Over the years, Fine Cooking readers have written to us with their favorite ways to store fresh ginger—the topic is a recurrent theme in the magazine's Tips department. Since this aromatic spice is also a popular ingredient in many of our recipes, both sweet and savory (see Roasted Winter Vegetables with Maple-Ginger Glaze, Ginger Ice Cream, Tuna Burgers with Ginger & Cilantro, Triple-Ginger Cheesecake, and Turkey Soup with Ginger, Lemon & Mint among others), we decided to put some of these suggestions, plus some of our own ideas, to the test.
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We started with the freshest ginger we could find. Fresh ginger should be firm, almost hard, with unwrinkled skin, and possess a strong gingery aroma. You might assume that small, tender, thin-skinned ginger the choicest, but actually it's the mature, tough-skinned type that have the most intense spicy flavor.
For our experiment, we stored ginger in 11 different ways for an eight-week period.
- Six jars of freshly peeled ginger went into the fridge submerged in various spirits and acidic liquids: vodka, dry sherry, sake, rice wine, rice vinegar, and fresh lime juice.
- Four unpeeled chunks went into the vegetable crisper: one in a plain paper bag; one wrapped in plastic wrap and then placed in a paper bag; one in a zip-top bag; and one wrapped in dry paper towels and then put in a zip-top bag.
- Following a reader's tip, we "planted" one chunk of fresh unpeeled ginger in a pot of soil.
Want to use up your fresh ginger now? Check out drinks blogger Camper English's recipe for Homemade Ginger Beer.