Ginger is a popular flavor in many Asian cuisines. Fresh ginger can be purchased at many groceries and markets in the form of a knobby rhizome that looks like a root. Although many stores sell dried, powdered ginger in the spice aisle, dried ginger and fresh ginger have very different tastes. If you have a recipe that calls for fresh ginger, don't substitute dried ginger. Instead, follow a few quick and easy steps to peel and grate the spice at home.
Peel the skin off the portion of the gingerroot that you will be grating. You can use a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife to remove the skin. In some cases, you may be able to simply peel it back with your fingers. It's best to keep the gingerroot whole rather than cutting off just the portion you need. The root will fit in your hand nicely and make peeling and grating easier.
Discard the peeled ginger skin with your kitchen trash or in a compost bin.
Grate the ginger by holding the root firmly in your hand and moving it back and forth over the grater. A microplane grater -- a long, narrow grater with a handle -- often works well for grating ginger, but you can also use the finest grater on a box grater. Ginger can be wet and produce a juice when it is grated, so work over a cutting board.
Wipe the back of the grater to collect the grated ginger. You can use your fingers or a measuring spoon to collect the accumulated ginger.
Wrap the remaining gingerroot tightly in plastic wrap so that it can be stored until you need it again. It can be stored in a freezer for several months.
Things You'll Need
Microplane grater or box grater
Ginger can be pulpy and stringy when you are grating it. To cut down on the mess and make it easier to work with, freeze it before grating it. Gingerroot can be stored in the freezer for several months. Hard gingerroot can be chopped into small pieces in a food processor or blender if necessary. Avoid using soft gingerroot, though, because it will not chop as well. If you use a lot of ginger in your cooking, you can buy a grater designed especially for ginger at some Asian and gourmet cooking stores.