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How To: Use & Store Fresh Ginger

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I’ve had the pictures for this post for a couple of months now. I’ve even scheduled it (and then put something else in it’s place) a few times. Ginger is a common ingredient in stir fries, which I tend to make at least once a week.  Since ginger is an important ingredient to me so I like to always have some on hand, but I keep wondering if anyone else really cares that much about it.

Ultimately, I’ve (obviously) decided to post it. The thing with ginger is that it can go bad quickly and it’s not necessarily the kind of thing you can (or want to) just use up quickly before it goes bad. Since I have a couple recipes calling for ginger on this blog, and will surely have more in the future, I wanted to make sure all of you know how to store it so you’re not stuck with rotting ginger. Yuck!

By freezing ginger in small pieces you will keep it fresher longer and you will get the prep work done all at once. This method is no big culinary secret, but I think it’s something every cook who uses ginger should be aware of. It will really save you time when making meals and you’ll never waste money of rotting ginger again!

So, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fresh ginger (also called ginger root)
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Glass jar, or other freezer safe container

The first thing to do it peel the skin off of the ginger with a vegetable peeler. It will come off easily. The hard part may be getting around some of the bumps and in the crevasses. My peeler has a nice tip on it that I can use to get into small spaces. If a section is going to be difficult to peel, just cut the ginger in such a way that makes it easy to peel. You’re going to be cutting it anyway, so it’s no problem if you have to make a few slices to get the peeling done.  You’ll see in this next picture that I had to cut one of my ginger pieces into three sections to get the whole thing peeled.

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Now that the ginger is peeled, cut it up into small pieces. The general rule of thumb is 1 inch pieces. Personally, I like to cut mine into a variety of sizes so that I can choose one that is just the right size for what I am cooking.

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Finally, put all of your peeled ginger pieces into a jar or other freezer safe container (for the longest time, I had ginger stored in an empty Nutella container). Stored in the freezer, the ginger will last a long time. To be honest, I’m not exactly sure how long it will last. Does anyone know? I have never had any ginger go bad when stored this way in the freezer!

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When you’re ready to use your ginger take however much you need out of the jar in the freezer. I usually like to leave that piece out for a couple minutes to warm up before slicing or mincing it. Using a chef knife, the frozen ginger is very easy to slice thinly. You can use these ginger slices as is (we’ve used this for making tea – not sure if that is normal or not), or mince them for use in a sauce or stir fry.

There you have it: how to store ginger!

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Chicken & Aspargus Stir Fry

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This chicken and asparagus stir fry is an excellent weeknight meal. It has a (fairly) short ingredient list and takes under 30 minutes to prepare from start to finish. Served with some brown rice or quinoa it is a healthy, well balanced meal, and it doesn’t sacrifice any flavor!

Why do kids hate to eat vegetables?

As I’ve been writing up this recipe and looking through the photos I keep thinking of the dichotomy of my eating life. As a child I hated vegetables. Like, really, really hated. I had some awful (well, awful in the mind of an 8 year old) dinners when my Dad decided to pull out his wok and do some stir frying.

My Dad, like me, enjoys to cook and bake. He used to have this bright red electric wok and boy was I unhappy when it came out of the cupboard. It usually meant I was going to be served up a big plate of veggies, and, like I said, I really hated veggies.

Now, I’m pretty good about eating my vegetables! I think this healthy stir fry recipe is a total winner. I can imagine though, that if my Mom found this recipe 20 years ago she probably would have been thinking “Yeah right, that’s not going to fly with my kids”.

I hope this is a meal your family would enjoy. If not, here’s to hoping your children end up like me and come around to vegetables eventually!

Chicken & Asparagus Stir Fry

Ingredients
  • 1.5 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1 inch lengths
  • 1 Tbs soy sauce (or Bragg’s Amino Acids)
  • 1 Tbs honey
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 bunch green onions, slice
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 Tbs sesame oil
  • sesame seeds for garnish (optional)
Directions
  1. Before you start cooking cut the chicken and asparagus into bite sized pieces, mince the garlic and ginger, and slice the green onions.
  2. In a medium sized bowl mix the soy sauce, honey, and sriracha. Add the chicken to the bowl and stir until the chicken is coated with the sauce.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the sesame oil over medium high heat. When the oil is hot add the asparagus to the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes (or until the asparagus reaches the desired level of tenderness), stirring frequently so that the asparagus does not burn. Remove cooked asparagus from the pan and set aside.
  4. Add the chicken to the same skillet, along with any sauce left in the bottom on the bowl. Cook the chicken for 3 – 4 minutes on each side, or until it is cooked through.
  5. Push the chicken off to one side of the skillet. Put the garlic, ginger, and green onions in the empty space in the skillet and stir it around a bit so that everything gets coated with the sauce, then stir into the chicken.
  6. Stir the asparagus into the skillet again, and cook just a minute or two more, until the asparagus has heated up.
  7. Garnish with sesame seeds, if desired. I serve this with rice or quinoa.
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