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As you can tell from many of my recipes, I love cooking with fresh ginger. It’s a versatile ingredient that works just as well in savory dishes, like this Thai Butternut Squash Soup, as it does in those on the sweet end of the spectrum, like this Stone Fruit Salad with Ginger Lime Syrup. It’s also a key ingredient in Asian cooking, adding a slightly sweet yet peppery flavor to stir-fries, sauces, marinades, and salad dressings.
If you’ve been reluctant to cook with fresh ginger because it’s hard to imagine how to get it from that knobby-looking root to a version that can enhance the flavor of your meals, read on for simple guidance on how to peel and grate ginger.
How to peel and Grate ginger
Put the ginger on your cutting board and using a sharp knife, cut it into manageable pieces and cut off any small knobs.
Find a flat spot on the trimmed ginger so you can place it securely on the cutting board.
Use a vegetable peeler or sharp knife to remove the papery skin. While the skin is dry and rough, it’s thin, so once you start peeling, you’ll quickly reveal the flesh.
After you’ve peeled the ginger, grate it with a handheld grater or on the small holes on a cheese grater. (Ginger is very fibrous. The fibers run from the top to the bottom of the root. Hold the piece of ginger you are grating so that you grate across the grain of the fibers.)
Some recipes require chopped ginger instead of grated. To chop it, you’ll need to peel the ginger like you do in preparation for grating it.
How to Chop ginger
Find a flat spot on the trimmed ginger and place it securely on the cutting board. (If necessary, cut off a thin slice off lengthwise and then lay the ginger on that side for a more stable surface.) Slice the ginger into 1/8-inch-thick slabs.
Stack a few of the slabs and cut them lengthwise into 1/8-inch-wide strips. They should resemble matchsticks. Repeat this with the remaining slabs.
Line the small strips up in a horizontal row and cut crosswise to dice.
If your recipe calls for minced ginger, gather all of the chopped ginger into a pile and cut through it using a rocking motion with your knife.
Recipes that call for Fresh ginger
- Shrimp Pad Thai
- Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks with Mango Chutney
- Asparagus Salad with Almonds & Ginger-Sesame Vinaigrette
- Thai Chicken Soup with Rice Noodles