I am a bit of a tragic when it comes to Ginger. I just love the taste of fresh ginger in my smoothies for breakfast, eating it diced finely in a stir fry, or simply using it to make the best fresh curry paste you can eat. There would not be too many days in a week that I don’t consume it in some way. And the best way to have it is fresh.
If I was to buy it every week I could not afford to maintain this expensive habit. Last time I looked it was $25 per kg in the supermarket for some dry withered up scungy excuse for something I would be reluctant to call ginger. So I grow my own – and lots of it.
Around March every year I start to snap off bits of fresh ginger from the growing plants whenever I need some. It is fresh and potent and the plant keeps on growing until late April in my climate. In May I grab a fork and a bucket and dig whatever is left in the ground. It is tender, has a soft skin and all you need to do is clean off the dirt and use it straight away. If you leave it for a couple of days in the open air it develops a tougher skin that is best removed.
So every May I am left with a bucket load of nice fresh ginger and to keep it fresh and ready for use all I need to do is freeze it. Its an easy process and this is how I do it……….
Scrub the ginger clean: With a nail brush, scrub off all the loose skin and any bits of soil that can be seen. Snap or cut the ginger into smaller bits as needed so that every little skin fold or crevice in the root can be scrubbed clean. What you will be left with is a white skinned soft fleshy chunk of ginger.
Blend it in a food processor: I have a Thermomix and in a couple of seconds can blitz the ginger into a fine pulp. No need to add any water to help with the processing because there is heaps of ginger juice to make it quite smooth.
Spoon into ice cube trays: I use two different sized trays. One tray has cube sizes the equivalent to a teaspoon per cube and the second is the equivalent to a tablespoon. When the tray looks full, using my finger I push down on each cube to remove any air bubbles. When I do this step, it looks as if all the juice has risen to the top.
Remove from the tray: Next day, place the tray into a shallow sink of hot tap water – not enough to cover the trays. All you are aiming for is to make it easy for the cubes to slip out of the tray. Flip the tray onto a piece of baking paper and gently twist the tray. All the cubes will drop out easily. When this is complete, place the cubes while still on the paper back into the freezer. Make sure that they do not touch any other cube.
Pack into bags: Once the cubes have refrozen solid, drop them into a freezer bag or a small container and the job is done. Easy as that! Nice fresh ginger that will last until you need it.
There is a somewhat cruel and tragic twist to this short blog. Not long ago I decided that it was time for me to go and have a food allergy test done – as you do. Would you believe it, ginger is one of the foods that I have a mild intolerance to. Yep, my body seems to not like it very much. Cruel twist of fate I know, but true. Doesn’t mean I still can’t eat it though, just that I should only have it every second day………… phew!
I do a similar process with Garlic. Preview the blog here.
Growing Ginger is not too hard and so you are prepared for your Spring planting, I’ll write a blog on how I grow Ginger in the coming weeks.