How to Mince Ginger

ginger root on cutting board with paring knife

How To Mince Ginger

  1. Hold the ginger root firmly.
  2. Use a sharp knife to slice it across into coin-shaped pieces. 
  3. Slice the coins again into matchsticks
  4. Now slice crosswise to get tiny ginger cubes. 

    ginger root powder with slices of ginger

    Content Gallery

    1. An Introduction To Ginger
    2. How To Peel Ginger
    3. Mincing Vs. Grating Ginger
    4. How To Mince Ginger (Step By Step)
    5. Best Knives To Mince Ginger With
    6. In Which Recipe Can I Use Minced Ginger
    7. How To Store Ginger
    8. Frequently Asked Questions About Ginger

      Throughout your cooking life, you will encounter many recipes including ginger. Ginger is intense, special, exotic and delicious (not to mention medicinal!).

      But fresh ginger root is intense, and the taste may be overwhelming for some. That’s less than ideal. A spice like ginger is meant to complement a dish, and the way to accomplish this effect is by distributing the flavor into very small, almost imperceptible, pieces.

      So most of those recipes will require you to mince or grate ginger root. Be prepared to show off your knife skills! Here’s how to mince ginger and properly prepare it for cooking.

      1. An Introduction To Ginger

      slicing ginger root with a chef's knife

      What is Ginger?

      Ginger is a spice, coming from a plant with the same name. The ginger plant originally grew in Southeast Asia but today it is cultivated all around the world. Ginger, as a spice, is widely used in cooking because of its very aromatic nature. 

      The taste is still enigmatic to me: somewhere between spicy and sweet.

      You can find ginger in several forms: fresh ginger root, ground ginger (powdered), dried ginger, pickled, preserved ginger, ginger paste or even crystallized ginger (aka candied ginger).

      Health Benefits Of Ginger

      A lot has been said about the health benefits of raw ginger, some of them backed by science; others are yet to be confirmed. 

      • Ginger can help relieve stomach pain and improve digestion 
      • It is anti-inflammatory 
      • It has antioxidant properties
      • It lowers blood sugar 
      • It lowers cholesterol levels
      • It can help in the fight against cancer 
      • Ginger could reduce the risk for infections
      • Effective against menstrual cramps
      • It’s very helpful for nausea

      2. How To Peel Ginger

      ginger root on wood table

      Actually, the real question should be: should you peel ginger?

      Many recipes require peeling ginger root before you mince it or grate it. What they don’t explain is that it is almost purely for aesthetic reasons.

      The truth is ginger has really thin skin that is 100% edible, and if the ginger is going to be chopped into tiny cubes and mixed with a lot of things, peeling is not at all necessary. It’s up to you.

      However, in this guide we are going to tell you how to peel ginger root, just to make sure we’re giving you all the tools you need to cut ginger safely. But here’s a tip: peel ONLY the amount of ginger you think you will use, as stored ginger lasts longer with the skin on. 

      • With a spoon: The best and safest way to peel the ginger skin is using the side of a spoon, scraping the skin away from the flesh. Because ginger skin is thin, you shouldn’t have a problem doing this. 
      • With a knife: In rare cases where the skin is thicker, or for ginger that has been stored for some time and has hardened; you can use a paring knife. This method is faster, but you should be careful. Also, you risk removing some of the actual flesh. Be wary of a heavy knife. 
      • Vegetable peeler: Not recommended for ginger.

      3. Mincing vs. Grating Ginger

      paring knife beside ginger root

      Grating is actually the most traditional way to prepare ginger for a recipe. To grate and to mince produce very similar results, but not identical.

      Grating usually produces a more pulpy ingredient, while minced ginger consists of tiny, but distinctive little cubes. Grated fresh ginger is more intense in flavor. 

      To grate ginger you can either use a ginger grater or a cheese grater. A Microplane grater can also be used (some say a Microplane is the best way to grate ginger).

      4. How To Mince Ginger (Step By Step)

      sliced ginger root on tree trunk

      1. Slice. Ginger’s shape is irregular, as you noticed by now. Simply hold the ginger firmly against a cutting board and slice it across into pieces that look like coins. Follow the fibers (lines) to know in which direction to cut ginger.
      2. Slice again. Arrange some of these coins together (I suggest only two or three at a time, otherwise they could move as you slice), and then thinly slice them again until you get thin pieces that look like matchsticks, or even thinner than that reference, if possible.
      3. ...And again. Stack those ginger matchsticks. Now you’re going to slice again, but this time crosswise, so the result is really tiny ginger cubes.
      4. One last time? If you think you can give them one last chop to ensure that you’re getting the smallest size possible, then go ahead and show off your knife skills!

          5. Best Knives To Mince Ginger With

          Paring Knife 4" Phantom Series

          Paring Knife 4" | Phantom Series

          This paring knife’s length is ideal to core, chop, peel and slice fruits and vegetables quickly and effortlessly. Mincing the ginger with technique and expertise is not only possible, but easy, if you rely on this precision forged blade.

          PROS

          • The blade is narrower than average, ensuring greater agility and maneuverability.
          • High resistance to staining and oxidation.
          • The traditional D-shaped handle fits perfectly in the palm of your hand and allows for greater dexterity when it comes to peeling and cutting ginger.
          • Excellent value for the money.

          CONS

          • Those looking for the sturdiness of a medium weight knife may not be convinced by this lightweight design.
          • All knives in the Phantom Series have a D-shaped handle, making this series more suitable for right-handed cooks.

          Paring Knife 4" Omega Series

          Paring Knife 4" | Omega Series

          This paring knife is as versatile as it is beautiful. But don’t let the elaborate design fool you: this is an essential, multi-purpose tool in your kitchen, that will allow you to chop fine herbs or mince the thickest ginger like a chef.

          PROS

          • Ultra-premium American steel (vacuum treatment to ensure maximum performance)
          • The blade is carved with a 'LiquidMetal' pattern that prevents food from sticking.
          • Natural and comfortable grip, important when peeling and cutting ginger.

          CONS

          • The handle is a bit on the heavy side. It depends on how you like your grip.
          • Double-bevel knives are great for the household; but if you work in a busy kitchen you might prefer single-bevel.

          Chef's Knife 10" Delta Wolf Series 

          Chef's Knife 10" | Delta Wolf Series

          This chef's knife is for elites. The blade is extra-thin, totally black and provides elegance and durability. More than a knife to cut ginger, this is a powerful weapon with maximum performance, made for battle! 

          PROS

          • Black is the new black. Now, impressing all your friends counts as a legit pro, right? Actually, the blade is black because it is coated with titanium-nitride, which hardens the blade and adds extra protection.
          • 1.6mm blade thickness (in English: super thin!)
          • The tactical handle provides stability and safety.
          • As a premium chef knife; this will serve you in any step of the recipe you’re mincing ginger for.

          CONS

          • You may not be used to a 10-inch knife (I’m not). However, if you are thinking of giving the 10-inch a try, you couldn’t start with a better model.
          • The price may surpass some budgets. 
          • Maybe black doesn’t suit your style? This bald look is not for everyone.

          Chef's Knife 7" Barong | Gladiator Series 

          Chef's Knife 7" | Barong | Gladiator Series

          Named after the classic Filipino sword; the blade of this long, sharp knife has a quite distinctive shape that makes it unique, but is just as efficient as any other chef's knife for any type of recipe (it only looks way more original, that’s all).

          PROS

          • Slice ginger into coins, matchsticks and tiny cubes, with the delicacy and assertiveness of a chef.
          • The width of the blade also turns the knife into a “transferring tool” to move your freshly chopped ginger from the cutting board into a plate.
          • Easy to clean, easy to sharpen and requires little maintenance.
          • Go from dicing veggies to slicing fillets without having to reach for another knife.

          CONS

          • This is not your classic-looking chef’s knife, in case that’s what you were looking for.
          • The shape of the blade is quite different and can be intimidating for some cooks, used to work with a traditional blade. 

          Chef's Knife 8" Glacial White Handle | Shogun Series X

          Chef's Knife 8" | Glacial White Handle | Shogun Series X

          Mincing ginger was never this stylish. This knife is a gem that will stand out and steal the show with its unparalleled beauty and versatility. As you’ll probably want to use it for everything; it comes with rust and corrosion resistant coating to stay cleaner and highly functional for longer.

          PROS

          • Ideal for slicing, dicing, chopping or mincing all types of vegetables, meats, poultry and fish; exceptionally well.
          • The beautiful hammering on the blade gives it that tsuchime, elegant and impressive finish.
          • The beautiful handle in glacier white is also ergonomic.
          • Its blade is forged from a single piece of high carbon stainless steel.
          • Cryogenic tempering with liquid nitrogen for strength and flexibility.

          CONS

          • The pattern on the blade will require extra cleaning precautions. 
          • Its price may be a drawback for those on a tight budget.

          6. In Which Recipe Can I Use Minced Ginger?

          omega series paring knife on cutting board with ginger root
          • Most curries include finely minced ginger (we recommend preparing a garlic ginger paste for this one)
          • It’s the perfect touch to a carrot soup
          • Add an exotic taste to a salad dressing
          • Sauces, glazes, and marinades
          • Noodle bowls 
          • Stir-fry
          • Spice up juices like cranberry or lime juice
          • Ginger cake and ginger cookies
          • Gingerbread (my favorite!)

          … and so much more!

          7. How To Store Ginger

          cutting ginger root on teak cutting board

            When possible, store ginger in large chunks with the skin on. It will last longer. After you peel the ginger, pack the chunks in a paper bag or towels to ensure there’s no contact with air or moisture. Put it in the refrigerator or freezer.

            If we’re talking about peeled ginger, you can no longer leave it to room temperature. Refrigerate or freeze the minced fresh ginger in an airtight container. Frozen ginger can last a couple of months in the fridge or up to three weeks in the refrigerator.

            8. Frequently Asked Questions About Ginger

            paring knife laying on teak board with sliced ginger root
              Can you use a garlic press to mince ginger?

              Yes, you can crush ginger the same way you would do it with a garlic clove;  but some garlic presses work better than others for mincing ginger.

              How much ginger should I eat?

              Ginger has many healthy properties but you should still eat it in moderation. 1 or 2 grams per day is recommended (up to 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger, or 3/4 teaspoon powdered ginger). 

              How to pick the best ginger at the store?

              The skin should be thin and shiny; not fibrous. You should feel it firm and heavy. Young ginger may have a pink stroke. If it shows any soft spots or wrinkles, it’s probably not fresh ginger. Buy only as much as you need at a time.

              How to clean ginger?

              Simply rub it under a tap to remove all dust. Dry it with a kitchen towel.

              Can you put ginger in a food processor?

              For large amounts of ginger, some people use a food processor (if you use the food processor with too little ginger, it will stick to the blade).

              What is the recipe for ginger tea?

              Just add 1 teaspoon ginger powder or grated ginger root to a cup of hot water. Add lemon and honey to taste. Let it sit for three minutes before drinking. 

              Written by Eva Contreras
              Food & travel writer based in Buenos Aires. Superpowers include relentless curiosity and high tolerance to spicy foods.