Frozen Ginger and a Garlic Peeler


09 Feb Frozen Ginger and a Garlic Peeler

My recent CTV appearance proved my career as a mind reader would be short lived. I went on expecting some reader questions about roasted vegetables. Nope. Everyone seems to have them down pat. Instead, everyone was interested in frozen ginger and “that garlic thing.”

So, here goes:

Frozen Ginger

I started freezing ginger when I got tired of buying fresh, plump, juicy roots and mere days later tossing wrinkled, dried up knobs of wood into the garbage. I’d read that you could freeze ginger without sacrificing flavour and experimented a bit — peeling or not peeling, chopping or not chopping. To my delight, I found the simplest approach is best. Pop good sized pieces of ginger into an easy-to-open freezer container (a ziplock bag, plastic tub or glass sealed container work well) and freeze them. When a recipe calls for fresh ginger, take out a piece of frozen ginger (no thawing!), grate the required amount into a bowl using a microplane, then return the ginger to the freezer.

The skin, pulp and woody fibres dissolve into ice shavings. Within a minute or two, these shavings defrost and can go directly into your recipe.

Frozen ginger should keep for a year, but I go through so much it never lasts that long. Providing you store it so it doesn’t absorb odors, it should taste like fresh ginger months down the road.

I’ve used both fresh and frozen ginger in the following recipes and haven’t noticed a difference:  Matar Paneer, Thai Coconut Soup, and Double Trouble Ginger Cookies.

Garlic Peeler

After the CTV show ended, a producer and one of the anchors asked me about the garlic roller. I misspoke in two ways on this. I referred to it as rubber, but it’s really silicone. And its technical name is garlic peeler. You can find these silicone tubes in various kitchen stores. William Sonoma sells theirs for $9 but I’ve seen them range in price from $5 to $12.

All you do is pop the garlic clove into the tube and roll it on a hard surface while pressing moderately with the palm of your hand. The silicone will remove the skin. It’s not a difficult technique to master, but if you press too hard you can crush the clove, which makes grating it on a microplane smelly and messy. And I do recommend the microplane method. Since Dana McCauley told me about this trick, I have retired my garlic press. Thanks, Dana!

Just to clarify. I do NOT freeze the garlic. Just the ginger.

And since garlic and ginger go together in so many recipes, here’s some hard-earned advice you won’t likely hear elsewhere. If you plan on grating  garlic and ginger back-to-back, grate the ginger first and the garlic second.  Why? Should you decide later to grate more ginger for something non-garlicy, like say….ginger tea… this minor point will become rather important. Trust me. I know.

I think that covers all your questions. If not, just post your question in the comments section. I’ll do my best to answer it. In the meantime, do you have any garlic and ginger tips you care to pass along?

Photo of ginger © FotoosVanRobins. Published under a Creative Commons License.

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  • Katerina
    Posted at 12:21h, 09 February Reply

    I always use a micrioplane to grate my garlic too! Plus I cut out the germ first. I hate the garlic press but I keep it around for the boyfriend.
    .-= Katerina´s last blog ..Ham and Mushroom Lasagne Recipe =-.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 12:56h, 09 February Reply

      Good point about the germ. I haven’t been doing that lately and know it’s a good practice since the germ can be bitter.

      I hate cleaning a garlic press — and wasting all that pulp. I’m so glad I found a method that work with a gadget that has more than one function!

  • Amy Proulx
    Posted at 12:49h, 09 February Reply

    Glad to know I’m not the only one who has “enjoyed” a cup of ginger and garlic tea.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 12:01h, 10 February Reply

      You mean I’m not the only one to do this? Believe me, I only did it once and that drove the lesson home. Garlic-ginger tea is horrid.

      • Martin Pearce
        Posted at 00:36h, 05 May Reply

        @Charmian Christie, I actually like ginger/garlic tea. About 1 inch of ginger, thinly sliced, 1 clove of garlic sliced the same way and my secret ingredient…. 1 tsp vanilla extract. Boil all ingredients for 10-15 min., strain and drink! You will find this pleasant tasting, and good for you too!

  • Cheryl Arkison
    Posted at 15:12h, 09 February Reply

    I love the frozen ginger idea!
    .-= Cheryl Arkison´s last blog ..Life in Perspective – Blog Aid:Haiti =-.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 12:03h, 10 February Reply

      Thanks, Cheryl. If I remember correctly, you aren’t a big fan of ginger. Perhaps having fresh ginger at your fingertips will change this? Or is this the whole pea thing all over again?

  • Dana McCauley
    Posted at 15:12h, 09 February Reply

    Love your ginger tip – shout it loud and strong from the roof tops Charmian!
    .-= Dana McCauley´s last blog ..This blog has moved =-.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 11:05h, 10 February Reply

      Thanks, Dana. I can’t believe it took me this long to discover the merits of freezing ginger. I LOVE it.

  • Robin Smart
    Posted at 17:36h, 09 February Reply

    OK I’ll bite and show my ignorance to the world via your blog. What is the “germ”?
    Love from your not so smart older sister.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 11:04h, 10 February Reply

      The germ is that little green sprouty thing that bursts from the top of older garlic clovers. It can be bitter, so many people remove it.

      If I don’t see it sticking out the top, I don’t bother looking for it. But if there’s a sizable green “germ”, I cut the clove in half lengthwise and pull out the germ. It lifts out easily.

      • Robin Smart
        Posted at 17:44h, 10 February Reply

        @Charmian Christie,
        Thanks for the info. I guess I have been lucky and never encountered that.
        Kitchen sink chicken pot pie for supper. I figure with homemade pastry around it I can get away with ANY fillings.

  • Judith Rutty Godfrey
    Posted at 16:51h, 11 February Reply

    Freezing ginger–I love it! No more shriveled blueish things in my frig. This is a real ‘keeper’ Charmain. Thanks!

  • Lorraine
    Posted at 08:24h, 13 February Reply

    Looking at a shriveled ginger root as I write this–and pleased to try your frozen solution.

    Sounds like freezing not only helps with freshness but eases the grating process itself. Grating fibrous ginger has to be one of my least favorite culinary tasks–will give your method a go.
    .-= Lorraine´s last blog ..Olive Oil and Black Pepper Parmesan Biscotti Recipe =-.

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