The difference between ground ginger and fresh ginger is much like the difference between any dried and fresh herb or spice. While ground ginger may suffice for certain baked goods (gingersnaps, anyone?) or sauces, recipes that call for fresh ginger do so with the intention of bringing the most potent ginger-y kick. Luckily, unlike fresh herbs, fresh ginger can be bought in small or large quantities for an affordable price and kept in the fridge for several weeks. Most recipes call for just an inch or two of fresh ginger, because even small amounts of this zesty root go a long way towards brightening soups, salads, meat marinades and even beverages (try adding a few peels of fresh ginger to homemade chai). Once you’ve gotten to know and love your new knotty friend, you’ll be sure to want to check out these techniques for how to peel and grate fresh ginger.
Total Time: 5 minutes
Ingredients: One chunk of fresh ginger
1. Use a paring knife to cut off a small 1-inch piece of ginger (or as much as your recipe requires).
2. Trim the tip off the un-cut end of the ginger so that both ends are flat.
3. Place ginger piece upright on its thicker end. Use your knife to trim away the skin from top to bottom. Keep your knife close to the outer edge so you don’t remove too much of the ginger flesh with the peel.
4. The peeled piece of ginger can be cut into large chunks (if adding to something that will be drained off, like chai) or grated (if the ginger is going to be eaten).
Grating Ginger with a Microplane
1. Firmly grip peeled ginger in your right hand, using thumb and pointer finger to grasp the ginger. Hold the microplane steady with your left hand, then move the ginger back and forth across the grates. Continue until a little bit of ginger remains – don’t try to grate the entire ginger piece over the microplane, as you could risk cutting your fingers.
Slicing Ginger with a Knife
1. Use a sharp paring knife to shave away small peels of ginger. Rather than peeling from one side to the other, rotate the ginger as you shave it, peeling away the outside layer entirely before moving onto another layer. This will ensure that your peels are more uniform and you won’t find yourself biting into an extra thick and extra spicy piece of ginger during your meal!