Here is a complete guide on how to cut ginger - slice, julienne, chop, mince, grate and make ginger paste, along with tips on how to clean and peel ginger root. Learn how to work with this spicy root to use in all your recipes!
Today is all about how to cut ginger. And we are covering every shape and size - peel, slice, julienne, chop, mince, grate and How to Make Ginger Paste.
If you want to learn how to store ginger root the correct way to make it last longer, checkout this informative guide on How to Store Ginger.
Let's get started!
How to Clean Ginger
When shopping for ginger, make sure to purchase ginger that is firm, heavy for it's size and the peel is smooth and shiny with no signs of wrinkles (it's okay if the root end is a bit dry).
Then, as soon as you get home from the grocery store, simply rinse the ginger under cool running water to rid of dirt and dust. Blot with a clean kitchen towel or leave to dry on your kitchen counter.
How to Store Fresh Ginger
Once dry, fresh ginger root can be stored on the kitchen counter, in the fridge or in the freezer.
If planning to use the ginger within a week, I like to store it on the kitchen counter or in a cool, dark place (usually alongside my potatoes).
How to Store Ginger in the Fridge or Freezer: For longer storage, here is a detailed post on How to Store Ginger.
How to Peel Ginger
I've found the best way to peel ginger is with the edge of a spoon. To do so, simply hold the ginger root in one hand and use the round edge of a teaspoon to scrape away the thin skin, getting in all the nooks and crannies.
How to cut ginger root? Depending on the size and shape of your ginger root, it may make it easier to first break the ginger root into pieces (or cut with a chef knife) and then peel. This gives your hands a bit more leverage.
Pro Tip: If you find it difficult to peel the skin with a spoon, place the ginger root in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes. This will soften the skin and make it easier to peel.
As an alternative method, feel free to use a vegetable peeler. This will take off a thicker layer of skin and root, but it gets the job done faster.
Do You Have to Peel Ginger?
Although peeling ginger is not necessary, I like to do so unless the skin is thin since the outer peel alters the flavor and texture. This is my personal preference, so feel free to work with what's best for you!
How to Cut Fresh Ginger
Ginger can be cut into many shapes and sizes to use for curries, dal, stir-fries, chutneys, desserts, tea and smoothies. Follow any one of the methods below, depending on your needs.
Slice: Slice the ginger into rounds with a sharp chef's knife, making sure to slice against the grains of the fibers.
Julienne (Matchsticks): Stack two to three slices of ginger, placing them flat on the cutting board. Now cut into thin strips.
Chop: Take the julienne strips of ginger, and line them up parallel to each other. Now cut them crosswise into small pieces.
Mince: To take it a step further, mince the chopped ginger into small, irregular pieces by going over the ginger multiple times with your knife. It helps to hold one hand on the top of the chef's knife and move in a semi-circular motion.
Grate: Rather than use a knife, use a Microplane to grate the ginger into thin, moist pieces. Simply hold the ginger root in one hand and the grater in the other. Use gentle pressure to go back and forth against the plane of the grater.
Minced vs Grated Ginger
Although the two may be similar in size, minced ginger results in small, irregular pieces of ginger while grated ginger creates moist, tender fibers.
I find they are interchangeable when a recipe calls for finely chopped, minced or grated ginger. So use whatever method is easiest for you.
How to Make Ginger Paste
Ginger paste is a method within itself that offers a wonderful way to meal prep and save yourself a step the next time you need grated ginger in your recipe.
To make ginger paste: Peel and cut into cubes. Place in a blender or food processor and process until your desired consistency is reached (coarse to super-fine). Just make sure to use a large quantity of fresh ginger to ensure some of the water releases - this facilitates easier blending.
Check out this Ginger Paste recipe to learn how to store it in the fridge and freezer.
Frequently Asked Questions
The easiest way to cut ginger is what works best for you! Feel free to grate on a Microplane or follow the steps to slice, julienne, chop or mince with a chef's knife.
Yes and no. Young ginger has such thin skin, there is no need to peel. That being said, the peel will alter the flavor and texture, which is why I think the skin is better off being peeled. Use your best judgement and the method that works for you.
The secret to making fresh ginger tea in less than 5 minutes is to grate the ginger. I find the flavor is much more pronounced than ginger tea bags. If you decide to slice the ginger, note it will take longer.
First, peel the ginger, then slice into rounds, then julienne into thin strips and chop into small pieces. Go over the chopped ginger multiple times with a chef's knife to get minced ginger. For grated ginger, simply grate the ginger root on a Microplane.
Cut the ginger into thin matchsticks (julienne) for stir-fry and sauteed vegetables. These are the recipes where you want distinct pieces of ginger.
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How to Cut Ginger
- 1 pound ginger root
- Peel: Hold the ginger root in one hand and use the round edge of a teaspoon to scrape away the thin skin, getting in all the nooks and crannies. Alternatively, use a vegetable peeler.
- Slice: Slice the ginger into rounds with a sharp chef's knife, making sure to slice against the grains of the fibers.
- Julienne (Matchsticks): Stack two to three slices of ginger, placing them flat on the cutting board. Now cut into thin strips.
- Chop: Take the julienne strips of ginger, and line them up parallel to each other. Now cut them crosswise into small pieces.
- Mince: To take it a step further, mince the chopped ginger into small, irregular pieces by going over the ginger multiple times with your knife. It helps to hold one hand on the top of the chef's knife and move in a semi-circular motion.
- Grate: Rather than use a knife, use a Microplane to grate the ginger into thin, moist pieces. Hold the ginger root in one hand and the grater in the other. Use gentle pressure to go back and forth against the plane of the grater.
I learned a lot about ginger, thank you! I will be making the paste and I was also wondering about dehydrating it in my Air Fryer. Also, I found a great little gadget at my local cooking store that is like a miniature plate with many sharp bumps and a little handle which works great for grating a small knob of ginger or garlic, not sure if you have seen those. Its ceramic rather than metal, cleans very easily too.
Thanks Brenda. I'll look for that gadget next time.
Edwyna Spiegel says
In Hawai’i my. Chinese mother in law always stored fresh ginger in a small jar with sherry, as I do now.
Hi Edwyna, that's a great trick as well!