How to Prep and Store Fresh Ginger: 3 Methods

Kitchen knife, ginger roots and old grater lying on wooden surface
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Overview
  • Working Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 1 cup
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $5

Ginger is a fragrant root that is used for both its amazing flavor and its soothing properties. From helping settle an upset stomach in a homemade herbal tea to spicing up your next stir fry recipe, learn how to store and freeze ginger for long-term use.

By having ginger on hand at home, you avoid having to buy single-use, disposable containers of dried ginger. This saves you money and reduces plastic waste at home. Fresh ginger also has much more flavor than containers of dried ginger from the grocery store. 

How Long Will Fresh Ginger Keep?

  • In the refrigerator: up to three weeks
  • In the freezer: up to six months
  • Preserved in spirits: up to six months

What You'll Need

  • Sharp knife or vegetable peeler
  • Cutting board
  • Microplane grater or food processor
  • Cookie sheet
  • Silicone mat or parchment paper
  • Airtight container
  • 4 ounces fresh ginger

Instructions

Freezing is a very simple way to prepare ginger and keep it fresh for long periods of time. It also requires very few supplies. 

The only ingredient you will actually need is a nice, large piece of fresh ginger. A 4-ounce piece of fresh ginger will provide approximately one cup of minced ginger after peeling.

  1. Choose Fresh Ginger

    Ginger that is still firm has the most flavor. Check for moist, crisp skin with no soft spots or moldy areas, and a strong aroma. The thinner the skin, the better the flavor will be.

    Look for ginger that has not begun to sprout.

  2. Remove the Skin

    The skin of ginger is edible, but if you want to remove it you have a few options. You can simply use a vegetable peeler and take off as little or as much skin as you need. Using a spoon and simply scraping the top layer off is also an easy way to remove the skin and minimize waste.

    To peel ginger with a knife, place the ginger root on a cutting board. Make sure that the knife blade is sharp and clean. Remove any undesirable-looking ends. Then, peel carefully, removing only the skin itself rather than too much of the fibrous root underneath.

  3. Cut or Mince

    While you can freeze whole pieces of ginger root, it is often easier to cut or mince ginger before freezing. Once the ginger is peeled, use a sharp chef's knife to cut the knob into manageable pieces. If you're working with a large amount, try cutting it in half or quarters first.

    Grab your microplane grater and use the large holes to grate the ginger. Some graters offer multiple size holes for different-sized pieces of ginger. Choose the option that you prefer for your recipes. You can also use a food processor if you are mincing large amounts.

  4. Prepare for Freezing

    Once you have a large pile of minced ginger, it's time to freeze it. Place a silicone mat on a cookie sheet and scoop the ginger onto it. Using a teaspoon or tablespoon will give you pre-measured amounts of minced ginger when you go to use it in recipes.

    Freeze the ginger until solid and transfer it to an airtight container.

  5. Use Frozen Minced Ginger in Recipes

    When cooking, just remove however many frozen ginger cubes you want for your recipe. There is no need to thaw it before tossing it into the pan.

    Properly stored, ginger will maintain optimum freshness for about six months in the freezer.

Variations

If you prefer to use sliced ginger in your recipes rather than minced, just peel and slice your fresh ginger. Place the slices directly on the silicone mat on the cookie sheet and freeze for several hours. Slide the slices into an airtight container and store them in the freezer.

Another way to freeze ginger is to just freeze the root whole and unpeeled. To use it, simply remove it from the freezer and grate without peeling or thawing. Grating frozen ginger is very easy, actually, but having your ingredients pre-measured and ready when you need them is a huge time saver.

How to Store Ginger in the Refrigerator

To keep ginger fresh longer in the refrigerator, leave the skin on and store it in the crisper bin. Another option is to peel it and store it in a sealed, airtight container, however, make sure to keep an eye on it. Throw it away if you notice any mold growth.

Ginger can easily last up to three weeks in the refrigerator, however, exposure to air and moisture will reduce how long it will stay fresh.

How to Store Ginger in Spirits

Another way to store ginger is to preserve it in spirits. The most commonly used types of spirits are alcohol or sherry. Don’t use dark spirits like rum because they will make it too difficult to see if the liquid is getting cloudy, which may indicate bacterial or mold growth.

To store ginger in spirits, peel and slice your fresh ginger root, then cut it into thin slices. Pour your spirits into a mason jar and add the sliced ginger. Cover tightly with the lid and store in a cool, dark place for up to six months.

When you use the ginger for cooking, the heat will burn off the taste of the alcohol. Don’t throw out the leftover spirits; you can use your ginger-flavored alcohol in your favorite cocktail. 

View Article Sources
  1. Bode, Ann M. and Dong, Zigang. "The Amazing and Mighty Ginger." Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects, 2nd Edition, 2011.