Ginger is a staple in most homes which adds an ultimate zing to the foods with a bunch of health benefits. So, let’s bring you some great ways how to store ginger for a long period.
Fresh ginger can be refrigerated, pulped, preserved, or pickled if you need to keep them for a longer period. At the same time, dried or powdered ginger needs to be stored in tightly-sealed containers and can be kept in a cool place where no direct sunlight falls with zero humidity.
So, if you were ever looking for ways to keep your ginger as fresh as possible for weeks and months, we hope this article will be super helpful. Keep reading!
How To Store Ginger?
The ginger we buy from the store for culinary purposes usually comes in three basic forms- fresh rhizomes, dried ginger, and ground or powdered ginger.
So, if you ever had a hard time struggling not being able to keep your ginger fresh and pungent for a long time, follow these easy tips to save a ton of money you spend on ginger regularly!
How To Store Fresh Ginger?
If you are someone who loves Asian dishes and often comes up with soups, stews, or ginger tea, you must be counting on a lot of ginger regularly.
Regardless of whether you buy ginger from the store or obtain it from your home garden, it is important to pick them carefully for your needs.
How To Pick Ginger?
Picking up good quality ginger helps you to maintain the taste of your dish and preserve them for a long time.
Therefore, make sure you choose fresh rhizomes with smooth and unwrinkled outer peel. They should appear plump and hard to press down if you try thrusting them with your fingers.
Check out for any signs of large molds or black spots in the rhizome. You can always trim them off, but the chances are low that they would stay well for a longer period.
Cleaning Fresh Ginger
Scrub off the dirt really well with water until you get a very clean piece if you find any mud on the store-bought rhizomes or pick them up fresh from your cultivation.
Then, pat them dry thoroughly using paper towels and allow them to air-dry until any moisture is dried out. The reason is that moisture could hinder their quality of life, improving mold growth and making them rot sooner than you expected.
So, after getting prepared with your fresh ginger rhizomes, let’s now check out how to store them.
01- Leaving On The Pantry
If you hope to use your ginger rhizome within a few days, you can just leave it in a safe place in your pantry.
You can just pop it inside the fruit basket or keep it in a cool, dry spot on the countertop. Make sure to cover with a piece of cling wrap each time you cut a chunk of ginger from the main rhizome.
There are two main ways that can be effective when refrigerating ginger, and you can choose whatever method that is easy and suitable for you.
- You can simply put your cleaned ginger rhizomes inside a sealable plastic bag and pop it in the crisper of your fridge. In this way, your rhizomes will say well for up to one to two months.
- As the next method, you can scrape off the outer peel of the rhizomes using a teaspoon or peeler. Make sure to trim the uneven edges and remove blemishes and scars.
Wash with clean water once again and pat them dry with a paper towel. Then, slice the ginger, place the sliced pieces inside a plastic bag, seal it tightly and store it in the freezer. You can use these ginger slices directly in your curries, soups, tea, etc.
You can also mince them instead of slicing or cutting them into pieces of your choice. This method will maintain the pungency and flavor of your ginger for up to six months. Do not forget to reseal the bag when you pop it back into the freezer.
Check out SYEENIFY Reusable Food Storage Bags to keep your ginger perfectly sealed in the refrigerator or in the freezer. You can buy them online in different sizes.
03- Preserving In A Spirit
When we mention a “spirit” here, it should be an alcohol with at least 40% or more alcohol concentration. The easiest and the most effective would be vodka since vodka does not have a potent added flavor. But you can also use rum or gin.
To begin with, you can peel and slice your rhizomes, as we mentioned earlier. Then, put the ginger slices into a well-fitting jar (you can use a tall and wide-mouthed mason jar for this) and fill the jar with vodka or whatever alcohol you use.
Close the lid tightly and pop it into the fridge; this will stay fresh for about one to two months. The ginger pieces will have a slight alcohol taste, but it will not change the texture of the spice.
You can use these ginger slices with your soups, stews, broths, stir-fries, curries, etc. But we do not recommend this to be used in tea as the mild alcohol taste could be unappetizing.
04- Make Pickled Ginger
This step will count some additional ingredients and time but believe us- it is worth trying!
To do this, you will need to grab some stuff from your pantry. You will need:
- A sanitized mason jar
- Dried red chili peppers (you can take about 3-4 red chilies per rhizome)
- Szechuan peppercorns (about half a tablespoon per rhizome)
- 1-2 star anise
- Fine sea salt (about half a teaspoon per rhizome)
- Granulated sugar (about one teaspoon per rhizome)
- Rice wine (an amount that would fill about ¼ of the jar)
- Boiled, room temperature water (to fill the rest of the jar)
Close the lid and leave this under a shade at room temperature for about five to ten days. After about ten days, you can put this ginger pickle in the fridge, which will stay well for up to three months.
This pickle is great as a side dish, or you can incorporate them with sushi or various noodle dishes.
We would like to recommend Ball Wide Mouth Mason Jars as an ideal choice to pick when you make ginger pickle. You can order a pack of six 32-ounce jars online for an affordable price!
05- Making A Paste/ Pulping Ginger
Making ginger paste enables you to use this spice with its ultimate flavor and zest for a much longer time. All you need is a food processor to blend the ginger into a fine paste. Clean, peel and cut your rhizomes into small pieces and blend until you get the desired texture.
If it is too hard to go, you can follow up with a very little amount of water. Once the ginger paste is ready, you can store it in a well-fitting glass jar and keep it in the refrigerator for up to one to two weeks. Make sure the jar is completely dry before putting your paste in it.
While you can make a paste only with ginger, you can also incorporate garlic into it and use this paste with many of your Asian dishes and meat marinades. Click on this link to check out our simple recipe to make the best ginger garlic paste.
Freezing The Ginger Paste
If you need to keep it for longer, you can try the freezing option. You can stuff your ginger paste into a silicone or regular ice tray.
The amount that goes in each section might depend on the size of your ice tray. Pop this in the freezer; it will stay well for about six months.
Once the cubes are frozen enough, you can transfer them to resealable plastic bags. This will save space in your freezer.
You can add a little oil and salt if you intend to use these frozen ginger cubes only for savory dishes like curries, stews, soups, etc. But, if you need them for baking and combining into beverages, do not mix any additives.
Try DOQAUS Silicone Ice Cube Trays if you freeze your ginger paste. They come with a lid and with an easy removal technique to make your storing process much more efficient.
Drying fresh ginger is another great way to make use of a lot of ginger you have in hand and to extend the shelf life of your rhizomes.
All you have to do is to clean the rhizomes well and slice them into one-inch pieces. You can leave the skin on or scrape it off- the skin won’t particularly make much of a difference in this process.
You can dehydrate your ginger slices in the dehydrator or low oven. You can dry them out at 150 F for about one and a half to two hours.
Make sure to check the slices every half an hour. If you have an oven that doesn’t go as low as 150 F, crack the oven door and place the oven rack on its lowest level. Check on the ginger slices every 15 to 20 minutes to ensure they don’t burn.
More Tips For Drying…
Your ginger slices need to be completely dry before storing. It will cause mold formation if any moisture is left. So, once they are fully dehydrated, you can put them inside a glass, air-tight container and store them with the rest of your spices.
These dried ginger slices will stay flavorful and pungent for about five to six months. If you don’t have an oven or a dehydrator but live in areas with plenty of natural sunlight, you can air dry your ginger. But this process will take up to three to four days.
Keep them on a flat tray and place them on a windowsill that gets a lot of sunlight. You can use your prepared dried ginger slices to make tea or grind them to a fine powder. Run your ginger powder through a fine mesh sieve to remove any large clumps.
If you do not have a dehydrator at home but hope to invest in one, we bet that COSORI Food Dehydrator will never disappoint you! It comes with stainless steel racks, a temperature control option, and you can buy it online for a reasonable price.
07- Bury Them Inside Coconut Fiber
This method has been used since the very olden days, particularly regarding seed ginger. So, if you are growing ginger at home and need to save the seed rhizomes until the next season, you can bury them inside coconut coir or coconut fiber.
Get a large gardening plastic container and fill half of it with coconut fiber. Then place your seed ginger rhizomes pushing slightly inside with your hands. Then, put another layer of coconut fiber on top of that, close the lid, and store where you need it.
Packing your seed rhizomes in this soil culture will help to draw their excess moisture and prevent them from rotting until the following season.
Storing Pre-Made Ginger Powder And Dried Ginger
As a fact, pre-made options usually come with a manufactured and expiry date, so you don’t have to worry. But not storing ginger powder or dried ginger properly could also decrease their pungency and shelf life.
Therefore, make sure they are stored in a glass, air-tight container and kept in a dry, cool place where no direct sunlight falls.
You can keep them inside your spice cabinet with the rest of the dry spices and herbs. When stored properly, powdered ginger and dried ginger will stay at their best for about one to two years.
Shelf Life Of Ginger
While dried or powdered ginger could have a shelf life from six months to two years, the shelf life of fresh ginger might vary depending on how it is stored.
So, refer to the table below for a clear idea about the shelf life of fresh ginger classified upon the relevant storing method.
|Outside||Will stay well for a few days|
|Cleaned, unpeeled, refrigerated||01- 02 months|
|Cleaned, peeled, sliced, frozen||06 months|
|Preserved in a spirit, refrigerated||01- 02 months|
|Pickled, refrigerated||03 months|
|Ginger paste (refrigerated)||01- 02 weeks|
|Ginger paste (frozen)||06 months|
|Dried at home||05- 06 months|
|Seed ginger rhizomes buried in coconut fiber||Will stay well until the next season you take them out to plant.|
Maintaining the flavor and potency of your fresh ginger rhizomes, dried or powdered ginger, is not as hard as you think if you know the correct practices. There are several ways to keep fresh ginger for a long time, including refrigeration, freezing, pulping, and pickling.
You can also dry them at home, and seed ginger rhizomes can be buried inside coconut fiber to prevent rotting. Powdered or dried ginger should be stored in a well-fitting glass container and kept in a dark, dry, cool place to preserve their pungency.
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