Ginger is often sold in quantities that are too great for the average home cook to use before it spoils, so freezing the ginger is a good way to preserve it.
Ginger is an herb used to flavor foods and beverages. Ginger has been used for centuries for its beneficial health properties, particularly for digestive ailments. Fresh ginger root is used in a variety of dishes and can be grated, chopped, or sliced. Can you freeze ginger to save this spice for later?
Can you freeze ginger?
Not only can ginger be frozen, but most people find ginger easier to work with once it’s been frozen. Ginger will keep in the fridge for three weeks or less if left in its peel and sealed in a plastic bag. This short shelf life makes ginger an ideal candidate for freezing, which allows its shelf life to be extended indefinitely.
For many people, frozen ginger is easier to peel, and frozen ginger roots can be grated without thawing and then immediately placed back in the freezer. Over time, ginger root can become somewhat mushy, but given its use as a food flavoring, this change in texture is rarely a problem.
Although it has an indefinite shelf life, for the best texture and flavor, use frozen ginger within 3-4 months.
How do you freeze ginger?
Ginger can be frozen in a variety of states. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to freeze ginger:
Freeze whole ginger
The ginger root should be cleaned and dried first, but you can leave the peel on if you intend to freeze it whole. If you plan to use large chunks of the root, consider slicing it into segments now, as frozen ginger will be difficult to slice. Place these pieces of ginger root in an airtight plastic bag, removing as much air as possible. Label them and store them in the freezer.
Freezing sliced ginger
If you prefer, your ginger can be peeled and chopped before freezing. Prepare the ginger how you plan to use it (sliced, diced, chunks, or julienned), place in a plastic bag, and freeze.
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Freezing chopped ginger
If you plan to use chopped ginger, peel and finely chop it using a grater or food processor.
Scoop this chopped ginger onto a lined baking sheet, in either teaspoons or tablespoons depending on how you plan to use it. (Three teaspoons equals one tablespoon, so use one teaspoon if unsure).
Don’t let your ginger mounds be touched. Cover with cling film and place in the freezer. Once the ginger is completely frozen, transfer to an airtight container or bag. Make sure the date and size of each scoop is on the label.
How do you thaw frozen ginger?
While it’s not necessary to thaw frozen ginger before using, you can defrost it by letting it thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Grating frozen ginger is often easier than grating fresh ginger, which becomes fibrous. Peeling frozen ginger is also easier than peeling fresh root, and you’ll find that a spoon creates less waste than a knife.
However, frozen ginger is difficult to slice, so extra care should be taken, or the ginger root should be thawed in the refrigerator until it becomes easier to slice. Although the texture can suffer if ginger has been frozen for too long, the flavor should remain strong and not adversely affect most dishes.
Freezing ginger is a wonderful idea, especially if you use this spice frequently. Now that you know how to freeze ginger, you can use up the spice and maximize your stash without fear of wasting the product.