Lots of cuisines, including Indian, Chinese, and Thai, use minced ginger as part of their recipes. If you haven’t minced foods before, the process can be intimidating, especially if you’re not well versed with knife skills.
If you have no idea how to mince ginger, we’ll cover how to do so in this article. You’ll also learn how to store minced ginger to prolong its lifespan, as well as how to grate ginger in case the need ever arises for it. Keep reading to learn how to mince ginger today!
What Does Mincing Do?
Mincing is a process that chops food up into tiny pieces. The goal is to make the substance as small as possible, but not turn it into a mash or pulp.
Minced foods aren’t any particular size or shape, as this depends on the type of food that’s minced. In most cases, mincing creates pieces around an eighth of an inch to a sixteenth of an inch long.
In the case of ginger, mincing helps to spread the ginger’s taste throughout the whole dish. You’ll get its flavor without having to chew chunks of it in each bite.
Some like the way ginger tastes, but it can be potent, so pieces of ginger may mask the taste of food. Ginger isn’t meant to be the main star of a dish, but it’s used to bring out and work with the flavors in one.
How To Mince Ginger
Before you can start slicing, have a look at your ginger to understand its structure. Ginger is a rhizome, a rootstalk that grows other shoots from nodes on its surface. These shoots grow in several different directions.
The easiest way to mince ginger is by cutting straight across the node and slicing it into separate coin-shaped pieces. As you do this, you’ll notice that the root is made from firm yellow flesh held together by several thin fibers.
Aim to cut across the grain of the fibers as you slice the coins. You’ll change the direction as the root stalks change course. Thicker coins will create a thicker mince, while thinner ones will create a finer mince.
Keep in mind that a single-inch section of ginger root will roughly create one tablespoon of minced ginger. Once you’ve sliced the coin-shaped pieces, you’ll need to place the coins into a pile. The pieces will move around, so don’t stack them up, just spread them out so they overlap slightly.
Next, you’ll cut the pieces into slices called matchsticks. They may be known as matchsticks, but you should try to cut them so they resemble toothpicks. Your mince will be finer the thinner you slice the pieces.
Cut all the ginger pieces into toothpicks, then gather them together. Next, slice the toothpicks into small cubes along the ends, moving up until the whole stack is minced.
If you prefer, you can repeat the chopping process to make the mince smaller. Ginger is quite fibrous, so it will do this well without turning mushy.
Minced ginger has its advantages, but you can grate it as well if the recipe calls for it. You can do this with a ginger grater.
This is a specially designed tool that has several teeth to slide the ginger against. This turns the ginger into mush without most of its fiber.
Microplane graters can also be used for this purpose, but keep in mind that ginger fibers can get caught in their teeth, making them hard to clean.
These are good tools for creating very fine, pureed ginger. This method may release some juices from the ginger, so do this over a bowl or a plate.
Similarly, you can push ginger pieces through a garlic press. Again, this will create a mushy result, rather than the small, but visible cubes generated from mincing.
Unlike mincing, all of these methods will free a lot of heat from the ginger. This means that grated ginger is much stronger than its minced form.
Should You Peel Ginger Before Mincing?
We didn’t mention peeling ginger in the guidelines above as it isn’t truly necessary. You’ll have to remove the skin off of some foods, like garlic, as their skin isn’t edible.
However, fresh ginger skin is very thin and can be consumed without any issues. Of course, if you don’t want to eat ginger skin, feel free to peel it before mincing.
The simplest way to peel ginger is by using the side of a spoon. Ginger skin is very fine, so it will slide off without much work.
If your ginger is older, its skin may be tougher. In this case, you’ll need to place the spoon down and opt for a paring knife instead.
You can also use a vegetable peeler to do so, but take care when doing this. The peeler may slip over nubs on the surface of the ginger, cutting you in the process.
How To Store Minced Ginger
Ginger can dry out quickly if kept on the counter, and it only lasts slightly longer if it’s kept in the fridge.
Ginger does last well when it’s frozen. If you’ve minced your ginger, add a teaspoon of it into each ice cube chamber.
If you still have the root left over, wrap it in some kitchen rolls and place it in a plastic sandwich bag. The bag is important as it protects the ginger from freezer burn.
You can then freeze this to use at a later date. If you need the ginger later, simply break off a piece from the frozen root to use in your cooking.
Minced ginger is a necessity in many cuisines, but it’s not that hard to create yourself. All you need is a sharp knife, a cutting board, and a ginger root.
Ginger is an irregularly shaped food, so be careful as you slice it. You may slip over its rougher areas and injure yourself.
Mincing creates tiny cubes of ginger, but if you’d prefer, you can grate the ginger instead. This will break down the ginger’s fibers, turning them into a pulp.
You don’t need to peel the ginger before mincing it, but you can remove it if you’d rather not eat the skin. A spoon will do this easily, but tougher ginger roots may need a knife to do so.
Ginger won’t last very long when kept out, so it’s best to freeze it. Separate minced ginger into ice cube trays and keep pieces of ginger root in sandwich bags before placing them in the freezer.