Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
Jul 17, 2014 02:44 PM

I never used a grater before

OK, I'm 66, been cooking all my adult life and never used a small grater before. I've always diced and minced with a knife.
Well, I bought one last week and grated a small piece of ginger. (About the size of a large marble.) Nothing came out. The whole piece of ginger was stuck in the grater. I beat it on the counter but nothing fell out. It took me a half an hour with a tooth pick to remove it all. I'll never grate ginger again!
Questions are, How do you get the food freed from a small grater???
What am I doing wrong?

Thank you,

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I use a microplane for ginger and garlic. The holes on that grater look very, very small so I wouldn't use it. When I'm done with the microplane, I just rinse it in hot water then wash it with the rest of the dishes. Never had an issue.

    1. I use this ceramic ginger grater most of the time:

      Never any problem getting the ginger out, as there is nothing for it to get trapped in. Aside from that, the original Microplane Zester, long, no handle, inexpensive, also works. You just need to scrape the ginger out of the bottom with a butter knife, then rinse out the grater. No toothpicks or other excavation needed.

      Some one here probably uses your grater model and will have advice on removal.

      7 Replies
      1. re: mcsheridan

        This looks to be what I need. A ceramic ginger grater.
        Thank you.
        I'll toss that other thing away.

        1. re: thegrindre

          The grater you got looks like its perfect for something like hard cheese, nutmeg. or chocolate for garnish- there won't be a lot of anything coming through the holes. Since ginger has a lot of fiber that's what got stuck in it so badly.
          The little ceramic ones are perfect for ginger.

        2. re: mcsheridan

          A daikon grater also works. Similar to your ceramic grater but with holes. I have the one pictured, but it's been so long I have no idea where I got it, probably somewhere like Daiso. It's very inexpensive. But you can probably get something similar at any Asian market that carries kitchen goods.

          1. re: gmm

            Boy, I like that. Looks perfect for ginger and garlic.

            1. re: thegrindre

              There's also this kind. My mother always had 2 or 3 on hand, also very inexpensive. The Kyocera ceramic one looks nice, but I wouldn't shell out $25 for something I rarely use.

              1. re: gmm

                Ebay is much cheaper. I have a $12 bid going on right now.
                I don't know how to cancel my bid cuz I found one for less then $10.
                Oh well. :-)

                1. re: thegrindre

                  Personally I'd go with a microplane. More versatile and very easy to use and clean. Cheap too and very sharp


        3. When you grate ginger, you generally grate a slightly larger piece than what you need, with the assumption that some of the fibers will stick to the grater. Also, grate with the fiber, not across it -- you'll lose less that way. Rinse with hot water (or soak in the sink while you finish cooking) and the food comes right off.

          1 Reply
          1. re: boogiebaby

            I was using a larger piece then I needed. It was all stuck in the grater and I couldn't get it out without a tooth pick.

          2. Wrong grater for the job.
            A micro plane would have turned a clove of garlic or a small knob of ginger into a small pile of purée in a matter of seconds with very little loss

            1 Reply
            1. re: scubadoo97

              Thank you very much. :-)
              I see the error in my ways, now.


            2. How to get the food freed? I start with a good thump or two (i.e., bang the grater on the cutting board) to dislodge the large pieces, then run in through the dishwasher along with everything else. Or blast it with a hard jet of water.

              Ginger is hard to grate with a standard box grater, let along the handheld one you're using. It usually results in a fiberous mess, as you've discovered - and if you're using just a small piece it's easy to grate your knuckles as well. Microplanes work the best, but I usually just mince it as fine as I can with a chef's knife.

              10 Replies
              1. re: tardigrade

                Don't have a dishwasher. Banging it on the counter didn't dislodge anything and I don't have a power jet water thingy.
                Had to use toothpicks and is the reason I posted my inquires of how to get the food out of one of these things in the first place.
                I wanted to eat what I had grated.

                1. re: thegrindre

                  An old toothbrush would work as well.

                  1. re: gmm

                    Excellent! Never thought of that.
                    How about a good toothbrush cuz I want to eat the grated food.

                    1. re: gmm

                      Exactly what I was about to suggest. I keep a small stiff brush on hand for all those bits - whether with a microplane, using cheeses, etc. (As an aside, the brush does double duty, cleaning my grill pan.)

                    2. re: thegrindre

                      I just looked at the link you attached for your grater. that is not the type of grater you should be using for ginger. You should be using a microplane type, that is flat on both sides. The one you linked appears to have the tiny bumpy dots on one side, which doesn't work well for ginger because of the fibers.

                      This is the grater I use for ginger -- grates well, and easy to clean:

                      1. re: boogiebaby

                        The grater the OP bought looks to have a similar surface as one side of my box grater. I've never figured out exactly what that side is useful for. I've never used it.

                        1. re: gmm

                          Haha neither have I! It's intriguing but useless.

                          1. re: gmm

                            I have always thought it was for citrus zest -- but it just doesn't work very well!

                          2. re: boogiebaby

                            And, it's very prickly and sharp. :-(

                            1. re: thegrindre

                              Paint them black and stick a votive in them - you can at least use them for Halloween. (Courtesy of Martha Stewart.) LOL