Thawed ginger can get a bit spongy, so it is best to work with frozen ginger and return the portion of ginger you are not using to your freezer.
Read more: https://www.littlethings.com/how-to-peel-cut-grate-mince-ginger/