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I'm trying my hand at Chinese cooking. I doctored a mung bean soup that otherwise turned out okay. I took the spices, veg, added them to stock, waited till boiling over medium heat then simmered away (standard method in Asian cooking...?)

The trouble's the ginger. I chopped up pieces of ginger pretty finely because I assumed that more surface area = more flavor released. However, I wound up wincing every two bites as I'd bite into the bits of ginger. Not fun.

What to do?

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Perhaps you're unusually sensitive to ginger? Assuming what you mean by "pretty finely" is minced, or cut into pieces you couldn't make any smaller without pureeing them, they really shouldn't be noticeable as individual pieces. –  Carey Gregory Nov 8 '13 at 5:02
    
I know I haven't been here in a while, but I'm not too sensitive to ginger, actually. For sore throats/Ayurvedic, the stronger, the better, but for dishes it just seems to overwhelm. I haven't tried the paste yet (next project) but the coins worked well. –  user21142 Jul 4 at 10:58

2 Answers 2

I like using a microplane to very finely grate the ginger (that's easier to do if the ginger is frozen), or making a paste with with the ginger in a food processor. If you make enough at one time you can even use a blender. Just peel the ginger (you don't have to be perfect), cut it into chunks, add just enough water to get almost a baby food consistency and puree. Then you can stir fry it to flavor the oil, add it to soup, add it to anything that you want and use as much as you want but you'll never bite into a chunk, nor will you ever need to fish it out of anything. The ginger paste will last quite a while in the fridge, it can also be frozen. Make the paste with half ginger and half garlic and you've got a great convenient ingredient for all kinds of applications.

EDIT: This question inspired me. I needed a housewarming gift for my new neighbor and landlord. When I freeze ginger/garlic paste for myself I have always just used ice cube trays, but for a gift a little cookie scoop worked great. I just scooped the paste, froze the little rounds on freezer paper, then packed them in Ziplocs.

ready to freeze frozen

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It's also possible to buy ready-made ginger paste such as you describe. –  Peter Taylor Nov 7 '13 at 10:25
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I buy the big bag (3lbs) of peeled garlic at Sam's Club and ~3lbs of ginger when it looks good. I make garlic paste, ginger paste and ginger/garlic paste with it. The whole thing takes me about 15 minutes, and requires one washing of my food processor. I give most of it away, yet still keep a six month's supply in my freezer for the price of a couple of those jars. :) Old habits die hard from my cafe running days. –  Jolenealaska Nov 7 '13 at 17:42

While it may not be traditional, you could cut the ginger into thin coins, which will still leave a significant surface area for the flavor to infuse into the broth. You could then remove them for service.

If you don't want to have to fish through the soup to get them, placing them in a tea ball would allow you to get them out all at once.

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