How to Prepare Ginger Root

Ginger has a strong, bright and readily identifiable flavor that most people love once they get to know it. Unfortunately, it also has a tough, stringy root that's hard to cut and harder to chew. Luckily, there are a few special ways to prepare ginger root and avoid that annoying texture. With these tricks (including boiling, freezing, and pickling), you can put fresh ginger root into anything from tea to pad Thai.

Make ginger tea. Cut a few thin slices of ginger. Put them in a mug with some near-boiling water. Steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Flavor with lemon juice and honey if you like. This tea is delicious (and soothing for sore throats).

Make pickled ginger. Prepare ginger root by peeling off the skin with a vegetable peeler. Use the peeler to shave the root itself into thin slices. Combine 1/2 cup of rice vinegar with 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Store it in a glass jar in the refrigerator until you're ready to use it. Pickled ginger is great with sushi.

Prepare ginger root by sticking it in the freezer. This is a great way to keep fresh ginger on hand, as it can last for several months or longer. Grate the frozen ginger with a fine grater. Do this straight out of the freezer. The flavor will be strong, and the powdery particles will be almost imperceptibly small.

Use grated frozen ginger in stir-fries, soups, noodles, and other Asian-inspired dishes.

Use grated frozen ginger in baked goods, such as gingerbread. The flavor will be stronger than dried ginger powder, and it wil be quite delicious. However, you may want to reduce the quantity of ginger called for in the recipe so that the flavor won't be too overwhelming.