For those who buy fresh ginger often but struggle to peel it without causing bodily injury or losing tons of ginger flesh too, here is a simple post on how to peel ginger – the fastest, easiest method- with a spoon!
Fresh ginger root is an ingredient that I always have in my apartment and use every other day in cooking, drinks, smoothies, desserts, etc. After peeling ginger (badly) with peelers and a paring knife, over a few years, I turned to a simple spoon for how to peel ginger and haven’t looked back since. This blog post will take you through a few topics, including; do you have to peel ginger? How to peel ginger, how to store it, and some of my favorite ways to use this ingredient.
I love ginger because, although it’s small, boy is it mighty. Ginger not only packs a punch of flavor and heat, but it also contains lots of health benefits, including alleviating nausea, helping with stomach and digestive issues, regulating blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and ever cholesterol. And that isn’t all- to you can read more about the health benefits of ginger in this article.
Do You Have To Peel Ginger?
It’s the general thought that ginger has to be peeled, with many recipes calling specifically for peeled ginger. However, there are many occasions when peeling ginger may not be necessary.
Ginger skin is thin enough to be edible in the majority of cases. Peeling usually comes from it being more aesthetic, as well as depending on the age of the ginger. Whereas young ginger has a paper-thin peel that is easy to digest, the older the ginger, the more papery and tough the skin becomes.
The majority of ginger that is available in supermarkets is older. So if you’re looking for the younger variety, then turning to Asian supermarkets and other markets may help.
I tend to leave the skin on when I am using organic ginger (especially for drinks such as juices – smoothies, tea, etc.) but will peel it if it isn’t organic and for particular recipes. I think it’s important to note that, although many refer to ginger as root, it is an underground stem called a ‘Rhizome,’ growing similarly to potatoes and carrots.
This means that, if sprayed with pesticides, it isn’t just the skin affected, but the whole flesh – as far as I’m aware. For that reason, I always suggest buying organic ginger and then peeling only when necessary for aesthetic or textural issues.
How To Peel Ginger
Unfortunately, peeling ginger isn’t quite as simple as just grabbing a vegetable peeler and having at it. With the knobbly, uneven shapes of the ginger root, peelers struggle to get in all the nooks and crannies. You usually end up taking off a lot more flesh than intended.
Likewise, if you’re noble with a paring knife, then this is an option. However, I imagine the majority of home chefs would probably prefer a slightly safer method that doesn’t run the risk of bodily injury. To them, I introduce the humble spoon.
The curved bowl shape of the spoon allows easy access into every nook and cranny of the ginger root, and the blunt edge of a spoon will enable you to peel just the skin, without the flesh coming along with it. The result is a ginger knob that is well peeled without being hacked to pieces!
The Spoon Peeling Method
Begin by scrubbing any dirt from the ginger, using a little water and a scrubbing brush, then dry.
Next, it’s time to peel the ginger with a spoon. Some people use larger spoons, but I like to use a teaspoon. I find the best way to do this is to press my thumb into the base of the spoon ‘bowl’ shape and use the edge of the spoon in firm, downwards movements oven the skin.
While doing this, you can either hold the ginger in your other hand or press it onto your counter/chopping board, for leverage.
Within no time at all, you’re done!
- If your piece of ginger is quite old and has been hanging around your house for a while, then often, the skin will begin to shrivel. When it does, this makes it a lot harder to remove the skin with a spoon. In which case, it’s time to turn back to a sharp knife for the job.
- It’s best if you begin with a piece of ginger that isn’t too knobbly too. This means that it’s time to root through the ginger container at the supermarket/market to find the smoothest bits.
- Don’t worry about being 100% perfect if there are a few specks of skin left on the ginger. It is edible – so it will be fine.
If using organic ginger, then you can use the leftover skin to help flavor stocks and broths – like this Homemade Vegetable Stock.
How To Store
Unpeeled ginger can be stored at room temperature for a few days. But I prefer to keep mine in the fridge – for up to three weeks. For longer-term storage, ginger is very freezer-friendly for around six months.
You can even store your peeled ginger in the freezer and grate/slice from it, as needed. Alternatively, once peeled, grate or mince your ginger – once you’ve grated the ginger you can freeze portions into a small ice-cube tray. Grab an ‘ice cube’ of ginger to add to whatever dish wanted.
There are tons of ways that you can use ginger. This includes within a stir fry, sauces, for drinks such as smoothies and tea, within a variety of desserts, and more. But first, how about learning how to make:
- Simple Ginger Juice
- Crispy Ginger ‘chips.’
- Turmeric Ginger Immunity Shots
- Ginger Powder: Two methods
- Simple Ginger Lemonade
- Lemon & Ginger Tea
If you have any questions, leave a comment below. Also, I love seeing your recreations, so feel free to tag me on Instagram @AlphaFoodie.
- ginger as much as needed
- Begin by scrubbing any dirt from the ginger, using a little water and a scrubbing brush, then dry.
- Next, it's time to peel the ginger with a spoon. Some people use larger spoons, but I like to use a teaspoon. I find the best way to do this is to press my thumb into the base of the spoon 'bowl' shape and use the edge of the spoon in firm, downwards movements oven the skin.
- While doing this you can either hold the ginger in your other hand or press it onto your counter/chopping board, for leverage. - Within no time at all, you're done!
- If your piece of ginger is quite old, and has been hanging around your house for a while then often the skin will begin to shrivel. When it does, this makes it a lot harder to remove the skin with a spoon. In which case it's time to turn back to a sharp knife for the job.
- It's best if you begin with a piece of ginger that isn't too knobbly too. This means that it's time to root through the ginger container at the supermarket/ market to find the smoothest bits.
- Don't worry about being 100% perfect if there are a few specks of skin left on the ginger if you're using it in cooked dishes.
If using organic ginger then you can use the leftover skin to help flavor stocks and broths - like this Homemade Vegetable Stock.