How to Peel Ginger the Best (and Safest) Way

Garlic with spoon Getty 6/29/20

Need to peel fresh ginger for your recipe? Well, the best tool for this particular endeavor is sitting in your cutlery drawer. Here’s what you need to know about peeling ginger with a spoon: 

What Is Ginger? 

Cooking dinner shouldn't be complicated

Garlic Getty 6/29/20

Ginger, a flowering plant, is most commonly grown for its root, which is used for both culinary and medicinal purposes. 

You can buy ginger root whole or as a dried and powdered spice. Whole ginger can be sliced, minced, chopped, grated, or ground before it is added to food. 

Do You Have to Peel Ginger?

Not necessarily. Whether or not you peel your ginger is really just a matter of personal preference. 

Though the rough skin may slightly impact the texture of your food (so perhaps keep it out of sauces or things that are meant to be completely smooth), keeping it in its skin really won’t affect the taste of the finished product most of the time. 

One caveat: If you don’t peel the ginger, make sure to scrub it really well before adding it to your food—don’t forget that it grows underground.  

Related: When Should You Use Fresh, Frozen, Dried, or Candied Ginger?

How to Peel Ginger

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Still want to peel your ginger for aesthetic or textural reasons? Step away from paring knife or potato peeler!

The best, easiest, and—perhaps most importantly—safest way to peel ginger is with a spoon. A simple spoon will remove just the skin, while it’s hard to use other tools without shaving off perfectly usable parts of the root (or, you know, your finger). 

Here’s how: 

  1. Hold the bowl of the spoon between your thumb and forefinger (the thumb should be on the back of the spoon). Hold the ginger in your other hand. 
  2. Press the edge of the spoon firmly onto the root, then scrape in an upward motion. The skin should peel easily off.
  3. Continue, working your way around the ginger, until the entire peel is removed. 

How to Mince Ginger

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You don’t need any special tools to mince ginger properly. Just grab a sharp knife and follow these simple steps: 

  1. Carefully slice the ginger into thin “coins.”
  2. Stack a few of the coins at a time, then slice them into matchsticks. 
  3. Line up the matchsticks and cut horizontally until the ginger is completely minced. 

Ginger Recipes

Left-Over Chicken Soup with Kale, Ginger, and Sumac image

Does all this ginger talk have you craving the warming aromatic? We’ve got you covered. Try one of our favorite recipes that use ginger root today: 

  • Leftover Chicken Soup with Kale, Ginger, and Sumac
  • Pork Loin With Ginger, Fennel, and Apples
  • Honey-Ginger Pear Salad
  • Ginger-Scallion Noodles
  • No-Cook Shrimp Noodle Bowl with Peanut-Ginger Sauce
  • Sesame Shrimp With Ginger Broccoli
  • Ginger-Chile Roasted Acorn Squash
  • Green Tea-Ginger Ice Cream

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