Fresh ginger root looks like an intimidating ingredient to prepare. But, you don’t need a special tool to use it. You can easily peel, grate, and chop ginger with just a couple of simple kitchen utensils.
To peel ginger root without losing very much of the root, use a spoon or the dull back of a paring knife. To use a spoon to peel the ginger, press your thumb against the inside of the spoon and scrape the ginger’s thin skin using scraping movements toward you. If you want to use the back side of a knife blade, make the same motions. You can also scrape away from you. You will see that the spoon or dull side of the blade will only take the skin off and leave the actual root alone.
After peeling the ginger, wash it thoroughly. You may use a micro grater or a cheese grater. Because ginger root is fibrous, do not attempt to grate it by making up and down motions. This will clog the grater. Instead, grate in one motion only. If you grate away from you, only continue to grate away from you. Use the side of the cheese grater that has larger holes. If you want finer grated ginger, use a zester. Ginger zest is a good option if you want ginger flavor without biting down on a big piece of ginger. However, stir fry recipes generally use large strips or slices of ginger. To make very thin slices of ginger, use a sharp knife and carefully slice down width-wise (to make round slices) or slice down lengthwise (to make rectangular slices).
Chopping ginger does not require any special technique. Depending on the recipe you are using, you may use square chopped ginger or long julienne strips. Cut the ginger root lengthwise if you are making strips. Then, stack the slices and cut them lengthwise again. If you want to chop the ginger, you can also follow the directions for making strips, then once you have the ginger strips, simply cut them width-wise. If you want to make ginger paste, chop the ginger root and then use the side of your knife to smash the chopped ginger. You can also easily chop ginger by slicing it either width-wise or lengthwise, and then chopping rapidly with a chef’s knife.
Hopefully, these tips and directions will make ginger easier to prepare for people who are unfamiliar with ginger root.
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