Storing fresh ginger

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Storing fresh ginger

Postby MikeH » Fri Jan 19, 2007 3:00 am

I'm not real familiar with fresh ginger but needed it for a pork tenderloin recipe. Did not use all that I purchased. What is the best way to store the leftover ginger? How long will it last?
Cheers!
Mike
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Re: Storing fresh ginger

Postby Bill Buitenhuys » Fri Jan 19, 2007 8:40 am

I store it in the freezer, Mike, wrapped up in plastic and then in a ziplock bag. It lasts me a good couple of months that way. It really grates up quite easily when frozen too.
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Re: Storing fresh ginger

Postby Robin Garr » Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:02 am

MikeH wrote:I'm not real familiar with fresh ginger but needed it for a pork tenderloin recipe. Did not use all that I purchased. What is the best way to store the leftover ginger? How long will it last?


Mike, we go through it pretty fast because I do a fair amount of Asian cooking and also because I'll often sneak a little in as a "secret ingredient" even in Western dishes - a little minced ginger added to minced garlic can add a mysterious depth of flavor subtle enough that most people will like it without being able to discern exactly what it is.

Anyway, I usually buy a section that's not overly large - 3 or 4 inches, maybe - and when I've used what I want in a dish, I'll just throw it in the veggie drawer in the fridge. The cut end will dry out pretty quickly, and I just cut off the dried part and discard it before the next use. The rhizome itself will usually keep pretty well for a week or two, maybe three, before it starts to look dried out and shrunken, but by that point I've generally pretty much used up a small piece anyway.
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Re: Storing fresh ginger

Postby Bob Sisak » Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:17 am

I use ginger fairly frequently, but not often enough to justify keeping a big hunk in the fridge and having it dry out and turn green. I tried freezing it, but I don't really like the consistency it takees on. So, I do what I learned a bit over twenty years ago when I lived out in CA. I met Marting Yan at an event and asked him the same question - How do you keep ginger from going bad before you can use it all? Now I still do what he recommended. First I get a really nice fresh big hunk at a nearby oriental food shop. Then I scrape the peel off with a teaspoon, and cut it into chunks a little smaller than a ping pong ball. Finally, I put all the chunks into a Tupperware container and fill to the top with the Chinese cooking wine you can find in all the supermarkets. I keep it on one of my condiment shelves, and it's as good in three, four or more months as it was when I bought it. An added plus is the slightly ginger flavored wine I mix with some cornstarch as a light marinade/coating for chicken chunks - keeps the chicken separate when it cooks and adds a nice light ginger flavor to the dish.
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Re: Storing fresh ginger

Postby Martha Mc » Fri Jan 19, 2007 11:44 am

I live in an "ingredientially challenged" community. When I find fresh ginger at the local grocery store, I always purchase at least one large rhizome. I store mine in the refrigerater in a jar submerged in sherry. Like Bob, I use both the ginger and the sherry for cooking. The cook gets a nip or two of the sherry every now and then. Good for inspiration and digestion.
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Re: Storing fresh ginger

Postby Randy Buckner » Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:22 pm

We buy a large root, peel it, cut it in one-inch pieces, put it in a small jar and cover it with sherry, then refrigerate. It lasts forever and tastes great. Doesn't get any easier.
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Re: Storing fresh ginger

Postby Paul Winalski » Fri Jan 19, 2007 12:34 pm

Randy Buckner wrote:We buy a large root, peel it, cut it in one-inch pieces, put it in a small jar and cover it with sherry, then refrigerate. It lasts forever and tastes great. Doesn't get any easier.


I do the same thing, but I use cheap 100 proof vodka instead of sherry. I use the same technique for galangal and for Thai chili peppers (which nearly always are sold in 1/2-pound packages in the supermarket, but recipes call for them in 2s and 3s). It works better for ginger and galangal root than for chiles. The chiles will lose color after several weeks, but the preservation does quadruple their useful shelf life.

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Re: Storing fresh ginger

Postby MikeH » Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:16 pm

First, q quick thank you for all these replies. Glad I asked the question!

Randy Buckner wrote:We buy a large root, peel it, cut it in one-inch pieces, put it in a small jar and cover it with sherry, then refrigerate. It lasts forever and tastes great. Doesn't get any easier.


Follow on question for Randy and Martha. Just basic cooking sherry or do you use drinkable sherry of a particular type?
Cheers!
Mike
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Re: Storing fresh ginger

Postby Randy Buckner » Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:39 pm

We put it in Harvey's Bristol Cream, which we also use for cooking.
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Re: Storing fresh ginger

Postby Martha Mc » Fri Jan 19, 2007 4:48 pm

I use a good quality sherry. However, I do reuse the sherry -- as the jar empties of ginger, I add more ginger and only top off the sherry as needed. It isn't as extravagant as it would at first seem.
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Re: Storing fresh ginger

Postby Cynthia Wenslow » Fri Jan 19, 2007 6:30 pm

I do as many others here.... store it in sherry. I also make up a jar of sherry, ginger, garlic, and a tiny pinch of sugar and use it as a stir-fry sauce.

I use a low-end drinking sherry.
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Re: Storing fresh ginger

Postby Paul Winalski » Fri Jan 19, 2007 7:26 pm

I use vodka instead of sherry so that I don't get a sherry flavor imparted to the ginger.

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Plant it!

Postby Anders Källberg » Sun Jan 21, 2007 5:51 pm

If you do not think that you will use it soon, you could always do what we did: plant it in a flower pot. Just press it gently into the soil, not covering it. If it is truly fresh, it will start sending up green shoots soon. Ours is more than a meter high now and the root itself seems to be increasing in size, so in some time, we will be able to harvest real fresh ginger!
Cheers, Anders

BTW, The rest of you: why sherry of all drinks?
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Re: Plant it!

Postby Paul Winalski » Sun Jan 21, 2007 6:47 pm

Yes, fresh root ginger is pretty easy to grow indoors. Don't try to plant it outside in the USA, however. It will succomb to both black rot and nematodes.

Why Sherry? Probably because dry Sherry is the universal substitute for the authentic Chinese shao hsing rice wine called for, along with fresh ginger, in many Chinese recipes. As I said before, I prefer vodka, which has the preservative properties of the alcohol without imparting any flavor of its own.

In either case (Sherry or vodka), the ginger-infused beverage can be used as a flavoring additive to either cooking or to cocktails in its own right.

-Paul W.
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