Growing primarily in Australia, India, Jamaica, China, and Africa, fresh ginger is available in supermarkets and grocery stores around the world. Ginger is a well-known ingredient in a variety of dishes, from Asian stir-fries to comfort teas to baked goods. You can prepare ginger for cooking by peeling the skin and then chopping, slicing, grating, or mincing. Begin Step 1 below to learn more about how to select, prepare, and use fresh ginger.
Part 1 of 4: Preparing Good Quality Ginger
Step 1. Look for chunky pieces of ginger
Look for large pieces of ginger that are still wet and heavy. Because of its large size, more ginger meat can be used.
- Also look for ginger pieces that are straight and rectangular with a little bump if you can. Ginger like this is easier to peel and prepare.
- Ginger can be frozen peeled, for up to six months, so there's no need to worry about buying large quantities of ginger to use in recipes.
Step 2. Look for ginger that is firm and smooth
The skin of the ginger should be firm and smooth, apart from the rough and dry part, which is the location where the ginger was cut. You don't want to buy ginger that is wrinkled, soft, or moldy.
Step 3. Choose ginger that has a sharp and strong aroma
Quality ginger will smell spicy or have a slight citrus aroma. If it is still fresh, then the aroma is spicy and sharp.
Part 2 of 4: Peeling Ginger
Step 1. Cut the ginger to the right size
If you're following a specific recipe, use the amount of ginger specified in the recipe instructions – usually measured in centimeters, not weight or volume.
- Sometimes a recipe calls for a "thumb" of ginger, which seems to sound like: a thumb-sized piece of ginger!
- If you don't follow a specific recipe, keep in mind that a bit of ginger will do, so start with a small piece, taste it, then add more if necessary.
Step 2. Use a metal spoon to carefully peel off the skin
Using a spoon is a good way to remove the ginger peel because it's quick and easy to do and can avoid wasting ginger.
- Holding the ginger in one hand and the spoon in the other, use the top of the inner side of the spoon to scrape along the pieces of ginger.
- Scrape the core that is often found in ginger. The skin should be removed with a gentle scraping, leaving the ginger without the skin.
Step 3. Alternatively, use a vegetable peeler or small knife
If you're having trouble using a spoon, use a vegetable peeler or a small knife instead.
- This may be a quicker way of peeling ginger, but the benefit of using a spoon is that it doesn't waste more ginger.
- A vegetable peeler or knife will strip many layers of the ginger with the skin, so only use these tools if you are good at them.
Step 4. Don't peel the ginger all over
For some dishes, ginger does not need to be peeled, especially if you use thin-skinned, fresher, and younger ginger.
- All you have to do is chop or grate the ginger with the skin on (though you may need to cut off the dry end at the end) and proceed according to the recipe.
- However, if you're worried that the ginger peel might ruin the appearance or texture of your dish, just peel the skin off.
Part 3 of 4: Preparing Ginger for Cooking
Step 1. Study the recipe you are following
Soups require grated ginger while stir-fry dishes require ginger cut into matchsticks.
Remember, ginger will lose its flavor the longer it is cooked. So, if you really want to take advantage of the taste and aroma, add ginger to the food at the end of the cooking time. This method will keep the ginger fresh
Step 2. Chop or mince the ginger if you want the texture and taste
When cut into matchsticks, ginger will be crunchy and chewy.
- Chopped ginger in pasta or rice will add flavor to every bite. Larger pieces of ginger are suitable for soups and teas.
- To chop the ginger, place the ginger and slice it into coin shapes. Then, stack a few pieces of ginger in the shape of a coin and slice it vertically so that it forms matchstick slices.
- Chop the ginger by placing the matchstick ginger pieces and slicing them, to form fine cubes. If you like, you can remove any larger lumps of ginger with a knife.
Step 3. Grate the ginger if you want a strong aroma and fresh taste to mix with food
Grate ginger is a quick and easy way to get very finely ground ginger or even ginger puree, which provides a great addition to tomato sauces or marinades.
- To grate ginger, grate a piece of ginger on a regular grater or cheese grater. This will give you a rich, grated ginger that looks and tastes like a paste. You may need to grate the ginger over a bowl, to catch the liquid that comes out.
- Be careful when grating the tip of the ginger, as it is easy to cut your fingers from the grater. You will need to use a knife to remove the ginger stuck on the grater.
Step 4. Use ginger in a variety of recipes
Ginger has a versatile taste that is widely used in various recipes, ranging from stir-fries, soups, breads, and tea drinks. If you're looking for some new ideas on how to use ginger, why not try one of the recipes below?
- Making Ginger Tea
- Making Candied Ginger
- Making Ginger Cookies
- Making Ginger Ale (ginger flavored carbonated drink)
- Making Steamed Ginger Chicken
- Making Chutney (a mixture of South Asian spices) Ginger
- Making Garlic Ginger Soup
Part 4 of 4: Saving Ginger
Step 1. Store the ginger in the refrigerator
To store ginger in the refrigerator, wrap the ginger in a paper towel, then put it in plastic and place it in the vegetable storage section. Ginger can be stored for about two weeks.
Step 2. Keep the ginger fresh in the freezer
To store ginger in the freezer, wrap the ginger tightly in plastic (you can peel it first if you like) and store for up to six months. When you want to use ginger, you can grate it while it's still frozen. In fact, ginger is easier to use frozen because it's less stringy.
- Look for recipes that call for ginger in your favorite cookbook or online at sites like AllRecipes, Epicurious, and Cooking.com.
- Ginger has many amazing health benefits – it can treat bleeding, relieve stomach upset, and prevent disease. Drink ginger tea if you experience motion sickness or motion sickness in the morning while pregnant and you will soon feel better.