School ended this week, and I packed up the house for a few summer weeks in California. One of the last things I did was freeze two sad knobs of ginger I’d bought a while back. I meant to freeze the ginger while it was fresher, but even slightly-aged ginger slices will be frozen gold when the need arises. Unlike some herbs that dry well, ginger powder is no substitute for the fresh root. Freeze ginger in any form that you normally use it – sliced, minced, grated – and it’s ready to go when you need it.
I save my ginger root not because it’s costly – it isn’t – but to save me from an extra trip to the store or from a meal that would have been so much better if I’d just had that little extra spice. And the way I was raised, good food is not wasted as a matter of principle.
I don’t normally need ginger in volume (though for ginger lovers, the Barefoot Contessa’s Indonesian ginger chicken is pretty great), but I love having a few slices available for teriyaki salmon, chicken and green bean stir fry or Chinese beef noodle soup. Fresh ginger is also warming as an herbal tea, slices steeped in boiling water and paired with honey or lemon. It’s also heavenly combined with black tea and spices for homemade chai.
Freezing ginger hardly needs instruction. But of course I snapped a few pictures for you. Start by cutting off the ends.
I peel ginger with a spoon – it’s easy to scrape off the thin skin. I might have skipped peeling it if you weren’t watching.
Wrap the slices in plastic wrap. I lay a few slices flat on one end of a sheet of plastic wrap.
Then I roll the row up in plastic wrap, adding another row and roll again. This way all the slices stay separated and don’t stick together.
Then I tuck the ends under. But you can twist them if you like.
This little package gets slipped into my freezer door. Having rescued my ginger from a slow death in the refrigerator, I left for California with a clear conscience. And my golden ginger will stay in suspended freshness for when I get back.