What if I told you that you can have fresh ginger on hand at any given time that won’t go bad for months, contains no additives or preservatives, and requires NO chopping or mincing? I’m not making this up!
There are some major convenience issues with how most of us store and use ginger. If we buy a knob of it for a recipe, chances are we only need a teaspoon or two, so we put the rest back in the fridge and leave it to perish in its moldy demise. Months later, you may or may not be able to rummage through your cooler and find it again next time you need fresh ginger.
Good news: you never have to deal with this again!
There’s a very practical way to prevent expiration and waste of our beloved spice. It requires no more than exactly the same prep you would normally perform on a piece of ginger, followed by popping the whole thing in the freezer. Seriously, you couldn’t mess this up if you wanted to.
First, peel the ginger; there are several ways to go about doing this. The first and quickest is to cut off the skin using a paring knife. I don’t recommend this technique, however, because you will unnecessarily lose quite a bit of ginger to this process, and what could have been a cookie, smoothie inclusion, curry paste, or marinade will wind up in your trash can. Additionally, peeling this way is probably the most dangerous since the knife could easily slip and cut you.
There are two better options: peeling it off with a vegetable peeler, or scraping it off with a spoon. Using a peeler would be only slightly more safe than a paring knife, so I like to use a spoon. It’s both safe and effective and there’s no waste.
Simply use the tip of a spoon to scrape off the entire exterior of the ginger. If there are thick or dry knobs, just cut those off with a knife.
Next, put the ginger in a well-sealed plastic bag and keep it in the door of your freezer. That way you’ll never have to dig for it when you want to use it!
When a recipe calls for grated or minced ginger, retrieve the frozen ginger and a coarse microplane grater. Grate as much ginger as you need, then place the ginger back in the bag and return it to the freezer. It’s that easy! No wet fibers, no clogged ginger grater to clean, and no tedious mincing! A microplane grater does all the work, producing a fresh ginger “flurry” that makes no mess at all. After using the microplane, just give it a quick rinse and let it air dry.
I also use the coarse microplane technique for fresh garlic. Rather than using my knife to chop it as it stinks up my cutting board, a microplane obliterates the clove into perfect smithereens in just a few seconds. I tried this using frozen garlic cloves, which worked fairly well. My only concern is safety. When frozen, the garlic is slippery and hard to keep a grip on, so it could be easy to scratch yourself on the grater or drop the whole clove of garlic into food!
Lastly, both garlic and ginger also come prepared and ready-to use in tubes. They aren’t going to be as fresh as the real thing, but are still a great alternative!