How to Peel, Chop, and Grate Ginger

How to easily peel, slice, julienne, chop, mince, and grate ginger root.

How to Peel, Chop, Grate Ginger
Elise Bauer

Ah, ginger! My favorite wonder food. Add a little to honey and lemon tea to help fight a cold. Use it to spice up a stir fry. Make the most amazing gingerbread by including some grated fresh ginger in the batter. Or if you happen to have a lot of ginger to use up, you can candy it.

Here's a little tip that you may or may not know about ginger: it is very helpful for nausea. It is the only thing (and believe me, I've tried everything) that helps me with sea sickness. Pregnant women I have known swear by it.

The root itself is rather gnarly, and can be a little bit challenging to peel and cut, so I've put together a quick how-to, starting with a short video of my preferred way to peel ginger, with a spoon!

Ginger with different cut methods
Elise Bauer

How to Peel, Chop, and Grate Ginger

Prep Time 10 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Serving 1 serving
Yield 1 knob of ginger

Do you need to peel ginger? Not really, but you may want to for aesthetic reasons. I like peeling ginger with the edge of a spoon.

Young ginger has such thin skin, you don't need to peel it at all. Older ginger, like what we typically find in the grocery store, has more papery skin that you may want to peel.

If your ginger has been hanging around for a while and is a little shriveled, it won't peel easily with a spoon. You'll need a paring knife to cut away the peel.

Ingredients

  • One firm, fresh piece of ginger root

Method

Peeling Ginger With a Spoon:

Hold a piece of ginger root firmly in one hand and the bowl of a metal spoon firmly in the other hand. (Note that you can also just break a lobe off of the ginger and peel only that.)

Scrape the edge of the spoon against the ginger to peel off the skin. Work your way around the ginger root, peeling only as much as you think you will use. (The ginger will last longer if it is stored with the peel on.)

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Elise Bauer
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Elise Bauer
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Elise Bauer
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Elise Bauer

Slicing and Cutting Ginger in Matchsticks (Julienne):

  1. Ginger is quite fibrous. The fibers are in the direction of the root of the ginger and its lobes. Slice the peeled area of the ginger root, across the grain of the fibers, into coins. (Use the coins to make candied ginger!)

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    Elise Bauer
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    Elise Bauer
  2. If your recipe calls for slivers of ginger or julienned ginger, stack two or three "coins" of the ginger at a time and cut them into matchsticks.

Chopping or Mincing Ginger:

If your recipe calls for chopped or minced ginger, line up the ginger matchsticks cut in the previous step and make crosswise cuts.

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Elise Bauer

Grate Ginger:

The easiest way to grate ginger is to keep a knob of ginger wrapped in plastic in your freezer. When you need some grated ginger, pull it out of the freezer, scrape away the peel (if you want, it's not really necessary) of the area you want to grate, and grate the ginger with a microplane grater. Like we do when we slice ginger, grate across the grain of the fibers of the ginger.

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Elise Bauer

Links:

Candied Ginger Recipe - from the master of sweets, David Lebovitz

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
10 Calories
0g Fat
2g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 10
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 2g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 1mg 3%
Calcium 2mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 50mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.