Fresh ginger is one of the most versatile spices and is a tasty addition to dishes from all over the world. Most recipes only call for a teaspoon or two of fresh ginger, which is much less than you would usually buy in a grocery store, so you will almost always wind up with leftovers. There are a few ways to keep your ginger from spoiling, including freezing it.
Freezing ginger is arguably the best way to preserve its freshness. Frozen ginger can last as long as nine months with very little flavor degradation. You can use frozen ginger in any recipe that requires fresh ginger and in many cases, thawing won’t be necessary.
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Freezing ginger whole
The simplest way is to freeze ginger whole. You can peel it if you want to take the trouble, but you don’t have to since this doesn’t affect how well it freezes. The downside of this is that you will eventually have to peel it when you want to use it, but it will keep just as well whole as when grated.
The easiest method is to stick it into a resealable freezer bag and squeeze as much air as you can out of the bag. Seal the bag and store it in the freezer. When you need ginger, just snap off a piece and peel it. Frozen ginger grates more easily than thawed ginger, since the fibrous texture is not as much of an issue.
Freezing ginger using ice cube method
For the ice cube tray method, grate the ginger with the finest side of a box grater and press it into the tray’s compartments. Place the tray in the freezer and remove the cubes when they are frozen solid. Because fresh ginger has a lot of juice, you won’t need to add liquid for the ginger to freeze into cubes. Pop the cubes out of the tray and store them in resealable freezer bags. Add the ginger cubes to your stir-fries and sauces.
Flash freeze ginger
Flash freeze ginger by lining a baking sheet with cling film or spraying it with nonstick spray. Place dollops of grated ginger onto the baking sheet. Try to keep each dollop symmetrical so that it doesn’t break when it is frozen. To make your life easier when you need the ginger, try to measure out the amounts that you commonly use when cooking so that you can just toss one of the frozen dollops of ginger directly into your dish. You should also try to keep the piles of ginger separated so that they don’t stick together. Stick the baking sheet in the freezer and remove the ginger when frozen. Store it in a resealable freezer bag.
Thawing is not usually necessary, since you can usually use ginger while still frozen. If you do need to thaw it before use, it is best to let it sit overnight in your refrigerator. If you need ginger faster than that, microwave it for a few minutes.
Ginger that has been thawed may be a little milder than it was when fresh. You may also notice that the texture is a little mushy, but this is usually not important since ginger is used primarily for flavor rather than texture.