There is no doubt that ginger is an excellent ingredient in a variety of recipes, some spicy and some that simply warm your heart – however, it can be a pain to add when the recipe calls for minced ginger. It’s a stubborn root that is either too slippery in the hand or too tough to be minced properly. However, there is a knack to getting good minced ginger, and one that doesn’t take too much effort either.
A Little History Lesson
Ginger is a flowering plant that is has found widespread use as a spice and as medication all around the globe. Ginger’s very first written record comes from China and dates back to the Warring States Period, which was about 475-221 BC.
Years later, Ginger was introduced to the Mediterranean by Arabian travellers. Not only as a spice but also is also as folk medicine. It was and is still believed to cure several diseases. To no surprise, the use of Ginger kept increasing with time and meeting the rising demand, so did its production. In 2018 alone, the total global production of Ginger was estimated to be over 2.8 million tons. The leading producer was India, producing 32% of the total production. Next in line are countries like China, Nigeria, and Nepal.
Common Uses for Ginger
Ginger serves more than one purpose in the world. It is used as a spice as well as a medicine. This is why the use of ginger has never declined throughout history despite other spices falling out of favour (looking at you kalonji). Ginger is used in food and medicine items like Candy, Soda, Alcoholic Beverages, Vegetables, and pickles.
Inside the kitchen, Ginger is used to enhance the flavour of food and is also used as a fragrant spice even when you don’t notice it is there. Ginger can be turned into candy or even wine and one widespread use of Ginger is to soak it in boiling water to make Ginger herb tea, which is widely believed to help lose weight.
Ginger is a crucial ingredient in almost all Indian cuisine, especially in dishes with thicker gravy. Fresh ginger is also one of the key ingredients when making lentil and pulse curries or other vegetable preparations. In addition, it is used in vegetarian and meat-based dishes alike, not having a preference for either taste or aroma.
Ginger in its powdered form is also used to manufacture such goods that are believed to be highly beneficial for pregnant and nursing women. Tofu, Korean Kimchi, noodles, pulses, tea, candy, and pickles. Ginger is so versatile that it is used in almost anything edible that you might be able to think of.
If you look at raw ginger, it is composed of 79% water, 18% carbohydrates, 2% protein, and approximately 1% fat. In addition, it contains some amounts of Vitamin B6, Magnesium, and Manganese. In an average serving size of raw ginger, about 100 grams, it has only 80 kilocalories. Not that I would recommend it as a meal replacement unless you have an iron stomach.
How To Mince Ginger?
When used in cooking, ginger is most commonly used in its minced form. This can, however, be a challenging task to achieve at home by hand as people often don’t correctly know how to mice ginger. In addition, it is not very easy to properly mince ginger, especially if you aren’t a very skilled kitchen knife user.
If all you have to hand is a knife, you can follow a few simple steps to make sure that you’re doing it correctly. The rest gets better with time and practice.
Step by Step
- Step 1: Completely peel the ginger. The least challenging way to do this is to scrape off all the skin using a spoon.
- Step 2: Cut the ginger into thin slices, as thin as you can. Then, lay the slices flat on the surface, and cut them into thin pieces. They should look like matchsticks.
- Step 3: Finally, stack the thin pieces of ginger and start thinly slicing crosswise to mince your ginger. You may get the results you want on the first attempt. You can always chop through the minced ginger again to make it even finer.
These three steps are all you need to follow if you were wondering how to mince ginger.
Now, although mincing ginger can be done by hand, it can take time, and you may not get the results you want. For this, like it is with almost everything else, there are several products that you can use to make the process faster, more efficient, and get better results.
The king of mincing ginger, a Microplane breaks down the cell walls whilst grating it so fine that it resembles a paste. There is no skill involved in doing this as it is such a simple process that you can get excellent, repeatable results every time. But the benefits don’t stop there, a Microplane can be used in the kitchen on a huge variety of other ingredients, such as lemons and garlic.
A device with highly sharp blades inside it, moving in circular motions at a very high speed, finely chopping anything that comes in its way. Not only can you use it to mince ginger, but it can also be used for almost all other vegetables like garlic, peppers, cucumbers, and onions, etc.
Some food processors come with accessories that you can even use for mincing meat. So if you are someone who does a lot of chopping and mincing, buying a food processor can be an incredible investment for you in the long run. It can make your life easier.
The best part about food processors is that you can quickly get food processors from the market or even online. For example, a simple search on Amazon will show you dozens of options to choose from, ranging from very cheap to costly multi-purpose processors.
Although the name says “Garlic,” it does not mean that you cannot use it for other vegetables. You most certainly can. A garlic press is a simple, straightforward device, which is usually made of stainless steel.
You have to peel and cut the ginger into pieces small enough to fit into the garlic press. Then you do exactly as the name suggests. You press. Chopped ginger comes out the other side instantly. If you want to have a finer cut, you can repeat the process a couple of times to get the results you want.
Now that we’ve been talking about ginger for a while, it feels right to end the conversation with what is probably the most commonly made ginger recipe of all time, Ginger Tea.
It is being consumed for centuries now and is believed to have numerous advantages including, weight loss, aiding digestion, and soothing the stomach. It can also help in reducing nausea and even morning sickness in some cases.
Let’s see a simple way of making Ginger tea that you can make yourself today and hopefully experience the benefits of Ginger yourself.
Step 1: Thinly slice some fresh ginger and add it to a saucepan with some water in it.
Step 2: Put the mixture at high heat till it gets to a boil. Afterwards, turn the heat down and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes.
Step 3: Pour the tea through a fine sieve that can catch all your ginger. That’s it. You have yourself a cup of fresh Ginger Tea. Feel free to add slices of lemon, maple syrup, or even honey to complement the fiery ginger flavour.