Subscribe and choose a new cookbook
The perfect Christmas gift for you or a loved one
Ginger is a knobbly root that has a fiery, peppery, slightly sweet taste. Find out how to buy the best ginger and how to store, prepare and cook with it.
Mainly grown in Jamaica, Africa, India, China and Australia, ginger is the root of the plant. It has an unmistakable shape - bulbous little joints, from which grow small, knobbly bumps, and its skin is light brown with a slight silvery quality. The flesh can range from ivory through to a pale, green-yellow.
Ginger has a peppery flavour, with a sweet hint of lemon, and the aroma is pungent and sharp. It's also available ground, which is particularly good for baking; pickled; preserved in syrup (also called stem ginger); candied; or crystallised.
Find out about the health benefits of ginger with our guide.
Snap off a knob of ginger of the size you need then, using a small, sharp knife, peel away the skin, removing only a thin layer of the flesh beneath. Then grate, slice, cut into batons or crush.
Watch our video on how to prepare ginger:
Add raw ginger to stir-fries or curries; use in marinades; grate to make tea. Dried ginger works well in puddings, flapjacks and fruit cakes or stewed fruits, particularly apple.
Get more inspiration from our ginger recipe collection.
Fresh ginger will keep for around 2 weeks in a perforated bag stored in the fridge. The ground variety should keep for around 6 months if stored in a small, airtight container in a cool, dark place.
All year round.
Go for plump, unblemished roots. Avoid wrinkled roots, as they're likely to be tough and fibrous. If possible, avoid any that are very knobbly, as they'll be harder work to peel. Roots should also feel heavy for their size.
Jamaican and Kenyan ginger is thought to be the best.