Fresh ginger root has a strong and slightly spicy taste. It brings a big punch of flavor to both sweet and savory dishes from curry to stir-fry and baked desserts.
Using fresh ginger is generally preferred over using the dried, powdered version, however, fresh ginger does not last that long and will easily dry out and lose some of its unique flavors.
Luckily, ginger can be frozen to prolong its shelf life making for easy and flavor-filled cooking on demand. Here is what you need to know when freezing fresh ginger.
Types of Ginger
Although there are a number of different varieties of ginger, Chinese ginger (also known as common ginger) is the most readily available and well-known type.
The root grows in chunky irregular shapes with light brown skin and fibrous, yet somewhat juicy hard yellow flesh.
Ginger can be used in many different ways. Besides spicing up a dish, it is also a popular medicinal ingredient and used to make hot tea or cold beverages. Ginger can be juiced, dried, pickled, candied, ground into a powder form, or used fresh.
Can I Freeze Ginger?
Yes, fresh ginger can be frozen to prolong its shelf life and flavor. Not only does having ginger prepared and frozen keep its flavor vibrant, but it makes spicing up any dish an effortless task.
Always choose fresh, plump, and fragrant pieces of ginger for freezing. Dried and wrinkled pieces which are not fresh are not ideal for freezing.
As with most frozen foods, it is important to protect ginger from contact with air and moisture as this will cause freezer burn and reduce the quality.
Follow the steps below to best preserve the quality and flavor of ginger in the freezer.
How To Freeze Ginger
Step 1: Wash and Peel
Wash the ginger root in cold water and peel the brown skin with a knife or veggie peeler. Cut off and discard any dry, shriveled or spoiled pieces.
Step 2: Grate
Grate or mince the peeled ginger.
Step 3: Flash Freeze
Since ginger has a strong taste, you don’t need a very big serving to add loads of flavor to a meal. You can freeze small portions of grated ginger in 2 different ways.
Method 1: Baking Tray
Line a baking tray with wax paper to prevent sticking. Scoop teaspoonfuls of the grated ginger onto the lined baking tray so that they do not touch each other. Place the baking tray in the freezer for an hour or until the rounds of ginger have frozen solid.
Method 2: Ice Cube Trays
Scoop the grated ginger into ice cube trays. For smaller portions, you can half-fill each compartment. Place the ice cube tray into the freezer for an hour or until the cubes of ginger have frozen solid.
Step 4: Package
Remove the ginger rounds or cubes from the freezer and pack them into a resealable freezer bag. Since they are frozen, they should not stick together and can be taken out as a single portion whenever needed. Press any remaining air out of the bag and seal tightly.
Step 5: Label and Freeze
Label the freezer bag with the date and place it back into the freezer.
How To Thaw Frozen Ginger
If you are cooking with the ginger, there is no need to thaw it. Remove the quantity you need from the freezer and add it straight to the pan for cooking.
If you are using the ginger in a baked dish or dressing, remove it from the freezer and let it thaw for a few minutes at room temperature before mixing it in with the other ingredients.
Whether you’re making a warm winter pudding, cool summer cocktails, cooking up a curry, or brewing herbal tea, having grated ginger ready to use at any given time will save you time and prevent food waste.
Not only is it a delicious flavor addition but ginger also has many health benefits. Make sure to package it well, protecting the ginger from contact with moisture and air and you’ll have spicy convenience at your fingertips for 6 months to come.
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