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It’s easy to freeze ginger for use in your favorite recipes. Use these tips to prepare and freeze ginger to use in soups, teriyaki, stir-fry, and more.
Anybody else use ginger all the time? We put it in our homemade fried rice, teriyaki sauce, and many other dishes. Ginger tea is great for settling an upset stomach, and you can even use it to make your own ginger ale.
I don’t like cooking with dried ginger, so I wanted a way to have fresh ginger on hand without running to the store all the time. It grows in tropical regions, so I haven’t had much luck growing it in my garden.
Here’s what ginger looks like when it’s freshly harvested. Pretty cool, right? This is called “young ginger” if you’re lucky enough to find it at the store.
Thankfully, ginger freezes well, and it’s easy to use frozen ginger in your favorite recipes.
When you’re choosing ginger at the store or farmer’s market, look for plump, firm roots with smooth skin. Stay away from small, shriveled ginger roots with dry ends, or any that are squishy or soft.
See the difference between these two? You can definitely tell which one is going to be good eats.
A large piece of ginger like the one on the left is called a hand of ginger (I’m sure you can figure out why). The smaller pieces are sometimes called a knob of ginger or a thumb of ginger.
Fresh ginger will keep for about a week on the kitchen counter, and for 2-3 weeks in the fridge.
Preparing Ginger for Freezing
Be sure to wash the ginger thoroughly before you prep it for the freezer.
If you’re using conventional (not organic) ginger, you should peel it before freezing. That way, you don’t have to worry about any chemicals or pesticides that could be on the skin.
The best way to peel ginger is with a butter knife or the bowl of a spoon–this is a great job to have the kids help with. The skin is very thin and will scrape off easily.
How to Freeze Ginger
There are three ways to freeze ginger, and they’re all equally effective. I recommend you choose the freezing method based on how you’ll use the ginger in your recipe.
Freeze Whole Ginger
Yep, this is as simple as it sounds. Wash and peel your ginger and put it in the freezer in a zip bag. When you need ginger for a recipe, take it out and grate it–still frozen–using a box grater or microplane grater.
While it’s easy to toss fresh, whole ginger in the freezer, frozen ginger can be a bit difficult to grate. It always seems to take more time than I expect, while the rest of the meal is cooking away.
Freeze Sliced Ginger
This is a good method if you’re making ginger tea or candied ginger. Once the slices are frozen, you won’t be able to chop or dice them, so plan accordingly.
Wash, peel, and slice the ginger into pieces about ¼ inch thick. Place the slices in a single layer on a cookie sheet, cover, and freeze. (This is the same technique used for freezing green beans.)
After they’re completely frozen, put your ginger slices in a labeled zip bag.
Freeze Chopped Ginger
Chopping the ginger before freezing will save you a lot of time when cooking. I use my food processor to blitz the washed and peeled ginger into a fine dice.
Make either 1 teaspoon or 1 Tablespoon scoops and line them up on a cookie sheet, similar to prepping frozen garlic.
Cover and freeze for a few hours to overnight. When they’re completely frozen, put your ginger disks in a labeled zip bag.
Storing Frozen Ginger
Your frozen ginger will keep safely in a zip bag for up to 6 months.
Using Frozen Ginger
If you’re making a stir-fry or other cooked dish, just add the appropriate amount of frozen, chopped ginger right into the pan. It will quickly thaw and mix right in.
If you’re making a sauce or something that isn’t being cooked, thaw your frozen, chopped ginger in the microwave for 20 seconds or so before stirring it into your sauce.
The best part of shopping for ginger?
Sometimes, if you’re lucky, you’ll find a little ginger man who looks like Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy.