Ginger Is a Superfood You Ought to At all times Have in Your Kitchen—This is The way to Retailer and Cook dinner With It

contemporary ginger sliced

Johnny Fogg


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Spicy, earthy, and pungent, with a lingering sensation of warmth, ginger has labored its flavorful magic for hundreds of years. Contemporary or floor, alone, or blended with spices, this superfood transforms numerous dishes from the atypical to the elegant.

Whereas some cooks pigeonhole ginger as a wintry spice greatest used for baked items like gingerbread, they’re lacking out on a world of potentialities. “Ginger is extremely versatile. It spans the sweet-savory divide,” says Ethan Frisch, co-founder of Burlap & Barrel, a public profit company that sources single-origin spices instantly from farmer cooperatives and smallholder farms. This is what you want to learn about shopping for, storing, and getting probably the most out of this unimaginable cultivar.

Related: Our Favorite Recipes That Use Fresh Ginger

What Is Ginger?

Regarded as native to Southeast Asia, ginger is a rhizome, a plant stem that grows horizontally, spreading its roots underground; it has shiny leaves, tall shoots, and ginger flower clusters seen. There are about 1,300 species of flowering ginger plants (its botanical identify is Zingiberaceae) and a number of other kinds of edible ginger, together with Zingiber officinale, the ginger generally discovered within the grocery store.

The way to Purchase Contemporary Ginger

Lengthy and knobby, with papery brown pores and skin and a rootlike look, contemporary ginger will be damaged off and bought in chunks. Search for plump items with a agency texture. Keep away from any which are shrunken or fibrous.

The way to Put together Ginger

In case you’ve puzzled whether or not utilizing a peeler is the easiest way to take away the pores and skin on a bit of contemporary ginger, or if the trick of utilizing a spoon is best, we’ve got information. You possibly can skip that pesky step altogether. “You by no means need to peel the pores and skin of ginger—however ensure that it is natural. It is the half that touches the soil,” says Frisch. He provides that the pores and skin additionally provides spiciness to floor ginger.

Julienne and Mince

To julienne contemporary ginger, thinly slice in opposition to the grain, unfold in a row like a deck of playing cards, and slice lengthwise to create lengthy strands. To mince, flip the julienned strips 45 levels and chop.

woman chopping ginger

girl chopping ginger

Lucy Lambriex / Getty Photos

Contemporary vs. Floor Ginger

Several types of ginger are supposed for various makes use of. “There are gingers which are grown to be consumed contemporary, after which there are these which are greatest in powdered kind,” says Sana Javeri Kadri, the CEO and founding father of single-origin spice firm Diaspora Co. Ginger greatest eaten contemporary has a excessive water content material, she says, whereas ginger grown to be powdered has extra depth.

Diaspora Co sells floor Makhir, a small, fibrous ginger selection traditionally used for its medicinal properties, primarily in Meghalaya, in northeastern India. Kadri was blown away when she first caught a whiff. “Not just because it was spicy and a really gingery ginger, however as a result of it had these pretty floral and lemongrass-y notes, and a variety of depth of taste,” she says.

Burlap & Barrel’s floor Buffalo Ginger, a spicy heirloom selection from northern Vietnam, has a fruity, floral aroma and intense warmth. “It has a knobby look, which reminds individuals of buffalo. Ginger appears to draw animal metaphors,” Frisch jokes, pointing to a different selection, elephant ginger, from Indonesia.

The way to Retailer Ginger


Storing contemporary ginger comes down to non-public desire. Frisch places ginger knobs in his fridge’s produce crisper. “I am not treasured about it. If it seems to be shriveled, it is time to purchase extra,” he says. Kadri additionally retains it within the fridge and slices it as wanted. You may also make a paste within the meals processor, then freeze single-use parts in an ice dice tray, she says.


As for floor dried ginger? You possibly can depart it out for straightforward entry or retailer it in a darkish, cool spice cupboard. How potent it’s and the way lengthy it lasts will depend on how contemporary the spice was whenever you purchased it. It might be a 12 months—or three. Grocery store spices typically sit in warehouses and delivery containers for lengthy intervals, in suboptimal circumstances, Frisch explains.

Cooking With Ginger

Ginger imparts outstanding taste to gingerbread, brandy snaps, and ginger pudding. It may be made into tea, cooked all the way down to a jam, preserved in sugar syrup, or sugar-coated and dried into snackable crystallized ginger. Ginger is integral to the blends of chai masala, and haldi doodh, used for golden milk. It provides a kick to stews, curries, stir-fries, cocktails, and salad dressings—and pickled ginger clears the palate between bites of sushi.

Spicy Flavors

As for its greatest taste purposes? “It is advanced and spicy, alongside the strains of chile peppers or peppercorns. It is in the identical household as turmeric and cardamom, so you’ll be able to swap it out and broaden its flavors,” says Frisch. He notes that ginger is used all through India, China, Southeast Asia, and West Africa, too. In Zanzibar, it is sprinkled on cups of native espresso.

Savory Flavors

Kadri embraces ginger’s savory facet. “As a result of ginger is so heat, it’s totally tempting to pair it with all the opposite warming spices, like cardamom, nutmeg, and cinnamon—spices which are continuously seen in a candy context,” she says. “However for me, possibly as a result of I am Gujarati, ‘ggp’—or garlic ginger paste—is the bottom of most of my cooking.”

Swapping Contemporary for Floor Ginger

Can contemporary ginger be swapped for floor ginger, and visa versa? It will depend on the recipe. “Ginger, when powdered, turns into rather a lot spicier, and stronger than contemporary ginger,” says Kadri.

Well being Advantages and Historical past

In historical India and China, ginger was prized for its medicinal worth, remedying digestion issues, joint ache, and colds. At this time, it is recognized that gingerol, ginger’s pure compound, aids digestion and relieves nausea and fuel. It additionally has antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties, benefiting circumstances like rheumatoid arthritis.

A treasured commodity via the ages, ginger was exported from India to the Roman Empire and unfold to Europe via Eurasian commerce routes often known as the Silk Road. By the Center Ages, Europeans had baked their tackle gingerbread.

Spicy gingerbread cookies in fanciful shapes referred to as fairings had been standard at Medieval fairs, however the holiday tradition of gingerbread males took root when Queen Elizabeth I had ginger biscuits made to resemble visiting massive wigs. The purpose? Candy or savory, ginger guidelines—and at all times has.

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