Ginger: Food & Medicine

March 27, 2014


how to peel ginger

how to peel gingerhow to peel gingerFresh ginger is that minimal but potent ingredient in really fresh, delicious recipes. Knowing an easy trick to peeling it can make it a lot more accessible. I learned this trick in a cooking class we took with Chris’ family on a Caribbean cruise. Our chef just had us peel off the skin by scraping it with a spoon!

It was brilliant. I had spent years whittling down huge chunks of ginger into little nubs that would then be chopped. I would purposely buy large pieces when I knew I only needed a tablespoon. 

This technique preserves 99% of the ginger root! Yay! When preparing a stir fry, simmer some ginger with garlic in a bit of oil to flavor an entire dish. It pairs well with garlic and soy sauce. 

Ginger is a beautiful medicinal as well. Ginger has a very warming property that aids in soothing digestion. When I say “warming” I don’t mean thermostat kind of heat. I mean the property of an herb as far as what it does to the body. In this case, the warm ginger activates and soothes the digestion.

It is used by pregnant women and those with seasickness to calm nausea. You can put a couple of slices into warm water to calm an uneasy stomach. When you add it to a recipe it can balance out the “cold” nature of other ingredients. An example of this would be adding it to a green juice. Cold, raw vegetables can be harsh on the digestive system. Warming ginger will balance it out. 

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (I’m an acupuncturist as well as an herbalist) we use it in many herbal formulas for digestive health and temperature balance. 

  • love this tip! i always peel it by chopping it with a knife which wastes so much. thanks girl!

    xo. jenn @ hello, rigby!

  • Andreea Belc

    I love ginger and I use it whenever I have a cold. I boil it and after it cools down I add lemon in the water and drink it. It is so good for a sore throat. The trick with the spoon is new to me…thank you for that!

    • That is an excellent remedy! Thank you! The spoon has saved me so much lost ginger! 🙂 Plus I love shortcuts!

  • I didn’t know about that… I cook with ginger quite often and never really figured out the smart way to peel it! Hah. How easy.

    • It was just so simple that I felt cheated for not knowing it before! 🙂

  • Ahhh what a great tip! Thanks girl!

  • Jessica

    I learned this trick from some show on The Food Network. Maybe it was Barefoot Contessa. It is definitely a brilliant tip.

    Tracy @ Sunny Days and Starry Nights

    • OOOO LOVE The Barefoot Contessa!! She is someone I can watch all day. I’ve ‘made so many of her recipes. She’s so perfectly Northeasternly snooty and sweet. Perfect! 🙂

      • Jessica

        I love her too! I have seen so many of her episodes several times. She’s convinced me that I want to live in the Hamptons and be her friend.

        • Looks like we’ll all be neighbors then! It sounds perfect! lol