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Video:How to Prepare and Use Fresh Ginger

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Fresh ginger is a staple of many asian dishes that adds a unique flavor with minimal prep. Learn how to harvest fresh ginger and its many practical uses.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Prepare and Use Fresh Ginger

Hi! My name is Chef Brian Tsao and I'm the executive chef of Mira Sushi & Izakaya in New York City.  I'm here for About.com today to show you how to prepare ginger.

Peel With a Spoon (Yes, Really)

When peeling ginger, most people will use either a paring knife or your common everyday peeler.  But I find the best tool for peeling ginger is to use your everyday kitchen spoon.  I find the spoon better than a knife because the spoon is a bit more versatile when you are scraping against it.  You can go along all this weird little curves and edges and it's also not sharp, so you have a lot less of a chance to cut yourself.  All you have to do is take the edge of the spoon and literally scrape downwards.

Get That Skin Off

It's important to get all the skin off because usually, there's a lot of bitter and unwanted flavors buried within the skin.  For that pure ginger flavor, you want to get all that skin off up until the point you only see yellow flesh.  In this case, I used enough ginger to last a professional kitchen all day.  But let's say you only need a little bit for regular home use.  Well, it's basically the same principle.  I'm going to grab another large piece of ginger but rather than taking off all the skin, I'm only going to remove a small section and cut off what I will need.

Mince, Mince, Mince

I'm still using the same method of the edge of my spoon and just scraping along the side of the ginger, but this time I'm only taking off what I need.  A regular paring knife is just fine.  For chopping, there's really not much to it.  I like to start by cutting little slivers and then cutting again in the opposite direction.  From here, you can just mince away.  The pieces will just keep getting smaller.  

Grating

For grating, it gets a little trickier.  You first have to chop the ginger and then use the edge of your knife and literally crush it over and over again.  Chopping into small chunks is better for things like stir fry but to get optimal flavor, grating increases the surface area.  This allows you to not only infuse more ginger flavor into whatever you're making but because the pieces are so small, you basically won't get any texture out of it.  Just flavor. 

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