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Grating ginger

I tried grating ginger for an Indian recipe tonight. (Grating was called for in the recipe.) I was supposed to end up with 1 tbsp. grated ginger, and I started with a pretty hefty knob of ginger.

I *may* have gotten a teaspoon. The problem with the grater is, most of the ginger clings to the grater! or, should I say, the sharp points and the interstices between them. I ran a dull blade in diagonals through those spaces, but that doesn't help much.

I used the coarser face of a box grater that has coarse and fine faces. (The other two are more like staggered holes for grating cheese).

Any suggestions? Using a grater for this task seems more trouble than it's worth.


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  1. Use a microplane or the edge of a spoon.

    1 Reply
    1. re: alwayscooking

      microplane, definitely.

      the spoon method is great for scraping off the peel/skin, but doesn't work so well for grating if the ginger is really fibrous.

      1. Peel and freeze the ginger then mircoplane. Keep it frozen all the time until you need it. Works for me.

        1. Microplane. When finished, use the small piece of ginger still in your fingers to remove the adhering grated ginger from both sides of the utensil. Little waste. By the way, be prepared, you typically get a lot of joice as liquid using a microplane, so grate into a container with sides.

          1. As per everyone else - microplane it is. Also does a 'grate' job on hard cheese and garlic. You don't even have to peel the garlic, just cut one end off. I remember 20 years ago getting strange looks because I had a Stanley surform plane in the kitchen.

            The other thing I always keep in the kitchen drawer is one of those multi-tools. Used it yesterday to pull pin bones from fish and get the sinews out of a turkey leg.

            One other thing is a sharp edged spoon where I ground down the end and one side so I could scoop stuff out. Has anyone seen a commercial version of this? I had to wrap elastic bands round the handle to stop people using it as an ordinary spoon.

            1. Cover the grater (whether it be a box grater or a microplane) with plastic wrap. Grate away. Then peel off the PW and oila, you have grated ginger with nothing clinging to the grater.

              1 Reply
              1. re: bnemes3343

                If you are using a porcelian grater, I usually keep a cheap toothbursh in my drawer to allow me to get the last of the ginger out of the "nubs" on the grater..

              2. I have no trouble with my box grater but it is nice and sharp. Never put your box grater in the dish machine. Dish soap is brutal to any sharp edge.
                I do wet my ginger and peel the skin with a spoon but that's a separate step from grating. At least for me. Irrespective of whether you use a box grater or a microplane when I clean ginger I grate it all at once. I put the excess in small pieces of plastic wrap and make pouches. Then I put them in the freezer. The next time I need fresh ginger I just pop a pouch out of the freezer about 30 minutes ahead of time. This works very well and there is little if any imapact on the ginger from freezing.

                1. I love cooking with ginger; hate prepping it. Once every few months I get a couple pounds of it, peel it, chunk it and put it in the food processor with a little water. Puree down to the consistency of your choosing, then spoon into an ice cube tray. Once frozen, take the cubes out and put in a zipper bag in your freezer. When you need a T or t of ginger, voila! If you put a cube in a little glass prep bowl you can micro-thaw it in seconds.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: squirreljam

                    How do you seperate the flesh from the fiber if you are just putting chunks in the processor? For me grating is essential to separate the flesh from the fiber.

                    1. re: Fritter

                      When it's all processed, any fibers have been cut so finely that there is no difference between grated and processed. Then, the water helps make it a paste.

                      I only use a FP because of the quantities; if I were doing this for a single recipe, I'd use a blender, which would make it even finer. BTW, I originally got this technique of pureeing ginger with a little water from a Madhur Jaffrey recipe.

                  2. Wow, thanks, everyone, for replies. I had heard of microplanes but thought they were just some fancy upscale version of a plain old grater that didn't offer any real benefits. And I didn't even know about ginger-specific graters.

                    Thanks very much for your suggestions and hints; I'll be looking into these.

                    1. Use a Japanese ginger grater. Only way to go. No holes, nothing lost, easy to clean.