How To Use & Store Fresh Ginger

September 29th, 2011 at 2:02 pm

I always keep fresh ginger root on hand. It’s become a sort of salt-and-pepper staple for me over the past few years. Added to soups and stews, it provides subtle heat and Indian or Asian-inspired flavor. Grated into salad dressing, fresh ginger offers spicy zing to the most humble of vinaigrettes. I seem to find new uses for it every day.

Problem is, fresh ginger doesn’t have a very long shelf life when stored at room temperatre or even in the fridge. To squeeze every bit of life out of a root of ginger, I store mine in the freezer. Here’s how I prepare and store it.

Start by choosing a root that is as straight and rectangular as possible, with few knobs and off-shoots. Place the root on a cutting board. Using a sharp knife, square off the knobby edges of the root so that you form a rectangular, brick-shaped piece of ginger. It should look something like this:

Peel off the skin of the root using a vegetable peeler. If you find stringy, fibrous portions of skin that don’t want to come off with a peeler, try scraping them off with a teaspoon. Your peeled root will look like this:

Place your peeled root in a plastic food storage bag and pop it in the freezer. It will last for months. When you’re ready to use it, simply grate it up using a handheld fine rasp grater, such as a Microplane. It will fall off the grater like fragrant snow.

If you really want to stretch your dollars, save the skins that you peeled off of the ginger and steep them in hot water with lemon, fennel, and honey for a refreshing homemade tea.

In the Kitchen with Fresh Ginger

Like I said, I’ve come to view fresh ginger as a kitchen staple. It offers a stellar health profile, helping to fight inflammation in the body, soothe upset stomachs, aid in motion sickness, and combat disease. When my stomach gives me fits from time to time, a cup of fresh ginger and fennel tea is the mother of all remedies for me, calming and soothing the discomfort with every sip.

If you’re looking for more ways to incorporate fresh ginger root into your cooking, try these recipes:

Of course, there are plenty of ginger-licious recipes in my new cookbook, too. Speaking of the book, Wendy from Celiacs in the House posted a review of The Pure Kitchen earlier this week. Check it out here.


  1. Hi Hallie! I’m a fellow Bauman grad (from the Boulder campus) – love your blog! I’ve been reading for a while, but wanted to comment today to say THANK YOU for this awesome tip on storing ginger! Great post!

  2. I love handy little tips like this. I also love ginger but tend to not use it up fast enough. (My grocery store tends to sell only enormous pieces.) Thanks for the idea. :)

  3. I also store my ginger in the freezer. I don’t even bother storing it in the refrigerator any longer, it immediately goes into the freezer when I bring it home. I hadn’t thought about peeling it prior to putting it in there though…the skin comes off pretty easily when frozen. But I love the idea of making tea with the peelings. Ginger is great after dinner to help with digestion. Great post!

  4. awesome…I knew to store it in the freezer but didn’t realize I should peel it first….it was awfully hard to peel frozen! :) thanks for the tip! I love ginger too!

  5. Awesome tip Hallie! I need this as ours always seems to go bad and I’ve never really known what to do!

  6. Wonderful tips, Hallie! I’m a huge ginger fan too. Lately I’ve been incorporating a nice chunk of ginger in whatever I’m juicing. I’ve your phrase “fragrant snow”.

    Can’t wait for your book to arrive from Amazon!!!

  7. Hi. That’s something I never thought of before.

    I learned to store mine in a jar of wine or vinegar in the fridge, which works great, but I will have to try this.


  8. I’m 48 years old and just purchased my first fresh ginger. eeks. Better late than never, I suppose. Thank you for this amazing tip, since I really had no idea what to do with it!

    • I’m 73 yrs old and just purchased my 1st ginger root. and ground ginger, and have no idea why, except I read someplace it was good for something, but haven’t any idea what I’m going to do with the stuff. I peeled it and put into the freezer, now gonna read up on what I’m going to do.

  9. Ingrid Teboe said on December 15, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    I love your tip on saving the skins for tea. An Asian lady, who had a wonderful grocery store in my town, told me to always leave the skins on the ginger as that was where the most healing value was. I wash my ginger but never peel it. But then I’ve never frozen it either so will be trying this right away. I just hate to have to toss out a nub of this wonderful item!!

  10. Why do I get so many stringy/woody pieces when trying to grate ginger?

  11. I have never used fresh ginger before so I was puzzled as to preparing and storing it. Thanks for your informative blog.
    all the best,
    ken crowe

  12. Thank you, for your helpful tips!

  13. Christine said on June 28, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Another reader said she was 48 years old when first tried ginger. I am 58 and just tried it for first time! I am using it now as I just started juicing. And it does give a spicy flavour. And now I know how to store it. Thanks.

    • I am about to be 85 and just purchased fresh ginger for the first time. Taking time to read all these hints.

  14. Christine said on July 7, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Love this blog :) I peel my ginger and store it in a mason jar full of premium vodka. It lasts for a couple of months that way and the bonus is yummy ginger-infused vodka that makes a killer Moscow Mule cocktail at the end. I also take the peels the day I make this and throw them in a small pot of water with cinnamon and cloves and let it simmer for a natural room freshener. It smells AMAZING and lasts a couple of days. When it’s done, into the compost it goes, and nothing goes to waste–room freshener, fresh crisp ginger x 2 months, ginger-infused vodka and compost material!

  15. I bought all three of your books and am loving them! The cabbage salad from one of them is so tasty that I cannot wait to make it again (just finished the current batch today and will surely be making more tomorrow!) thanks so much for all the great tips and recipes.

  16. I have just grown my first ginger root, not quite ready to use yet but soon. Would like to know how to preserve it apart from freezing which I have done with shop bought before. I have a great cake recipe that I use and it uses ginger in syrup, thought I make my own this time but do not know how. Any suggestions?

  17. linanne spangler said on November 17, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Just went to discount grocery store to get some fresh ginger( who knew that the delicious flavor in won ton soup is fresh ginger.No wonder I always want it when I don’t feel good) and all you could buy is a giant bag of ginger,honestly about 7 big tubers. and I had no idea how to use it up or store it. Thanks so much I’ll have plenty of ginger now for the next few months!!

  18. Deborah Moure said on January 28, 2014 at 9:37 pm

    I started reading about ginger root and using it about a month ago .I had the worst case of inflammation, I hated to lay down at night because I hurt so bad I could not get out of bed, I would hurt so bad and had so much gas all over my body. Thanks to drinking two cups of ginger root tea faithfully everyday, I feel like a new person. This tea really works I’ve been telling everybody that has any type of pain. I love it so much I even chew the ginger to make sure I get all the nutrients and spit out the pulp LOL I’m so happy.

    • How do you prepare yours Deborah? I too would like to rid myself of inflammation & gas. & I’ve heard that you can take a Ginger Root bath that helps your body heal too! =) You slice the root, peel & all, boil it in a pot of water & add that to your bathtub full of warm water, relax & enjoy!

      • This might be a little late, but you can make ginger tea in 2 different ways.

        Option 1:
        Slice about a 3″ knob of ginger in small slices. About 1/8″ thick – just go for thin slices. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add the ginger pieces. Simmer for about 15 minutes on low heat. Strain into a cup. You can add honey to sweeten. Lemon is also a nice addition for added vitamin C.

        Option 2:
        I have this on-hand in my fridge for quick ginger tea. Peel ginger and add to food processor to pulverize. If you end up with 1 cup grated ginger, you can add up to 1 cup honey. Some people add less, some go for 1 to 1. I like a little less honey so I go half cup of honey for every cup ginger. This is to your taste.
        Store in glass storage container in your fridge as you would store mayo.

        Whenever you want hot or cold ginger tea, just add a tablespoon or so of the ginger/honey blend to boiling water. Let it sit for about 10 minutes and enjoy.

        If you live close to an Asian market, it’s a lot cheaper getting ginger from them.

  19. Linda H said on April 8, 2014 at 8:24 am

    I have never used fresh ginger before thanks for the tips on how to use and store ginger, it’s greatly appreciated.

  20. donnajean said on June 17, 2014 at 12:57 pm

    I have horrible nausea and dizziness. Someone suggested ginger but I have no idea how to prepare it, buy it, etc.. for my problem. Does anyone have any suggestions for me. I am so miserable, I get dizzy and feel like I’m going to faint on top of feeling like I’m going to be sick. Please help! Thank you

  21. I know it is up to the individual to do their research, but just wanted to add to be careful using ginger if you take blood thinning medication or are pregnant, nursing, etc. as ginger has blood thinning properties and has been linked in some instances to miscarriage in ladies. As always, moderation and common sense are key.

  22. Why doesn’t fresh ginger taste like ground. Am I doing something wrong.

  23. Dina Roberts said on January 11, 2015 at 10:13 am

    Some very interesting points that I did not know about and like many others – I have wasted Ginger ‘cos I had not used it all at once – will now freeze and eee what happens. Many thanks – just wonder whether it will freeze as well without peeling.

  24. My fresh ginger is very stringy in middle I have cooked in sugar to preserve but middle is still stringy why?

  25. tonight while roaming the fresh veg isle, I decided to grab some ginger.. I alwyas grab a nice spoonful when ever i go to the chinese buffet and eat it up!!! When i got home i peeled a small part and tried to slice a thinist piece possible. It did not look anything like what i see at the resturant, so i took a nibble..OHHH MY what a surprize, I had no idea it was this spicy hot/ not easily detered i fine chopped a slice and tossed it in my salad,of baby greens cukes tomatoes cranberries and sunflowers seeds, tossed in a nice asaigio vinaigrette ,,I am 55 and yes my first time also buying fresh ginger.. after the initial shock of the hotness in the first nibble i decided i needed to look up the ginger root..FCant wait to see all the lovely ways i can use iit, but how do i get the pinkish red color along with that nice swwet taste that u find at the buffett??? I am an adventurous eater, looking forward to deeing what I will find out and come up with this new ingrediante that is in my fridge!!!

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