This is one of the most asked question from my readers: how/what’s the easiest way to make grated ginger juice? Some recipes call for ginger juice as one of the marinade ingredient.
Many people find it a hassle to grate the ginger for juice, so they use finely chopped ginger (probably not as good as ginger juice, as the latter is liquid and pure extract), or they may even skip it altogether. My method of grating ginger, with the help of an inexpensive ginger grater, is fast, easy and safe.
You can totally grate ginger using a regular grater or microplane (pictured). Personally, I find it scary to use a sharp grater as I am terrified of accidental cuts so I use a ceramic ginger grater (next picture) instead.
In this tutorial, an inexpensive (about S$2) ceramic (not plastic) ginger grater is used. With the ginger grater, you won’t cut your fingers, and you can maneuver much more freely even with the smallest piece of ginger.
Peel the ginger the ancient, safe and no-waste way by using a metal spoon (hold it like a paring knife) to scrap away the skin.
Hold the ginger grater firmly in one hand and grate the ginger in your other hand in a circular motion.
Gather the pulp using a mini silicon brush (pictured) or your fingers.
Hold the pulp in your fingers and squeeze hard, until all the juices are extracted from the grated ginger.
Pour the ginger juice into a saucer, or directly onto your food to marinade.
Peeling and mincing garlic: ugh. Garlic peel is tough to remove and mincing with a knife means your fingers inevitably smell like garlic for the next several days, no matter how much you wash and wash (and wash) your hands. Garlic presses are a great solution; Garject takes the garlic press to the next level.
First of all, it’s heavy. And this is a good thing. I’ve bought too many cheap garlic presses in my day that were light and weak—these plastic garlic presses are prone to breaking and chipping. I’d much rather buy something that’s slightly more expensive and lasts for years than a tool that’s $5 and breaks after a few months. The Garject is strong enough to press several garlic cloves at once, and you don’t even have to peel them first. This is a quality garlic press!
But the real next-levelness (sure, that’s a word!) comes from the design: you know how you don’t have to peel cloves first with Garject? It has a peel ejector tool that pops out the peel when you’re done. It’s also self-cleaning, with a little plastic attachment that pushes any excess garlic out and scrapes itself clean. As someone who cooks with garlic several times a week (sometimes daily!), this kitchen tool has become a new favorite.
Dreamfarm Garject Garlic Press, $29.54 on Amazon
The Grate Ginger Tool
I thought I had a decent ginger grater, but there were still issues—issues I thought were just inherent to cooking with ginger. The grated ginger would be wet and pulpy at the bottom of the grater, while the fibrous remains would get stuck in the top of the grater, which was a pain to clean out. I felt like I was getting very little grated ginger for all my efforts. There was no return on my investment! And that, my friends, is why I do not enjoy grating ginger. (Well, that and the scraped knuckles—those are no fun either.)
The Grate Ginger Tool is a grater on one side and a mandoline slicer (for sliced ginger) on the other. Holding the two sides together is a little container that collects the grated or sliced ginger, so once you’re done, you just open it up and collect what you need. Make no mistake, this tool is sharp—if you have a tendency to be a little absent-minded in the kitchen, you’ll want to use something to protect your hands while you’re using it.
The sharpness of the tool is why it works so well. Unlike my previous ginger grater, which relied on small nubs to grate the ginger, this one uses sharp little blades. This gives the grated ginger a cleaner cut and you end up wasting a lot less. The Grate Ginger Tool also has a built in ginger peeler, a squeegee to clean the back of the grater, and the ability to extract juice from ginger. (If you’ve ever tried putting fresh ginger root in a smoothie and then gagged at the little fibers floating around in your glass, you know how awesome this is!)
KitchenIQ Grate Ginger Tool, $19.99 on Amazon
Saving the Ginger – & the Best Part of the Tip!
No kidding. You don’t even have to do anything special to it in case you’re low on time (who isn’t?), AND it even serves to make it easier to grate.
It’s a no-brainer to freeze your fresh ginger as soon as you can. If you still write “freeze ginger-” on your to-do list for 5 days straight and never get to it, just know that you’re still not alone. You of course choose to peel your ginger, which takes a little longer, right?
How to Freeze Fresh Ginger
Because I don’t really want to deal with peeling frozen ginger or washing the rough surface of a ginger root, I always peel it first.
You can use a vegetable peeler or a paring knife — I use a paring knife because ginger is so knobby and uneven, a peeler gets tricky. (One reader uses a spoon, but I forgot to try that!)
UPDATE: The comments are alive with spoon-lovers — I can’t wait to try it! Also, at least one says that if you freeze unpeeled ginger, the peel sort of just gets out of the way as you microplane it! Awesome! Finally, if you want to ferment a “ginger bug” be sure to leave the peel on, as the beneficial bacteria are there.
Remember as you’re peeling that you don’t have to keep the ginger whole or beautiful. Cut yourself some slack on perfectionism and just slice off the knobs and then peel them, rather than trying to get the paring knife into the divots and valleys of the ginger. It doesn’t have to take very long.
Peeled ginger can be frozen in large chunks (in the plastic bag in the photo above), and then you can grate it with a microplane grater while frozen for dishes where you need a teaspoon or tablespoon of minced or grated ginger.
And in fact, if you’ve ever attempted to grate fresh ginger root, you’ve probably noticed how awfully fibrous and stringy it can get – it really gets hung up in the peeler and is quite annoying. Not frozen! Frozen ginger will grate smoothly without all the strings that make it seem like a close cousin of celery.
I also like to freeze some in thin slices so I can just pull it out to make ginger tea or ginger ale. Try to freeze slices very flat in a plastic bag so they’re separated. If everything really sticks together in the freezer, you might use ice cube trays to freeze initially so that just a few pieces are stuck together, enough for one serving of tea, for example:
If you have a really nice food processor that can handle grating hard cheeses like Parmesan, it might also handle fresh raw ginger, unfrozen. In that case, you could grate all of it and freeze in ice cube trays in one-teaspoon servings. (My food processor is not that cool.)
UPDATE: Amanda Rose shared an excellent time-saving peeling tip – that you don’t have to peel the little knobby parts! Here’s what she does with them.
How to Get Your Fresh Ginger Drunk
If you use this fun method of storage, perhaps your ginger will get even more fresh. Mwah.
A number of readers say that you can preserve ginger in alcohol in the fridge:
- Puree it with a little vodka and store cold
- Cover ginger slices with sherry, in the fridge
- Peel the whole root and cover with vodka – will last many months in the fridge in a glass jar
If you have leftover fresh ginger and are feeling green thumb-ish, put it in some soil in a pot and it will take root!
And if all this “fresh” stuff just isn’t your thing, you can get bulk dried ginger root (not powdered) for things like tea at Mountain Rose Herbs (Link Removed), along with jarred minced ginger (I wonder if that’s as good as fresh???), pickled ginger, and a variety of ginger teas at Vitacost.
This post is part of The Ginger Challenge Series here at KS – follow along by buying some ginger. Get it in your freezer and be ready to try some new things with it as the month goes on!
Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post to Amazon, Mountain Rose Herbs and Vitacost from which I will earn some commission if you make a purchase. See my full disclosure statement here.
But just how good is ginger for you?
Unlike the west, herbal medicine practice was always visibly present in the east and is a fine and sophisticated science. In Asia, the entire ginger plant is used, separately for their unique functions (leaves, peeled rhizome and the mature root skin).
- Traditionally ginger is well known to alleviate gastrointestinal discomfort, and a herbal remedy for inflammation. It boosts your immune system by promoting healthy sweating which releases germ-fighting agents. So, if you need a good detox, consume ginger … and you can enjoy the added benefit of a stronger immune system.
- Available all-year round which makes it extremely accessible, ginger is also loaded with Vitamin C. And for that reason ginger was consumed in 5th century AD by Chinese sailors to prevent scurvy. In addition, ginger stimulates the production of saliva (encouraging an appetite), reduces nausea and has an anti-vomiting effect.
- Plenty of studies have been done on ginger’s health benefits, finding that it contains antioxidants and produces active phytonutrients that have an anti-tumour effect on cells. Ginger is also quite concentrated with active substances which means you really don’t need much to obtain the benefits.
So let’s call ginger what it is – a superfood.
Here are my top 5 ways with ginger
Charred ginger for a soupy base
Charring adds a wonderful smokiness to ginger, adding complexity to a soup, broth or sauce. Here’s how to char ginger.
1. Get a pair of metal tongs out, char it over a flame and then add it into your base. The flame of your gas stove works perfectly. I prefer to let the flavours release faster by then giving it a bash or two in a pestle and mortar and allow the flavour to infuse into the meal, cooked over heat.
Grated ginger for dishes
Grating ginger and letting it fry gently in oil/fat before adding your meats and vegetables allows the ginger flavour and aroma to seep into the oil. A common combination to add to this style of ginger is minced garlic, spring onion slices and chopped chilies. You can also use ginger slices if you enjoy the texture of the ginger, like a family favourite – 3 Cup Chicken.
A photo posted by Ming-Cheau Lin (@mingcheau) on May 31, 2016 at 1:55am PDT