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How To Grate Fresh Ginger Root - Then Try This Quick Chicken Recipe: Ginger Chicken Kebabs

Updated on August 21, 2011

Ginger is one of the world's most important and commonly used spices but its wild origins are not clear. Believed by some to be native to the south of India, ginger was known to the Romans - but it wasn't until the spice routes opened up trade during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries that it became familiar on the tables of England.

Nowadays, of course, the pale, knobbly roots of fresh ginger are widely available in supermarkets year-round and should be purchased a small quantity at a time, whenever possible. You will never need a great deal of fresh ginger and it will not keep indefinitely (see Selection and Storage Tips below right and watch the video below).

Selection and Storage Tips

• The age of the ginger when harvested has a distinct bearing on flavor. Young or 'early harvest' ginger has a light, thin, tan-colored skin with pinkish tips, and is juicier, crisper and milder than more mature ginger.

• Ginger that has a late harvesting has thicker and dark-tan skin, with hard, quite fibrous flesh and a far stronger flavor.

• Don't purchase ginger that is soft, shows signs of withering (indicating dryness and old age) or mould.

• Ginger will keep, if stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for several weeks.

Culinary Uses

Fresh ginger is associated with a number of different cuisines - Chinese, Indian and Caribbean, to name but a few - where it is used to add a fragrant spiciness to all sorts of meat, poultry, fish and vegetable dishes.

How To Grate Fresh Ginger Root

Unless you freeze it before use (must try this idea myself!) or have very young ginger, it will be necessary to peel it first - and a small, sharp paring knife is ideal for this.

You will need:

• A chopping board or similar clean work surface

• A grater

• Some fresh ginger root

Now, gripping the grater with one hand and the fresh ginger root with the other over the chopping board or similar, draw the ginger in a rapid upward and downward or backward and forward motion (depending on the type of grater being used) across the finest hole of the surface of the grater. Continue until you have enough grated ginger.

Purpose-made ginger graters, which are generally either wooden or ceramic, can also be purchased from Asian food stores or kitchenware shops.

Porcelain ginger graters (also known as Japanese graters) or bamboo ginger graters are flat graters with a series of small teeth facing both upward and downward so that when ginger is drawn across the surface, it will be finely grated, leaving the coarse, fibrous strands behind. They also help to make grating fresh garlic and fresh turmeric an absolute breeze.

Microplanes have graters with tiny razor-like edges that make quick and easy tasks of both grating and cleaning. You'll find them in all good kitchenware and department stores.

An Innovative Idea - Freezing Ginger

Now that you know how to grate fresh ginger root, you might like to test your new-found skill and try the following chicken recipe. It's very quick to make as it requires very little preparation and cooking time however, you will need to set some extra time aside for marinating the chicken and soaking the bamboo skewers. I usually complete step 1. and soak the skewers the night before I intend to cook it. That way, preparing the next night's dinner becomes a very simple matter indeed.

When prepared to the quantities specified, this dish will comfortably serve 2-3 people but if you need to feed more, just double (or even triple!) the quantity of the ingredients.

Ginger Chicken Kebabs

Soak 6 bamboo skewers in cold water for at least an hour before use to prevent them scorching and splintering.

You will need:

• 10 ounces (300g) chicken breast fillets, chopped coarsely

• 1 tablespoon green ginger wine

• 1 tablespoon salt-reduced soy sauce

• 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

• 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

• 2 teaspoons brown sugar

• 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

• 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

• Sliced green onions to serve (optional)


1. Combine chicken and remaining ingredients in large bowl. Cover; refrigerate several hours or overnight.

2. Preheat grill. Thread chicken onto skewers; reserve marinade. Cook under grill, brushing with marinade, until chicken is tender.

3. Serve kebabs sprinkled with sliced green onions, if desired.

Notes: Chicken is best if allowed to marinate overnight. Serve with steamed rice and your choice of mixed steamed vegetables (I usually use broccoli, carrot and beans) and either halved cherry or roma tomatoes.


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    • profile image

      Kierston 4 years ago

      Great recipe!!! Also try using a potato peeler also, quick and easy.

    • profile image

      Donna O. 4 years ago

      I would like to know if ginger root can be grated and dehydrated? Then stored in freezer bags? I was given several roots and I not sure what to do with them.

    • profile image

      SewIsabel 5 years ago

      This helped, and had just the information I was looking for. Now I know how to grate fresh ginger. It is a wonderful spice, and helps with stomach discomfort.

    • minnow profile image

      minnow 7 years ago from Seattle

      yum! fresh ginger adds so much to food. great hub! thumbs up.

    • profile image

      BELOVEDWOMAN 7 years ago

      I eat as close to the ground as I can--as I have found that raw is better for my digestive system. I make huge salads with spinach, and romaine lettuce as my leafy greens instead of bib or iceburg lettuce. And lately I found that adding slithers of raw ginger root along with slithers of raw garlic and sweet valdalia onions makes the taste of the salad pop! The best dressing I have tried has been Brianna's Poppy Seed-- it has no MSG or preservatives and has a delicious fresh taste. Try this: Starting with a bed of fresh, crisp Romaine Lettuce, build the salad from here, adding small bite sized pieces of broccoli, red bell peppers, cauliflower, shredded carrots, shredded deli roasted turkey breast, vine ripe tomatoes, scatter on small sprigs of rosemary, slithers of ginger root, garlic and sweet valdalia onions. Brianna's Poppy Seed Dressing adds a delicious finish. Enjoy!

    • marisuewrites profile image

      marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

      Where do you find green ginger wine? I hate peeling ginger but love the spice...tho' it took a while to get used to it...

    • profile image

      T. GRAY 8 years ago

      I saw Bobby Flay use a spoon to peel his ginger. I tried this at home and it worked great. My 5 year old daughter loves to help me cook so thanks to this tip she is now the designated ginger peeler.... Good Luck hope this helps.

    • profile image

      KIMI 9 years ago

      JUUUUST tried this method of peeling..I swear, THIS is the easiest with no waste..

      Find your little used melon baller! The rim is much thinner and works lke a dream!

    • Princessa profile image

      Wendy Iturrizaga 9 years ago from France

      I am going to try this recipe. Ginger is one of my favorite spices, whether in tea, soup or even caramelized I just love it!