Fresh ginger is super versatile and has many uses in the kitchen. It is one of those vegetables that naturally lasts long, but I wanted to see how long!
Read on for tips on how to store ginger to keep it fresh for a long time.
What is ginger?
Ginger is a type of plant that is used as a spice in cooking and in herbal medicine. Its root or rhizome is most commonly used. It is known for its spicy flavor and strong aroma, and it can be used fresh or in powdered form.
Asian cuisines use a lot of ginger in their food, like soups, stir fries, and curries. While dried ginger is usually added to baked goods like quick breads, muffins, and cakes. It is also popular as an herbal remedy, and the root is boiled in water for tea to help with indigestion and cold symptoms.
How to buy ginger in the store
You can find it in the veggie section near other root crops like potatoes. Take a good look at the ginger and choose one with smooth skin. Any wrinkles and soft parts mean that the ginger is old and will not be good for long. Then hold it to make sure it is firm and there isn’t any mold growing on it.
How to store fresh ginger
Ginger is more likely to dry out first and sometimes it gets moldy if exposed to too much moisture.
I got a package of ginger from the store and left it on the counter. I decided to leave the unpeeled ginger root in the wrap to help it from drying out. It was OK for about a week before it started to wrinkle. As with other vegetables, if you plan to use them the day you bought them, then it doesn’t need to go into the fridge.
The best thing to do with fresh ginger is to place it in the refrigerator.
How to store ginger in the fridge
Place the fresh ginger root in a resealable bag or airtight container and leave it in the veggie drawer in your fridge. Unpeeled ginger will last for a month or so. You can place a paper towel in the container to help absorb any moisture. It should last at least a month and even longer if your refrigerator is really cold.
For this experiment, I kept the ginger in for three months in the refrigerator. It was still firm and there was some moisture in the bag. It probably would have lasted longer with a paper towel in it.
You can also pickle raw ginger by placing cut slices in a pickling mixture of equal parts water, vinegar, and sugar. Pickled ginger will last at least two months in the refrigerator.
How to store ginger after cutting
If you have cut ginger leftover from a recipe and plan to use it in a day or two, place the ginger slices in an airtight container in the fridge.
Peeled ginger will not last long, most likely two weeks. Wrap the ginger piece in plastic wrap to help keep the ginger fresh before placing it in a plastic bag or container and placing it in the crisper drawer.
I don’t recommend storing sliced ginger or peeled ginger! I usually make leftovers into ginger tea or freeze them.
How to store ginger in the freezer
Ginger is great to store in the freezer. I recommend cutting them into thin slices or spears before placing them in the freezer. Then you can just use whatever you need for a recipe or make ginger tea with it too.
You could pop ginger root in the food processor or grate it with a microplane to make it into a ginger paste. Place the grated ginger in a mini ice cube tray and freeze. When I do this, I pop out the ginger cubes and place them in a freezer bag for storage. I get one or two mini cubes for stir fries or sauces that I make.
How to grow store-bought ginger
You can try and grow ginger in a pot too. Choose parts of the rhizome that has a lot of “eyes” on them. This is where green shoots and leaves will grow.
Eventually, the ginger rhizome will grow, and you can cut off parts of it for cooking or tea.
I tried planting ginger roots in potting soil. I place the pieces in soil and lightly covered them with soil. About a month in, the shoots started to grow. After three months, I pulled them out and there was new growth! I guess I’ll have to wait a couple more months to see if they’ll really grow big.
What is the best way to store ginger root?
I found that freezing ginger was the best way of storing ginger for me. If I have time, I’ll make it into ginger ice cubes. But more often, I slice and freeze them. It frees up space in my veggie bin and lasts way longer too!
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