Fresh ginger root is used as a seasoning in a variety of dishes, especially in Asian cuisine. It adds a fresh zest and aromatic flavor to any recipe it is added to. Ginger grows from rhizomous roots, with the roots gathered and used for cooking. Some of the roots are usually left in the ground to grow into new plants and ensure further harvest. Ginger primarily grows in warm areas with mild winters, but the fresh roots are also readily available at most grocery stores. Preparing the ginger properly for storage or immediate use ensures the best flavor and the longest storage that is possible.
Scrub freshly dug or purchased ginger under running water to remove all dirt and debris. Use a stiff-bristled vegetable scrub brush.
Scrape off the skin prior to use. Use the edge of a spoon to scrape off the skin, applying minimal pressure.
Cut the ginger root into 1/4 inch slices, chop it fine or shred it. Use immediately or freeze the prepared ginger in a sealed plastic bag.
Dry ginger by slicing it into disks. Spread the ginger disks on a drying screen, and place in a warm, dry room. Turn the slices every one to two days until the ginger slices have dried. Crush the slices with a mortar and pestle, then store in a tightly sealed jar.