Natural remedies like ginger have long been used to treat a variety of ailments. Culinary prowess and nutritional value make it an invaluable ingredient in the kitchen. Ginger is also a very cost-effective and easily available root.
So how do you use fresh ginger? The best way to use fresh ginger is to cut it into smaller pieces, slice it, mince it, or crush it into a paste. Most people use fresh ginger freshen up their palates, reduce bitter flavors, mellow out other flavors, and increase intensity.
By boiling water and adding fresh ginger slices and honey, you can also create fresh ginger tea!
Learn how to use fresh ginger in this ultimate guide to total wellness and taste great.
The Ultimate Guide to Using Fresh Ginger
In the same family as galangal, cardamom, and other powerful spices, ginger is a lovely little flowering plant. Plants are consumed primarily for their roots, or rhizomes, which contain the most medicinal properties.
If you’ve ever seen a bonsai plant or fresh ginger, you’ll see that it looks like a gnarled root like that. Ginger that is fresh and healthy will have a shiny skin that is almost paper-like, beige in color, and slightly shiny. As a root grows older, its skin will become thicker and more fibrous.
Most common ginger is light yellow inside, and it has a citrusy scent and a potent scent. Some ginger sources produce ginger that is pinkish in color, while others produce ginger that is almost white.
Pick ginger roots that are relatively smooth and not wrinkled, and look for heavier roots rather than lighter pieces, as heavier roots have more nutritional value.
The flavor of fresh ginger is rich and distinct, with a unique spice. If you’re new to this area, you’ll have to adjust your taste buds, but it is worth the effort, since the benefits of doing so will become apparent as you continue reading.
How to Use Fresh Ginger
Aside from its myriad uses, fresh ginger can be prepared in several popular ways for use in your recipes.
These are the 3 best ways to use fresh ginger:
- Ginger is one of the most effective foods and nutritional supplements when it comes to reducing bitter flavors. Foods and drinks that taste bitter contain important nutrients, but many people avoid them because they are unpleasant.
- Ginger can be used to temper other flavors, similarly to salt, which enhances sweetness, and citrus extract to liven up a creamy dish.
- If you decide to consume or serve multiple courses that don’t necessarily complement one another, or if you ever get a bad taste in your mouth, ginger is a fantastic palate cleanser. If you have any leftover flavors or bacteria in your mouth, freshly grated ginger will help eliminate them.
Learn how to peel and chop fresh ginger so it is ready to use with these tips and techniques.
How to Peel Fresh Ginger
You can peel the fresh root of ginger quite easily, especially if it is young.
A spoon works well for removing the papery peeling, but a paring knife works best for root that is more mature.
To protect the rest of the plant from exposure to air, remove only a few roots immediately.
How to Slice Fresh Ginger
Using a sharp knife, slice the ginger root perpendicular to it’s fibers (against the grain) to make thin slices for your recipe, which will make the slices less stringy. A good knife is needed to slice through the root cleanly and evenly.
How to Mince Fresh Ginger
To create minced or chopped ginger, you can slice thin slices in the opposite direction after you have created thin slices.
As necessary, chop the ingredients into smaller pieces to suit each recipe you work with.
How to Grate Fresh Ginger
Ginger is best grated when the peel has only been removed from the portions you wish to grate, and the rest of the peel can be held onto while grating.
You’ll get a better job out of your ginger if you make the grated edge smaller. Our favorite ginger graters are discussed in another post!
Cooking With Fresh Ginger
In a small number of fresh ingredients, ginger packs a lot of flavor, and it can really liven up a dish, regardless of whether it is savory or sweet.
Baked goods often include ginger, such as gingerbread cookies or cakes that feature ginger spice and molasses.
A stir-fried dish with ginger and garlic or ginger chicken will be equally tasty and satisfying with this plant. As well as balancing out and improving the flavor of spicy dishes and sauces, it also improves their flavors.
Almost every piece of sashimi or sushi roll tastes amazing when topped with a pink pickled ginger garnish, which adds the perfect finishing touch.
Drinking Fresh Ginger
A tasty way to incorporate fresh ginger into your daily routine is by grating or juicing ginger and adding it to hot or cold beverages.
Tea is an excellent option for adding to juices, smoothies, and evening cocktails alike.
The taste of ginger is not dependent on whether it is watered down with water or paired with a variety of other flavors that pair well with it.
Here are the best combinations with fresh ginger:
- Lemon & Honey
- Cinnamon and hot cocoa
- Carrot, orange, apple or pear juice
- Green Tea
You’ll find a handy tutorial by Cynthia Louise in the related questions section of this article for making fresh ginger tea.
Fresh Ginger Health Benefits
Turmeric root, like ginger, receives its benefits primarily from its antioxidant properties.
Together, these benefits can prevent illness and keep you healthy, not to mention they can prevent sickness altogether.
Here are some benefits specific to fresh ginger.
Fresh Ginger Nutrition Facts
It is common to think of vitamins when you think about nutrition. A lot of vitamins are present in ginger.
- Vitamin A – As an anti-aging vitamin, it also helps protect your skin, hair, and eyes, making it an essential ingredient in cosmetics and hygiene products.
- Vitamin C – Vitamin C is also known to support the immune system as well as doing other good things.
- Vitamin B – Fresh ginger contains high levels of B vitamins, which may be its greatest benefit. Despite their relative rarity, these vitamins are more valuable, since they are more difficult to find.
- Minerals – As well as minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and zinc, ginger contains many vitamins. Keeping your body hydrated, healthy blood, having great energy, and a smooth metabolism are all impacted by these minerals.
- Amino Acids – As well as all 9 essential amino acids, ginger contains the amino acid arginine, which has a conditionally essential status, meaning your body can produce only a small amount of it, but needs additional supplies if you’re stressed or ill. In order to maintain your health and well-being, you need essential amino acids, but your body cannot synthesize them on its own, so you need to eat foods containing these acids.
Despite ginger root’s excellent health benefits, it should not be the only source of nutrients mentioned above. You will gain the most benefit from it if you combine it with a healthy diet.
As a last resort, we compiled a few frequently asked questions for your consideration below, in the hopes that this article answered all of your burning questions.
Do you have to peel fresh ginger?
Peeling ginger is primarily for the sake of texture, depending on what you intend to use it for.
The peel can be left on ginger if you’re not going to eat it directly, like in tea, or if you’re just going to grate it quite small, like when it’s young and thin.
Ginger roots have tougher skins as they grow older and, therefore, you will want to peel them more often.
How do you store fresh ginger root?
It’s quite easy to store ginger when it’s fresh. Keep the roots airtight in an airtight container or ziploc bag if you wish to keep them ready for regular use.
You can store them in your fridge for up to three weeks.
Can you freeze ginger?
Yes, you can freeze fresh ginger. The root can remain fresh for up to 6 months if frozen, and thawes quickly and easily, so this is a good way to keep your root fresh while still being able to use it pretty quickly when needed.
What is a good substitute for fresh ginger?
The flavor of ginger cannot be replaced, but if you do not like the taste of ginger, you can try these substitutes:
- In Baked Goods: Replace cinnamon, allspice, mace or nutmeg with equal amounts
- In Cooking: Combine turmeric, black pepper, and nutmeg or cardamom with citrus zest according to taste
Ginger capsules provide you with an easy-to-swallow pill full of ground ginger if you can’t stand the taste but still want to enjoy the health benefits it brings.
Always choose organic supplements when it comes to your health when it comes to nutritional supplements.
Can you substitute ground ginger for fresh ginger?
There will be a difference in taste, though. Cooking savory dishes or making beverages with fresh ginger is more common. Fresh ginger is also spicier.
Ginger ground for baking has a softer taste. The same ratio of 1 tablespoon of fresh grated ginger to 14 teaspoons of ground ginger can be used in recipes calling for fresh ginger but you only have ground ginger on hand.
If you need to use fresh ginger instead of ground ginger and you only have the root, this will also work.
How do you make ginger tea?
Our article has discussed ginger tea quite a bit, but we haven’t yet discussed how it is made. An easy to make and delicious ginger tea that boosts the immune system.
On YouTube, Chef Cynthia Louise created a fantastic tutorial on making homemade ginger tea.