Fresh ginger is one of the greatest ingredients in my arsenal. Spicy, bracing, zesty, assertive, uplifting. I use it in almost every stir fry, in cocktails, in baked goods, in marinades. It’s one of the easiest ways to add bang-for-your-buck flavor to so many dishes.
How to Peel Ginger (with a Spoon!)
You can surely use a traditional vegetable peeler, but the lumps and bumps of ginger make it a little hard to navigate. A plain old teaspoon however is a great tool for peeling ginger. The skin of ginger is very thin, so just scrape over it with the edge of a teaspoon and you’ll have peeled ginger ready for chopping or slicing or mincing in no time.
And there’s more good news — even little kids can help with this. If you give a willing child a knob of ginger and a teaspoon you will give them something to keep them busy for quite a chunk of time, and allow them to feel like a great kitchen helper as well. Make sure they (and you!) wash their hands thoroughly after, as ginger is spicy so if they touch their eyes after it could smart..
How to Mince or Grate Fresh Ginger
To mince or grate fresh ginger, you can:
- Use a microplane, which will result in pretty much pulverize ginger, and ginger that is pretty juicy.
- Grab a knife and a cutting board and just keep chopping away until you get to ginger that’s minced to the consistency you are looking for.
- Use a food processor. If you are just mincing a small amount you will probably want a small food processor, as a larger one has a big bowl and blade which might not let you get to the fine chop you want.
How to Add Ginger to Recipes
I cook with fresh ginger all the time, both in savory and sweet dishes. I just love the burst of slightly spicy, bold flavor.
In savory Asian dishes, fresh ginger is often paired with garlic or another member of the onion family. Ginger is featured heavily in Thai, Malaysian, Korean, Burmese, Japanese, Vietnamese and of course Chinese cooking. Don’t hesitate to throw a tablespoon of minced fresh ginger into almost any Asian recipe you can think of.
It is also used in other cuisines, such as Caribbean and West Indian, Indian, European and American.
You can also use ginger in cocktails and mocktails. The easiest way to get a ginger flavor into a drink is to make a simple syrup with ginger, or some sort of liquid or tincture where the ginger is infused into a liquid and then strained out.
18 Sweet and Savory Ginger Recipes
Here are some of my favorite recipes with fresh ginger, a mix of Asian-inspired recipes and other recipes that benefit from the pop of fresh ginger.