Can I grate ginger with skin on?

Ginger is a popular and versatile ingredient used in many cuisines around the world. Its spicy, zesty flavor adds warmth and dimension to both sweet and savory dishes. When a recipe calls for grated ginger, you may wonder if you can simply grate the ginger with the skin still on or if you need to peel it first.

Should You Peel Ginger Before Grating?

In most cases, it’s recommended to peel ginger before grating to get the best results. Here are some reasons why:

  • The skin is tough and fibrous – If grated with the skin on, you’ll end up with stringy, tough bits of skin in your grated ginger. This can give an unpleasant texture.
  • The skin has a bitter flavor – Ginger skin has a slightly bitter, unpleasant taste that can come through in grated ginger if the skin is left on.
  • The skin contains dirt/pesticides – Ginger is often washed but not scrubbed intensely before being sold. Peeling it helps remove any remaining dirt or residue from pesticides.
  • It yields more usable ginger – Peeling ginger before grating lets you make the most of the entire knob. The skin takes up volume and weight.
  • It has a better appearance – Grated ginger with the beige skin removed has a more vibrant, appetizing color.

When Is It Okay to Grate Ginger with Skin On?

There are some instances where grating ginger with the skin left on can work and may even be preferable:

  • In stir fries or other dishes where ginger is cooked – The skin will soften during cooking.
  • When making ginger tea – Using unpeeled ginger adds flavor and nutrients to the tea.
  • For juicing – The powerful nutrients in ginger skin can be extracted via juicing.
  • If ginger will be strained out – Such as when making stock, broth or pickled ginger.
  • When you want ginger juice – Grating unpeeled ginger yields more pungent ginger juice.

How to Peel Ginger

Peeling fresh ginger is simple to do:

  1. Use a spoon to scrape away the thin brown skin. A teaspoon works well for concave areas.
  2. For knobs with flatter areas, use a paring knife or vegetable peeler.
  3. Try to remove all the brown skin but avoid wasting too much ginger flesh.
  4. Rinse peeled ginger well since some skin remnants may remain.

Opt for a spoon or knife rather than abrasive scrubbing, which can bruise the tender ginger flesh. Work carefully around any knobs or crevices.

How to Store Peeled Ginger

Ginger begins to dry out once peeled, so it’s best to use it right away. But you can store peeled ginger in the fridge for several days by:

  • Placing it in an airtight container submerged in water. Change the water daily.
  • Wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap, ideally with the cut sides against the wrap.

Pickle peeled ginger in a jar of vinegar to preserve it for up to 3 months in the fridge.

How to Grate Ginger

A microplane, box grater or fine holes of a cheese grater all work well for dry grating peeled ginger. You can also grate it right into a dish or mixture.

Ginger juice is released when grated, so you may want to grate over a bowl to collect it. Use a press or strainer to extract even more juice if desired.

Avoid using a blender or food processor to grate ginger, as this makes it too watery and pulverized.

Tips for Cooking with Grated Ginger

  • Add it early so the flavors develop. It mellows and sweetens with cooking.
  • Use about 1 tsp freshly grated ginger per serving as a general guideline.
  • Pair ginger with garlic, scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil, chili peppers and other Asian flavors.
  • Add to stir fries, curry pastes, marinades, dressings and more.
  • Use ginger juice as a seasoning and garnish for seafood.

Nutrition Facts of Ginger

Ginger contains antioxidants and nutrients that make it incredibly healthy to consume. Here is an overview of the nutrition found in a 1 tablespoon (6 grams) serving of grated ginger root (peeled):

Nutrient Amount
Calories 4
Carbs 1 g
Sugar 0 g
Fiber 0 g
Fat 0 g
Protein 0 g
Manganese 4% DV
Potassium 1% DV

Ginger also contains antioxidants like gingerol, zingerone and shogaols. These compounds have demonstrated anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral and anti-nausea effects in research.


In most recipes, it’s best to peel fresh ginger before grating to remove the tough skin and bitter notes. But grating unpeeled ginger can work well in some cooked dishes, teas, juices and other applications where the skin gets strained or softened. Peeling ginger is easy with a spoon, knife or vegetable peeler and helps you make the most of its sweet, spicy flavor and impressive health benefits.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *