Quick Overview: How To Peel Ginger In 2 Easy Ways
- Wash the ginger
- If the ginger is too irregular, cut it first into uniform pieces.
- Use a spoon to scrape the skin.
- Continue to remove the skin on each side.
I find Ginger fascinating. Fun fact, it is one of the most popular spices in the world for its medicinal properties and its particular spicy flavor that enhances every dish it touches. But to enjoy all ginger has to offer, you first have to peel and cut the thing.
Some people feel peeling ginger is “too much work” and end up buying tea bags or ground ginger powder. But you shouldn’t give up the full range of benefits from fresh, raw ginger. Keep reading to discover that it’s actually not as complicated as you think!
1. Ginger: A Little Bit Of Context
Ginger is an aromatic, herbaceous plant used as a spice, from the same family as cardamom and turmeric. The flavor is somewhat spicy and slightly sweet, with a strong aroma and citrus notes.
Ginger’s horizontal stems, called rhizomes, are the edible part, where all the aroma and flavor concentrate. The pulp in ginger is pale yellow and the skin is light brown. The exterior is firm with many nodes.
The hard texture and gnarled appearance are probably the reason why already in Sanskrit text, ginger was called srngaveram, meaning “horn root”.
Ginger is best grown in tropical or subtropical climates, with high rainfall, rich volcanic soils and good drainage. The main ginger producing countries are India, Nigeria, China and Indonesia.
Ginger culinary uses
Ginger has an intense, recognizable flavor and a special aroma. It can complement many recipes, both savory and sweet. It also allows for experimentation and innovation in the kitchen, being perfect for the more creative chef.
It is ideal for adding a spicy (sparkly, even) touch to marinades, dressings, seasonings, salads, curries, soups, teas and jams. In baking, it is used to make sweet ginger recipes like gingerbread and ginger cookies, as well as to flavor fruit desserts.
It can be used as fresh ginger, ground into a dry powder, candied, crystallized, sliced, etc.
And when cooked, its spicy flavor mellows, but its aroma never fades.
Amazingly, the most remarkable thing about ginger is not its unique flavor, but the great health benefits that make it almost a superfood.
2. The Benefits Of Ginger
Ginger is not only a king among culinary spices, it is also considered one of the most wonderful medicinal herbs in the World. Check out its excellent effects on the body:
- It promotes digestive function and gastrointestinal motility.
- It is a potent antioxidant.
- It is a natural fix for nausea and vomiting due to motion sickness, pregnancy or as a result of chemotherapy.
- It has strong anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve swelling, as well as joint and muscle pain.
- It helps with migraines.
- Some studies suggest it may prevent certain types of cancer.
- Ginger improves the circulatory system, reducing blood pressure and cholesterol. It also works as an anticoagulant and reduces the risk of heart attacks or strokes.
- This spice is neuroprotective. It improves memory function, concentration and reaction time.
- Ginger relieves mild intestinal discomfort such as bloating and gasses in adults.
- Ginger has been shown to regulate insulin levels.
- In Eastern medicine, ginger has been used for centuries as a libido stimulant.
- It boosts immunity thanks to its antimicrobial and antifungal properties.
- Ginger has antiseptic properties that improve skin health.
- Some users report a feeling of satiety that could prevent overeating.
- It releases dopamine and serotonin, helping with depression and anxiety.
- Ginger aids in the treatment of viral infections such as colds and flu.
Read about the 11 proven health benefits of ginger, here.
3. How To Peel Ginger In 2 Easy Ways
Now that you know how fantastic and healthy ginger is, you may feel more motivated to learn some kitchen tips to peel it and use it in your meal prep. Don't be intimidated by the unpredictable shape, learning to peel ginger can be easier than you think!
Please note, the skin of ginger is edible. However, most people don’t like the taste or even prefer to peel it for aesthetic reasons.
How To Peel Ginger With A Spoon
What you need:
- A cutting board
- A dessert spoon - yes, you read that right: a spoon can easily peel the skin and preserve as much of the rhizome as possible. Make sure the spoon you use has a square edge, as it works best.
- OPTIONAL: a chef’s knife to cut ginger into manageable pieces before peeling it. Depending on the size and how irregularly shaped the ginger rhizome is, you may find this convenient.
- OPTIONAL: a paring knife. In some cases, you’ll need a knife instead of a spoon. More on that later.
- Always wash the ginger root! Place it under cold running water before peeling or chopping. Especially if it is not organic, fresh ginger may contain pesticides and fungicides. Also, soaking for a little bit will soften the skin of the ginger making it a lot easier to peel.
- (Optional). If you consider it necessary, you can chop the rhizome into smaller pieces and remove the lumps to make the process easier.
- Hold the spoon with your dominant hand, with the concave side down. With the other hand, hold the ginger (or ginger piece) firmly against the cutting board.
- Make a scraping motion with the edge of the spoon tip to start removing the skin.
- Work your way around the ginger, scrapping with the tip of the spoon into the crevices.
Tip: The spoon method works best when ginger is tender and young, as the skin is thinner. When the ginger is ripe, the skin will be papery and somewhat sticky, in which case it is better to peel it using a paring knife.
How To Peel Ginger With A Paring Knife
This method is quick and effective. On the downside, some of the pulp may be lost in the process.
- Cut a piece of ginger root and try to create a clean shape.
- Place one piece in the palm of your hand.
- Peel from the outside toward your body as you twist the piece of ginger, removing a long strip of skin.
- Another way to do it is by placing the rhizome vertically on the cutting board and peeling the skin from top to bottom, turning the ginger each time to peel all sides.
Tip: Peeling the ginger this way is recommended if you’re going to cut or slice the ginger next.
4. Different Ways To Cut Ginger
Depending on the recipe, there are several ways to cut and prepare fresh ginger.
Using a chef's knife, cut a small piece and slice it into coins, making sure to cut against the direction of the fibers. You can use these ginger slices to make an infusion or candied ginger… or continue to one of the following cuts.
To cut ginger julienne you need to stack two or three slices on the cutting board and then cut them lengthwise into thin strips. Use as it is in many recipes… or continue to make minced ginger.
To mince ginger, line up the strips and then cut them crosswise into small pieces. Minced ginger can later be used in marinades, dressings, sauces, jams or chutneys.
Take a piece of washed and peeled fresh ginger, large enough to hold comfortably in your hand, and grate it on a fine grater. Press gently back and forth against the plane of the grater. Tip: if you freeze the ginger before grating, it will be easier.
5. Dalstrong Tools You Need To Deal With Ginger
When it comes to peeling and slicing ginger, this is your guy. This knife is designed to perform effortlessly at its best. The unique Nova Prime blade pattern reduces drag and increases efficiency in peeling, coring and slicing all kinds of fruits and vegetables.
- Forged from American high-carbon steel.
- Additional vacuum heat seal treatment for durability.
- Hand sharpened blade at 8-12° per side.
- The Dragon Skin G10-carbon fiber handle is nearly impervious to heat, cold and moisture.
- Aesthetic cutting-edge design, ideal for modern kitchens.
- Some may feel the price is a lot to invest in a paring knife and rather go straight to a Chef's knife.
- The more conservative ones prefer a paring knife with a more conventional handle like the Paring Knife 3.5" from the Gladiator Series.
The small blade of this paring knife is precise enough to scrape the ginger skin and the sharp tip will help reach every tiny crack on the surface. And of course, as a good paring knife, it will serve you well for peeling potatoes, carving a pumpkin or curling a citrus slice to make your favorite ginger recipe.
- 66-ply high-carbon Damascus stainless steel.
- Premium Japanese steel core.
- Hammered tsuchime finish to reduce drag and minimize food sticking.
- Exceptionally durable edge retention.
- Cryogenic tempering for increased strength, flexibility and hardness.
- Ergonomic non-slip handle for greater hand control.
- Extremely durable red handle construction.
- I wouldn’t blame you for preferring a more neutral color palette, especially if you’re more into traditional kitchen décor.
- The 3.5” may be too small for some tasks (not for ginger though).
Even though Santokus in general may be too large for cutting ginger; this one is just the right size to unlock the achievement. And you’ll do this with the precision of a Japanese chef, using one of the most prestigious blades out there.
- You can use it for thick foods as well as for more delicate work.
- The wide blade allows you to transfer whatever you chop from the board to the pan, pan or plate.
- Beautiful satin finish on the blade.
- Added chromium for superior stain resistance.
- Made of premium materials.
- It comes with a tailor-made sheath.
- Although the shorter blade is good for ginger, it is true that for most cutting tasks you will do better with a regular-sized Santoku like this one from the Centurion Series.
- Rocking motion when chopping herbs and spices is better with a Chef’s knife.
This fine cheese grater is perfectly suitable for grating ginger and spicing up your salads, soups, meats, fish or sauté vegetables. Besides grating ginger and cheese, the sharp teeth can peel citrus, make zest and slice vegetables.
- Made of 304 stainless steel for maximum corrosion resistance.
- Ultra-premium, textured, non-slip G 10 handle.
- Non-slip feet for maximum support.
- Ultra-fine, razor-sharp teeth
- Reusable blade guard.
- Balanced weight and comfortable grip.
- Elegant, slim and sleek design with a satin finish.
- Easy to clean and store.
- The slim profile saves storage space.
- Fact: there are graters on the market at lower price points.
- Depending on your cooking needs, other models offer four sides with more cutting / shredding options.
This grater with double-edged ribbon teeth grates back and forth quickly and comfortably. Vegetables, semi-soft cheeses, nuts, coconut, chocolate, fruits, tubers and tricky items such as ginger are prepared efficiently with this premium grater.
- Made of 304 stainless steel that can withstand heat, moisture and acids.
- The ergonomic handle makes it super easy to use.
- It is an elegant kitchen accessory that looks great in any kitchen.
- Easy to store.
- Protective sheath included.
- Some will prefer to grate ginger with an ultra fine, narrow grater such as the Professional Zester Narrow Grater.
- The price of this grater can be expensive for some, especially if they only want to grate ginger with it.
6. Frequently Asked Questions About Ginger
Can you use a peeler for peeling ginger?
Some people use a Y-peeler instead of a knife, but it removes a thicker layer of skin and root and because of its shape it won't always fit into the nooks and crannies of the ginger root.
How long will chopped ginger last in the fridge?
Storing ginger after it’s been peeled and chopped is only recommended for up to a week and always in the fridge. Unpeeled ginger root, tightly wrapped, will last two or three weeks in the fridge.
What is the best method for peeling ginger?
The spoon method is probably the easiest method for peeling ginger. Just hold the ginger in your hand while you scrape the skin with a spoon.
Are you supposed to peel ginger?
Yes, peeling ginger root is recommended before using it in recipes. The outer skin can be tough and fibrous, affecting the texture of your dishes. To peel ginger, use a sharp knife or a spoon to gently scrape off the skin. Once peeled, you can proceed to chop or mince the ginger according to your recipe's requirements.
Can you peel ginger without a peeler?
Certainly, you can peel ginger without a peeler. Use the edge of a spoon to gently scrape the skin off the ginger. Alternatively, you can use a knife to carefully remove the skin by slicing it away. Whether peeled or unpeeled, pick out ginger at the store with smooth, firm skin. This way, you can easily peel, slice, or mince the knob of ginger for your recipes.
How do you peel and grate ginger?
To peel and grate ginger, first, use a vegetable peeler or the edge of a spoon to gently peel the skin. Then, cut off the desired amount. Use a fine grater or a microplane to grate the ginger into a paste. Alternatively, freeze the ginger for easier grating. This method prevents the ginger fibers from becoming tough, yielding a smoother texture for your dishes.
How do you peel ginger root with a spoon?
To peel ginger root with a spoon, hold the ginger firmly and use the edge of a spoon to scrape away the skin. Gently apply pressure and move the spoon in a downward motion, following the contour of the ginger. The skin will come off, revealing the flesh underneath. This method is effective for removing the skin without much waste and is especially useful when you don't have a peeler.