Must I Peel the Ginger?
- Jim Leff Feb 9, 2008 03:46 PM
Is it always necessary to peel ginger before grating it (for cooking)? It's such a pain...
I believe the dictum is if the ginger is to remain in the dish when served, the ginger should be peeled. However, if the ginger is a component of a marinade, for example, it does not have to be peeled. Having said that, I think there will be a debate about , "to peel or not to peel." In any case, if the peel is scrubbed carefully, I don't see why it has to be peeled. Who's on first?
Yes, I think you should peel the ginger. The outer skin is pretty tough. When I get a new piece of ginger I peel the whole thing, then thinly slice and store in a small jelly jar covered with sherry. When I need a bit of ginger, it is always ready for me.
Sometimes the peel can impart a slight bitterness, but not always.
I usually peel the ginger if it's going remain in the dish (grated, cubed, sliced, pressed, etc) but don't peel if it's going to be removed (flavoring for boiled dishes, soups, stocks, etc).
Most of the time it probably won't make a difference but you can always do a taste test by grating a tiny amount and checking for the "bitter" level.
I've always been a ginger peeler, but last month I made the fresh ginger ice cream from The Perfect Scoop. And since David Lebovitz didn't say anything about peeling and I had barely enough unpeeled ginger to make up the amount needed (weighed)... I just chopped it up, peel and all. His recipe called for two blanchings in hot water which took care of any bitterness, and I strained the ginger pieces out after infusing the cream with it. Worked like a charm.
I've read and seen on tv that if it is young and fresh, ginger really does not need to be peeled at all because the skin is quite thin and I've found this to be true whether it stays in the dish or not.
No need to peel it if you're grating it with a rasp. It you're using a ceramic grater, peeling it makes the grating easier.