Fresh Ginger gives dishes a distinctive and pungent flavor, and is used in many cuisines around the world, especially in Chinese and Indian cooking.Most people consider ginger to be a root, probably because it looks like one, but it is actually a rhizome of a plant.It is said to have originated in southern China, but it is now grown in many different countries throughout the world. † Although ground ginger is actually from the same plant, it is not interchangeable with fresh ginger in recipes.  Most grocery stores carry fresh ginger in their produce departments, so finding it is not a problem.   Make sure you choose ginger that looks plump and feels heavy; if the piece has shriveled ends, looks a little dried out, or is very light for its size, it is old, so you don't want to buy it.

 

Many cooks have difficulty peeling this knobby and strange looking rhizome.† I've found that the easiest solution resides right in your silverware drawer!Simply take an ordinary teaspoon and scrape the skin off of the ginger; it will come off easily and very fast.I just peel the skin off of the area that Iím going to use, then cut it off and grate it or chop it according to my recipe.

 

If you plan to use the remainder of your piece soon, it can be stored in a bag in the fridge; otherwise, store it in a bag in the freezer.Although the texture will change after itís frozen, the flavor will be the same and it will be suitable for any dish calling for fresh ginger.

 

Another way to preserve ginger at home is to put peeled chunks into a jar with a tight fitting lid, then pour white wine or sherry over.Seal and refrigerate.The ginger will flavor the wine which can be used in many Chinese dishes, and the hunks of ginger can be removed from the wine and chopped or grated in recipes calling for ginger.