How to Peel and Cut Fresh Ginger

5 from 2 votes

Learn how to peel and cut fresh ginger. From minced, sliced, grated, and coin, you'll be cutting ginger like a pro and peeling it in seconds flat!

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Learn how to peel and cut ginger, and you will be rewarded with the distinctive warm, spicy zing fresh ginger brings to the table. Its flavor is 100 percent vital for certain dishes, especially those with Asian roots. Think Butter Chicken, Carrot-GInger Soup, and Shrimp Fried Rice. This tutorial shows how to cut fresh ginger into coins, matchsticks, and a tiny mince, plus how to grate it.

Close up showing how to use a spoon to peel fresh ginger.

WHY learn How to peel and Cut ginger properly

  • There is no substitute: Dry powdered ginger from the spice section has a markedly different taste than fresh ginger. So if a recipe calls for fresh ginger, the finished dish will not taste the same without it.
  • Make your own ginger tea or tea blends: Thinly sliced ginger steeped alone in hot water or added to other teas – like Chamomile- is simple and delicious.
  • Opens up a world of yumminess: Because ginger is one of the elemental spices that build flavor in many cuisines, knowing how to work with it expands your recipe repertoire. Plus, sliced and candied, ginger is an awesome treat and garnish for baked goods.
  • Enjoy more of its possible palliative effects: For centuries, ginger has been used to ease stomach aches and nausea. Scientists continue to study how it may help everything from indigestion and muscle pain to controlling blood sugar.

HOW TO peel ginger

  1. After washing and drying the ginger, hold one side firmly and use the edge of a spoon to scrap the papery brown skin away from the yellow core.
  2. Continue scraping until all the skin is gone.
2 image collage showing how to peel the skin from fresh ginger with a spoon.

HOW TO cut UP ginger

Ginger has fibers that run up and down the root the long way. When cutting up ginger, the first series of cuts should be against the grain of these lengthwise fibers. So, place the ginger on a cutting board and, with a sharp knife, make horizontal coin-shaped cuts. When further cuts are required, change the angle and slice in the other direction.

Slicing Ginger

  1. Put the ginger on a cutting board and hold it by one end. Starting on the other end, cut coins of the desired thickness.
  2. Continue on until you reach the end.
2 image collage of a piece of ginger being sliced into rounds.

Matchsticks or Diced

  1. The first step is to cut thin coin shapes horizontally against the grain.
  2. Next, stack a few coins on top of one another and cut them into thin strips. These are your matchsticks. For diced ginger, turn the stack and cut again into tiny cubes or fine dice.
2 image collage of how to mince ginger.

Grated ginger

  1. Hold the whole piece of ginger in one hand and a Microplane in the other hand. Rest the end of the Microplane on a cutting board or plate and start to grate.
  2. Grate until you have amassed the desired amount. Scrape out the back of the Microplane to get all the gingery goodness.
2 image collage using a microplane to make paste from ginger.

TIPS FOR peeling And cutting ginger

  1. Don’t worry if you do not have a Microplane: Instead, use the smallest holes on a box grater or mince into the smallest, tiny pieces.
  2. Use a vegetable peeler if you want: If the spoon-scraping method doesn’t work for you, feel free to use a paring knife or vegetable peeler. These work well on older, more wrinkly ginger.
  3. Remember to sharpen your blade: As always, a sharp knife does half the work.
  4. Sometimes, forget the peeling: If you are putting ginger into the juicer or steeping for tea, there is no need to peel. Some cooks even skip peeling for grating and tiny mince, because in those cuts, the skin is so pulverized, that its texture doesn’t come into play in finished dishes.

recipes to make with ginger

Close up of a piece of fresh ginger.

HOW TO STORE cut ginger

Store chopped or minced ginger in a tightly sealed container, like a small jar.

HOW LONG WILL ginger LAST IN THE FRIDGE?

Cut ginger will last for one week in the refrigerator. If you have only used part of a root, put the rest in a refrigerator bag or wrap it in foil or tightly seal in a bag and store it in the refrigerator.

CAN I FREEZE ginger?

Yes, chopped ginger can be frozen. For larger pieces, freeze flat on a sheet pan, and once frozen, store tightly wrapped in a freezer-safe bag or tightly lidded container. To freeze minced or grated ginger, place in ice-cube trays until frozen, and then store the cubes in freezer-safe bags or tightly lidded containers. Use within 3 months.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How do I pick out ginger at the store?

When you look at ginger in the store, its outer brown skin should be as smooth as possible. Wrinkles indicate it has been sitting on the shelf for a while.

Can I use a food processor to grate or finely mince ginger?

Yes, you can grate ginger in a food processor. A small food processor would do a fantastic job, but it is probably only worth hauling out and cleaning if you are grating a large quantity of ginger – or if you are mincing to freeze. Cut the ginger into smaller chunks – 1″-2″ and then pulse until minced.

What is the difference between young or fresh ginger and regular ginger?

Young ginger is picked from the field when it is very fresh and new. You might see it in Asian markets or at farm stands in the spring. It has a small root, often with long stems attached. It is slightly milder than regular ginger and does not need to be peeled as the skin is so thin.

Overhead shot of different cuts of ginger.

Learning how to peel and mince ginger is step one toward so many really fun recipes.

MORE cutting tutorials:

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How to Cut and Peel Ginger

Learn how to peel and cut fresh ginger. From minced, sliced, grated, and coin, you'll be cutting ginger like a pro and peeling it in seconds flat!
5 from 2 votes
Servings 1 thumb ginger
Course Ingredient, Tutorial
Calories 1
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 0 mins
Total Time 10 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 1 thumb fresh ginger

Instructions

  • Hold the ginger on one end, and with the edge of a small metal spoon, begin scraping the peel with light to moderate force. Continue this until all of the skin has been removed.
  • The fibers of a ginger run lengthwise towards the root, so it’s important to cut against the grains of fibers. Lay the peeled ginger down on a cutting board, and with a sharp knife cut coins to the desired thickness.
  • For minced ginger, make thinner coin slices, place two or three coins on top of each other and cut them into matchsticks. Then line up the matchsticks and make cross cuts.
  • If your recipe calls for ginger paste, use a microplane to run the ginger against the plane and make a paste.

Notes

Tip: Don’t try and use a knife to peel your fresh ginger. You’ll waste more than you’ll gain. A spoon is really the way to go!

Nutrition

Calories: 1kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Sodium: 1mg, Potassium: 4mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 1mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

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Slicing ginger with a sharp knife on a cutting board

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