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January 12, 2024 5 min read

From soups to syrups, curries, and marinades, ground ginger can be used for a multitude of purposes. Sure, you can grab a jar of the pureed stuff at your local supermarket, but let's be honest – it often lacks that zesty punch we all love. To capture the full, vibrant flavor of ginger, nothing beats doing it yourself.

But how do you do it right? Of course, it's not rocket science, but there are a few handy techniques to master. In this guide, we're going to walk you through various methods to grind ginger using different tools.


What Can You Use Ground Ginger For?

 

hot steaming cup of hot ginger tea
Credit: Envato Elements/ charlotteLake

Ground ginger is a versatile ingredient that can be used in a wide range of dishes. It is a key ingredient in many Asian cuisines, including Indian, Chinese, and Thai. It can be used in marinades, pickles, pickles, curries, stir-fries, and soups. It is also a popular spice in baking and is often used in recipes for gingerbread cookies, cakes, muffins, puddings, and ginger snaps. On a simpler note, it is commonly used in cocktails, smoothies, and teas.


How to Prepare Ginger for Grinding

 

hands peeling ginger with a spoon over wooden countertop
Credit: Envato Elements/ boomeart

Before you start, choose a fresh ginger root. You're looking for a piece that feels firm to the touch and has smooth, taut skin. Avoid ginger that feels soft or looks wrinkled – these are signs it's past its prime.

Now, let's get to the prep work. First, give your fresh ginger a good wash under cold water to remove any dirt or residue. Once it's clean, you'll need to peel ginger. The skin of ginger is quite thin, so a simple teaspoon can do the trick. Simply hold the ginger in one hand and scrape off the skin with the spoon's edge.

Once your ginger is peeled, you're ready to start cutting. Slice it into smaller pieces – think the size of a coin. These smaller pieces are much easier to grind and will help you get a more consistent texture. Plus, they're easier on your grinder or grater.


How to Grind Ginger


Grinding ginger is a versatile process, and you can use several tools you might already have in your kitchen. Let's explore five different ways to grind ginger:


Technique 1: Mortar and Pestle

 

white marble mortar and pestle on wooden table
Credit: Envato Elements/ Irrin

For those who love a touch of tradition in their kitchen, the mortar and pestle method is perfect. It's a bit of a workout, but the control it gives you over the texture is unparalleled.


Steps:

  • Place the cut and peeled ginger pieces into the mortar.
  • Grab the pestle in your dominant hand and hold the mortar steady with your non-dominant hand.
  • Press the pestle down in the mortar and grind the ginger in a circular motion.
  • Continue until you achieve the desired consistency.

Tip: For an extra smooth paste, add a small amount of water or oil to help break down the fibers.


Technique 2: Food Processor

 

food processor on white countertop in kitchen
Credit: Envato Elements/ seventyfourimages

If you're dealing with larger quantities, a food processor is your best bet. It's quick and efficient.


Steps:

  • Chop ginger into small chunks and place them in the food processor.
  • Pulse a few times until the ginger is finely chopped or ground.
  • Scrape the sides occasionally to ensure even grinding.

Tip: Don't overprocess, or you'll end up with ginger puree!


Technique 3: Garlic Press

 

garlic press with pods of garlic around
Credit: Envato Elements/ vanillaechoes

A garlic press isn't just for garlic; it's also great for ginger, especially when you need just a bit for a recipe.


Steps:

  • Cut the grated ginger into pieces small enough to fit into the garlic press.
  • Place a piece of ginger in the press and squeeze it over a bowl.
  • Repeat with the remaining pieces.

Tip: This method is perfect for extracting ginger juice along with the pulp.


Technique 4: Chef’s Knife

 

hands cutting ginger on wooden countertop
Credit: Envato Elements/ woldhound9111

No special tools? No problem. A good sharp knife does the job just fine.


Steps:

  • Lay the ginger flat on a cutting board and cut them into thin strips.
  • Grab a thin slice and rock your knife back and forth over it to mince.
  • Do the same with the other strips.

Tip: Keep your knife sharp for a finer and easier mincing experience.


Technique 5: Box Grater or Vegetable Peeler

 

microplane grater with grated ginger
Credit: Envato Elements/ charlotteLake

A box grater is a common kitchen tool that makes grating ginger a breeze, especially for baking recipes.


Steps:

  • Hold the box grater steady and run the ginger back and forth over the grater.
  • Use the side with small holes to grate ginger more finely.
  • Tap the grater to release any ginger stuck in the holes.

Tip: Freeze the ginger beforehand for easier grating and to prevent it from becoming mushy.


How to Store Grounded Ginger

 

black mortar and pestle with garlic paste inside
Credit: Envato Elements/ stockimagefactory

Once you've ground your ginger, storing it properly is key to maintaining its freshness and zing. Here's how to do it right:


  • Choose the Right Container: Transfer your minced ginger into an airtight container. This could be a small jar or even a resealable plastic bag. The goal is to keep air and moisture out, as they can dampen the flavor and freshness of the ginger.
  • Pick the Perfect Spot: Store your container in a cool, dry place. Your kitchen cupboard or pantry is ideal. Avoid places with direct sunlight or near the stove, as heat can cause the ginger to lose its potency.
  • Consider Refrigeration for Longevity: If you don’t plan to use the ground ginger within a week or two, consider storing it in the refrigerator. This can help preserve its flavor for a longer period. Just make sure it’s in a tightly sealed container to prevent it from absorbing other odors.
  • Freeze for Long-Term Use: For even longer storage, you can freeze ground ginger. Use an ice cube tray to portion it out or lay it flat in a freezer bag so you can break off just what you need. Frozen ginger can last for several months.

Note:Over time, ground ginger can lose its flavor. Give it a quick sniff before use. If it smells faint or stale, it might be time to grind a fresh batch.


Summary


Grinding ginger is a simple process that can improve the flavors of your dishes and beverages. With the right tools and a little practice, you can easily incorporate this versatile spice into your recipes.

Speaking of the right tools, if you're looking to improve your ginger grinding game, check out Pepe Nero's Mortar and Pestle. Durable, easy to use, and stylishly elegant, it's a must-have for both beginner and experienced cooks. Shop with us today.


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