How to Mince Ginger
Unless you lived with Asians around, you would most likely not have grown up eating ginger. Don‘t be ashamed if you have never seen or eaten it, much less have any idea how to use ginger root. Plus, it has become well-known partly because of its health benefits. While its strong taste tends to put off many people, it is not a reason to keep it off your diet. After all, there are many different ways to prepare it, so that you can enjoy its benefits without being overpowered by its taste.
The Benefits Of Eating Ginger
Ginger is not really a spice, although it is used as one. In reality, it is a rhizome, which means it is the edible part of the ginger that also grows underground. This is why you might find it being referred to as ginger root.
Ginger is popular in Asia as being the perfect medicine. When you have a cold or flu, ginger tea is a common natural cure, especially when it is mixed with honey or lemon. Other than this, ginger is popular with pregnant women who are suffering from morning sickness. In fact, it has been an effective cure for centuries already.
Beyond this, ginger is good for digestion and for relieving aching muscles after working out. All of these, plus many other benefits, make ginger a great addition to your kitchen.
How To Prepare Ginger
Before you resort to vertigo, the ginger root needs to be prepared before being added to a dish, dessert or even to a smoothie. There are some ginger products sold prepared in a glass or plastic container, but it is definitely not as good as a fresh one. If you buy the fresh ginger root, you can either grate, chop or mince it based on your recipe.
Just make sure that it is not be dried up or shriveled up. And even if you end up buying a huge piece that is too much for your recipe, you can easily keep it longer. All you need to do is to wrap the ginger in some paper towel and plastic before putting it in the crisper of your fridge.
The First Step: Peeling Ginger
Ginger does not always have to be peeled but some people prefer consuming it only without the skin. Peeling it is an extra step that can actually be skipped and some people believe that the skin does add some extra taste. In the end, it is a personal preference.
Obviously, the first way to peel ginger is to use a peeler. This can be a bit more complicated if your ginger root has quite a few nubs and bumps, thus you might end up removing some of the flesh as well. The other risk is that you may cut yourself especially in the trickier parts of the root. So you will need to do this very carefully.
The most recommended way is to use a spoon, particularly the edge with the spoon curving down. Use firm and downward strokes to slowly scrape away the skin. To keep your hands steady, you can anchor the ginger on your cutting board or your other hand. The spoon is also easy to use on the small nubs and the best part is that you’ll notice that you will not scrape too much of the flesh.
Some people use the knife to peel the ginger which is only recommended for those who are experienced at this. This way, less of the flesh is removed and there is a lower chance of getting cut.
The Second Step: Mincing Ginger
Many recipes called for minced ginger, meaning you are not eating bigger pieces of ginger (which can be quite strong). The downside, of course, is that it is more work for you.
If you are good with the knife, then there is no problem for you to learn how to mince ginger. You start by cutting the ginger into coins. If you want very finely minced ginger, then make sure your coins are as thin as you can make them be. Afterward, cut them into matchsticks before chopping them into tiny cubes. To finish the work faster, make a pile of coins to chop them at the same time. Just make sure the pile is not too high and you can chop them properly. After cutting into tiny cubes, chop the pile randomly (or what they call “running your knife through“) to mince them as finely as you can.
If you are not handy with the knife, you can try out the Microplane. It is a great tool that gives you very fine or almost pureed ginger. Because this method might create juice, make sure to put a bowl at the bottom. Then take your ginger and rub it on the Microplane with some pressure. Just make sure you take care at the end of your piece of ginger so that you do not cut your fingers on the Microplane’s blades. When you are finished, you either need to scrape the ginger off the back or whack it a little to loosen the ginger. This is almost the same as using a traditional ginger grater used in Asia.
Other Ways To Cook Or Serve Ginger
If you want to prepare dishes with ginger on them, then you need to read carefully to find out how you should chop ginger. Some dishes will only need coarsely cut ginger while others will need minced or even a finer version. There are also instances, like when you are adding it to smoothie or creating a sauce out of it, when you only need to divide a whole piece into ¼ inch pieces before adding it to the blender along with the other ingredients. You can also use the juice produced by grating the ginger to add a little zing to your dishes. If you are looking for new ingredients with ginger on them, you can easily search how to use fresh ginger.
In many supermarkets, it is possible to purchase small pieces of ginger root. But even these can last you a while, depending on how often you cook with it. Fortunately, you can easily chop what you need and store the rest at the fridge for your next ginger fix.