Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Ginger: Tips and Tricks

I used to use powdered ginger in everything, thinking the fresh stuff was too much effort. Not only have I been won over fully to the taste difference of using fresh ginger, I've discovered some tips and tricks that make it easier to prepare.

  1. You can freeze fresh ginger! Simply drop the root in a ziploc bag, seal, and toss in the freezer. I've started breaking up the fresh ginger into 1- to 2-inch size chunks before freezing; then I can pull out a smallish chunk whenever ginger is called for in a recipe.
  2. Frozen ginger is easy to peel--sort of shave off the skin with a sharp knife.
  3. To do pretty much anything except slicing it, I use a small microplane on the frozen, peeled ginger. This is cold work on your fingers, but it quickly and easily gets the ginger into a good state for use in stir-fries, salad dressings, and the like. It will burn soon if you saute it in this form; add to a hot skillet just before you add the rest of the ingredients.
  4. To slice ginger, start with a peeled, frozen chunk and just slice away!
  5. Fresh ginger is potent stuff--warn anyone who might be eating a dish in which it's sliced instead of minced finely.

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