Fresh ginger is a popular marinade ingredient, as it contains enzymes that help tenderize meat by breaking down its proteins. While some marinade recipes use minced or grated ginger, others call for freshly squeezed ginger juice. In addition to marinades, ginger juice is also used to lend flavor to sauces. And as long as you have fresh ginger in your kitchen, it is simple to make your own ginger juice.
Making Ginger Juice
All you need to make ginger juice is fresh ginger, a peeler, a grater, and a cheesecloth (if you prefer). Begin by peeling and grating several slices of ginger. Using your hands, squeeze out the ginger juice from the grated pieces into a small bowl. If you find this a bit awkward or messy, you can wrap the gratings in cheesecloth first and then squeeze the juice through the cheesecloth. Either way, as long as the ginger is fresh, there should be no problem squeezing out enough juice.
Storing Fresh Ginger
Ginger should be stored, unpeeled, in the vegetable crisper section of the refrigerator—it will last for up to one week if stored in a paper bag, and for three to four weeks if stored in a plastic bag. Of course, if you only use ginger on rare occasions, the best option is to freeze the ginger ahead of time to use when needed. Tightly wrap the ginger in a plastic bag and store in the freezer.
Making Ginger Juice from Frozen Ginger
There is no need to defrost the ginger before grating—in fact, leaving it frozen makes grating much easier. Grate the frozen ginger and then squeeze out the juice as you would with unfrozen ginger. If you have one, a garlic press is perfect for pressing out the juice from the frozen gratings.
Recipes Using Ginger Juice
There are many Chinese recipes that include ginger juice as an ingredient, and if you make your own you will save money and a trip to the market. Try either of the Chinese take-out favorites ginger beef or cashew chicken. Or experiment with the traditional and unique beggar's chicken, a stuffed chicken wrapped and cooked in clay for six hours.
There are also many ways to cook with fresh ginger, from savory recipes to sweet desserts, even refreshing drinks and warming teas.