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Jan 2, 2013 04:56 PM

Peeling ginger

Is there an easy way to peel ginger? Seems once I get around the knots and gnarls I don't have much left. I've tried veggie peelers and knives [They turn the ginger red. Blood you know.] Is there an easier way?

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  1. I just recently learned to use a spoon. The papery peel comes right off, leaving you maximum yield of the root.

    7 Replies
      1. re: lsmutko

        I wash the ginger first or wet it before using the spoon. I also find ginger freezes really well so I grate and freeze small pouches that I form from plastic wrap. It's super handy to just pull one from the freezer all cleaned and ready when I want it.

        1. re: lsmutko

          I made chicken adobo for NYE dinner and the spoon trick was mentioned in the recipe. I had never seen it either despite cooking many different gingerroot-using dishes over lo these many years.

          I have to say I tend to use either the microplane method if I need fine ginger or the cut-a-cross-section-and-peel method. Or just smash a big piece up a bit and toss it in whole, if I'm feeling really lazy and it's a braise-type dish.

            1. re: letsindulge

              Bit of a modern take, from Kevin Luzande.

        2. I actually loathe peeling garlic more than peeling ginger. Dam' garlic oil is sticky stuff, dontchaknow.

          9 Replies
          1. re: Perilagu Khan

            I'm sure you know this: Unless you want a whole clove of garlic, put a broad knife's side on the clove and bang your fist on the other side of the knife. The peel will slide right off and the clove be smushed down and ready to chop.

            1. re: rccola

              Yes, I've done that. Banging the clove with the palm of your hand also works. But almost inevitably, the peel splinters somewhat, the oil goes everywhere, and I still wind up with rather a mess. Ginger, by comparison, is fairly neat--if not somewhat persnickety--to work with.

              1. re: Perilagu Khan

                I've not had that happen--the oil going everywhere. Sometimes cloves are still whole. Perhaps a Khan bang is more powerful?

                Using your palm = smushed clove on palm.

                Try side of knife with gentle bang!

                1. re: rccola

                  I'll endeavor to go more gently into that good kitchen.

                2. re: Perilagu Khan

                  Interesting, I've never had the oil spattering problem. You must be much stronger than I.

                  I use a small rock, flat on one side and fitting perfectly into my palm. Line up the cloves on a cutting board, then gently whack each one with the garlic rock. Cut off the base of the clove and the skin slips right off.

                  1. re: tcamp

                    I used to use a rock as well. I lived in Maine for three years recently and found a perfect beach rock. It was curved on one side to nicely fit my hand, just large enough so that I couldn't accidentally get my fingers underneath, and almost perfectly flat on the bottom. I also had one similar with more of a rounded bottom that I used as a pestle. I have them packed away with most of my kitchen gear currently since I am living in a small apartment right now and have a house full of furniture and kitchen gear in storage. I think I will have to pull them out and start using them again.

              2. re: Perilagu Khan

                This link has been posted many times here, but it bears repeating: Hot to Peel a Head of Garlic in Less Than 10 Seconds...

                I just love when he tells you to "... shake the dickens out of it." I bought a plastic lidded container for use as garbage bowl and garlic peeler (of course washed between uses for either task).

                1. re: MplsM ary

                  I've never tried that method, but most heads of garlic I buy won't even get past the first stage. Slamming my palm down on them does NOT free all the cloves. On many cloves, the skin is anchored tight to the root end and isn't coming free easily without 'smushing' and, even then, I often have to cut the root end first. Just sayin'. The only real difficulty I have is when I want whole cloves and just can't get the skin to come free. I don't really mind garlic under my fingernails, but it happens.

                  1. re: Midlife

                    for whole cloves the best thing is a garlic peeler. A rubber tube about 6" long, and 1.5" diameter made of thin rubber. Put a clove in and rub tube between two hands. Removes the skin easily.

              3. I also use a spoon. Most times I use a microplane to grate the ginger into my recipe, very little waste this way.

                2 Replies
                1. re: LBinFL

                  second this. i've found that for some reason, the microplane grates only the ginger, not the peel, so it doesn't have to be peeled. and no biting into a chunk of ginger.

                  also, i store my ginger in a glass jar in the freezer -- doesn't dry out.

                  1. re: LBinFL

                    Same here. It I need slices of ginger, I use a spoon. If I'm grating, I just grate it peel and all.

                  2. Pick and buy ginger with less knots and gnarls.

                    8 Replies
                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        I find ginger is pretty cheap and it's not worth the work trying to salvage every little part. So I just look for fairly fat knobs with as few little gnarls as possible. When I need some, I cut off a piece of the trunk crosswise to yield a smooth and uniform, barrel-shaped chunk, then put the cut edge down on a board and go around slicing off the peel. It's easy enough to save the pieces of peel and the rest of the non-uniform parts for another purpose if one wants to do that.

                          1. re: johnb

                            Yep, this is the easiest way.

                              1. re: johnb

                                Cheap it's not. At least not in our local grocery stores. Average 5 bucks a pound. I try to buy mine at local Asian markets where the price is more realistic.

                                1. re: scubadoo97

                                  Even at $5 a pound, that's only 31 cents an ounce. I just measured the piece of ginger I currently have; it's 3 inches by 1 inch, and doesn't even weigh 2 oz. And if I grated it, I'm sure it would give me at least 2 or 3 tablespoons full. I have never made anything that called for that much, so I would still call that pretty cheap.

                                  1. re: queenscook

                                    I dont use a lot of saffron per dish but saffron is expensive. When a plant root that is easy to grow is the price of steak that's still expensive to me. Especially when I find it fresher for nearly half the price. But I know where your coming from

                            1. I have found that once I cut off the knobs, the easiest way to "peel" it is to grate the skin off all sides....take that away and you can then just grate it.