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Pre-minced garlic and ginger?

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  • pagal Jan 20, 2013 11:02 AM

Hi,

I like to have garlic and ginger on hand, but I don't like to have a lot of it, because it frequently goes bad before I can get to it. Is it greatly going to affect the flavor of my food if I buy a jar of the pre-minced ginger or garlic in water or oil?

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  1. Even better is Penzey's granulated and minced dried garlic.the latter needs to be re-hydrated, but tastes much better than the jarred stuffed IMHO

    1. I use the ginger in the jars sometimes because it is handy to know it's always available. I tasted it last week and realized it wouldn't be good in a sweet dish or to make ginger tea because it does have a salty taste.

      1. Peel fresh ginger and wrap it in foil, put in freezer.
        It's easier to grate and always there.

        Keep garlic in a dish (not peeled) inside a cupboard.

        Promise, they both work.

        12 Replies
        1. re: MjDematteis

          Yes, the frozen ginger trick is what I came to mention - it's one of the best tips/tricks ever.

          1. re: shanagain

            I don't even peel my ginger before I freeze it.

            1. re: Musie

              Come to think of it, I didn't even notice that - I don't peel it either, just peel what I need, then grate or slice a bit off, then the root gets wrapped in plastic wrap and put back in a freezer bag.

          2. re: MjDematteis

            I grate and freeze my ginger. I also roast, peel and freeze my garlic.

            1. re: MjDematteis

              Lifesaver!! Thanks!

              1. re: MjDematteis

                I keep ginger whole in a container in the freezer, grate it as needed. We go through garlic too fast to worry about it. I use a fine metal grater to shave off ginger and a garlic press if I need fine minced garlic. It isn't that labor intensive if you have the right tools on hand.

                1. re: blackpointyboots

                  I see no reason to spend time mincing garlic when there are good garlic presses around. This is one area where I'm not going to try the mincing. It takes too long and doesn't distribute well enough for me unless I spend an absurd amount of time mincing. If you prefer to mince, more power to you. But I never, ever buy anything but garlic heads with their skin on, everything else tastes metallic and weird. Plus, if you have a garlic press, it's no big deal to get garlic ready for a meal, rather than chopping chopping chopping 'til you're blue in the face. That's my story and I'm stickin' with it

                  1. re: EWSflash

                    I have a press and use it for certain recipes that call for a strong garlic flavor because a press that squeezes the garlic will intensify the garlic flavor.

                    For recipes that call for a mild garlic flavor I chop it. More often than not this is the case.

                    1. re: EWSflash

                      Pressing garlic crushes it and causes too an intense of a flavor for most of the dishes I cook, same reason I won’t use a microplaner for my garlic. I prefer to mince. You get a good garlic flavor without the harshness or bitterness of crushed, pressed or smashed garlic

                      p.s. My husband used to use the jarred pre-minced garlic stuff before he met me. I banned it from the kitchen.

                      1. re: EWSflash

                        Garlic presses make bitter garlic.

                    2. re: MjDematteis

                      Yeah, even if you freeze it and don't peel it. Lots of folks use it all.

                      1. re: MjDematteis

                        i store my ginger in a glass jar in the freezer; stays fresh forever.

                      2. For ginger, when I'm grocery shopping, I just tear off the amount I need for whatever I'm making, instead of buying that giant root. I just make sure to leave plenty so if someone does want to buy the big root, they can. I usually only need 2-3" at a time so this works for me.

                        As for garlic, it's so cheap if some of it goes bad before I use it it's not a big deal to me.

                        1. i really like the dorot brand frozen ginger and ginger cubes. trader joes carries the garlic, but inexplicably not the ginger. (they carry the brand's frozen cilantro and basil, which i have no use for...but the ginger is fantastic! why, joe???) they have a fresher flavor to me than the jarred stuff. they are very finely minced, so if i want to saute them, i pop them into the pan frozen--if they are defrosted, they will burn quickly, but the time it takes to defrost them in the pan is just enough time to get the aromatics going.

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: chez cherie

                            I buy the garlic, ginger, basil, and cilantro. They're great to have in the freezer, and I like the "smooth" texture of the garlic. Good for people (husband) who don't appreciate chunks of garlic in his food.

                            The basil and cilantro are mostly used in dressings or marinades. But I make a great sautéed vegetable dish with the basil and garlic.

                            Oh, and I've seen a chile peppers frozen that way and carmelized onions. Have not purchased either of those.

                            1. re: cheesecake17

                              I love the Dorot cubes. I buy garlic and basil at TJs and ginger at Whole Foods. I've also seen them at Wegmans.

                            2. re: chez cherie

                              I get the dorot garlic at TJs, but haven't seen the brand elsewhere to get the ginger. I have a squeeze tube of ginger from the produce section in the fridge. I don't use either garlic or ginger enough to use it up before it goes bad or grows. I'm afraid that a piece of ginger root in the freezer would just get lost.

                              1. re: tracylee

                                Shoprite sells it.

                                It's an Israeli brand, so if you've got a kosher or Israeli market near you, that's a place to start

                                1. re: tracylee

                                  Ralph's sells several of the Dorot frozen cubes, too. My local store has garlic, ginger, parsley, basil & cilantro. I like dropping in a cube of ginger & garlic into chicken broth. Yum. Also add garlic & basil cubes to jarred marinara, etc. off heat to add pops of fresh flavors.

                                  Who knew there were so many!
                                  http://www.dorot.co.il/?CategoryID=27

                                  1. re: yinyangdi

                                    Unfortunately, we have neither Shoprite or Ralph's here, but I keep looking.

                                    1. re: tracylee

                                      tracylee, Ralphs is owned by Kroger and it looks like it would be "Fred Meyer" in your area …?

                                      1. re: yinyangdi

                                        I'll have to look harder for it next time I'm there. Fred's isn't far away, and I think I looked last time I was there, but probably not hard enough!

                                  2. re: tracylee

                                    even Wal-Mart carries Dorot now (same product, but under the WM label) same packaging, product of Israel, what are the chances.

                                    1. re: hill food

                                      just discovered that Fresh & Easy carries Dorot's garlic, ginger, basil & cilantro.

                                2. I don't mind the bottled ginger (though I don't use it myself)--lacks a little bit of the zip of the real thing, but in a curry or such it is fine. However, the bottled garlic has a terrible, chemically taste to it--so I really avoid that.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: zamorski

                                    Bottled Garlic is just mind numbingly yucky

                                    1. re: docfood

                                      Yes! Avoid at all costs. The last of that I had was actually given as a present! That didn't even get re-gifted; isn't anyone I hate that bad.

                                      I've read that the Chinese way of keeping ginger is simply to bury it in dirt and keep it cold. I've not gotten around to trying that, but, well, it IS a root …

                                    2. re: zamorski

                                      I made the mistake of buying bottled garlic recently. Awful and the biggest waste of $4 ever.

                                      1. re: zamorski

                                        My parents keep jarred, pre-chopped garlic, and I agree that it is not a good thing. It is overly strong and tastes very old. When she uses it in a recipe that calls for 1 tsp. of minced fresh garlic, the 1 tsp. of the jarred substitute is overwhelming.

                                        When a fresh head of garlic will be good for weeks without any fuss, and costs less than 50 cents, I don't understand the jar at all.

                                        I have no experience with jarred ginger and have had to throw away more than enough moldy bits of fresh. I'm looking forward to trying the freezing method suggested.

                                      2. Pre-minced garlic tastes terrible. Most grocery stores sell pre-peeled garlic cloves which isn't a bad compromise. If you have a garlic press it becomes just as easy to use as pre-minced garlic. I wouldn't buy the pre-peeled garlic that contains preservatives to increase longevity.

                                        If you go to Japanese grocery stores they sell tubes of grated ginger (similar to the tubes of wasabi served with sushi). That's actually not too bad when used in general recipes. It can get expensive if you use a lot of it but it's much better than pre-minced garlic.

                                        1. Garlic will freeze well in the head. It discolors, but the taste does not change substantially.

                                          I have not tried the frozen ginger. Sounds like a plan.

                                          1. I keep fresh ginger in the freezer because, as someone else noted, it is easy to grate.

                                            When I find that I have too much garlic on hand I peel the cloves and store in the freezer too. It changes the texture somewhat upon defrosting but for cooking with its fine.

                                            Personally I find jarred ginger and garlic inferior to fresh. It does not taste the same to me

                                            1. Pre-minded ginger and garlic is horrible, it will spoil your food. Pre-minced ginger never breaks down in the food even if you fry it for a long time, and it gives a strong raw taste. What about grinding the ginger and garlic together (or even separately) and storing it in small quantities in the fridge and freezer. That's what I do, actually.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: luckyfatima

                                                I have used jarred chopped ginger and had it work just fine in curries and other stews.

                                                1. re: luckyfatima

                                                  I have never had food ruined by either. I prefer fresh, but keep the jarred on hand for both just in case. I have done taste tests with the garlic and cannot tell the difference other than the jarred being stronger.

                                                2. Freeze both garlic and ginger. Use that.

                                                  The jarred stuff is bad, particularly jarred garlic.

                                                  I freeze whole heads of garlic. It's much easier to peel when frozen

                                                  You can also keep ginger in a jar of sherry indefinitely.

                                                  Don't store either in oil ever though -- botulism.

                                                  1. It's not popular but I keep both ginger and minced garlic in 8 ounce jars in my fridge. I keep fresh garlic in the pantry... maybe 3 or 4 ft further than the fridge but the jarred stuff wins out fairly often. I don't use a lot of ginger so the jarred stuff is the only source i keep.

                                                    Fresh garlic is going to be better but the jarred stuff is better than doing without.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: Hank Hanover

                                                      I have to disagree. I'll go without any day before using jarred garlic. I think it tastes horrible and ruins anything its used in.

                                                      1. re: C. Hamster

                                                        Sounds a bit mellow dramatic. My stuff tastes great with jarred garlic.

                                                        1. re: C. Hamster

                                                          Oh well ... more for me.....

                                                      2. I buy dried sliced garlic at the specialty stores like Kalustayans and dried minced garlic at Sam's Club.
                                                        Both are very good if you add them early and they can absorb some liquid.
                                                        The minced garlic in oil never seems to have much zest to it.

                                                        1. I try to keep an 8oz jar of the garlic ginger blend (indian grocers sell this) in the frig. It works great in stir frys and Indian food that call for both, real time saver. Try it, its not bad. I also keep whole garlic and use that when I need that fresh garlic essence.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: dijon

                                                            The ginger garlic pastes from the Indian markets are much better than the minced garlic jars we find in the regular grocery stores. I can't stand the minced stuff because i can taste a weird metallic taste in them, but the Indian pastes are fine. I do use them only in Indian and SE Asian cooking.

                                                          2. The only time I use minced garlic from a jar is for garlic buffalo wings, otherwise its always fresh.

                                                            1. I bought (my friend actually threw it in the basket) a giant jar of minced garlic from Costco. I typically will use 5 or more cloves of garlic when I cook so i guess he thought this would save some time.
                                                              It's AWFUL. It's preserved with citric acid. I have tried rinsing it off. I was wondering if anyone else had a 'fix' for using jarred garlic. It doesn't cook right (the citric acid may have pickled the garlic? so it's rubbery and goes from fake-raw to browned but not the taste I'm looking for)
                                                              I'm about to return the whole thing to Costco and get my, um, $? back. Unless some brilliant food chemist out there can help with this

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: hieileen11

                                                                You hit the nail on the head with the pickled flavor. I found the same pickled flavor with pre-pealed whole cloves in a jar but not to the same extent.

                                                                Around our neck of the woods the minced garlic is a very common ingredient in garlic buffalo wing sauce. The Louisiana hot sauce seems to kill off the pickling flavor and its actually quite tasty.

                                                              2. I love the squeeze tubes of ginger and cilantro. Haven't tried garlic. They're great in a cooked dish- just not in a fresh dish.

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: Hobbert

                                                                  The lemongrass is fantastic, as is the chili paste, and the basil isn't bad, though texturally a little "weird" for me.

                                                                  1. re: shanagain

                                                                    Thanks for the tip!

                                                                  2. re: Hobbert

                                                                    I like the ginger. lemongrass and chili paste, but I'm not a fan of the basil and I've never tried the garlic
                                                                    the basil just has an "off" taste to me

                                                                  3. I use a rocking garlic grater....can't get the photo...sorry. It is so fast, I never worry anymore. Frozen ginger is great, but the jarred stuff is ok in a pinch.

                                                                    1. it depends upon the sensitivity of your palate.
                                                                      to me, the difference is HUGE--to my palate, a dish is completely ruined by that stuff.
                                                                      to my daughter, not so much.

                                                                      it is YOUR palate, and YOU will be eating the stuff.

                                                                      if you're cooking for others, that is a different story.

                                                                      1. Not, a fan of chopped garlic sold in the jars packed in oil or water. For convenience I used to use it for cooking demonstrations @ food hows that I was working at. Ok but a much different flavor than fresh.