Friday, August 9, 2013

How to use a ginger grater

One of the most useful gadgets in my kitchen is this small Japanese ceramic ginger grater or oroshigane.

I bought it online for less than £10 (US$15).

A Japanese grater is different from a typical western-style grater. It has small 'teeth' protruding upwards and instead of the grated material falling through holes in the grater, the grated material stays on top.

You can buy these ceramic graters with different sized and spaced 'teeth' which influences the size of the gratings. In general they produce a much finer grating than regular graters.

Traditionally, Japanese chefs used graters made from shark skin. This has many fine 'teeth' or placoid scales called dermal denticles, which give it a feel similar to sandpaper.

The Japanese-style ceramic grater is designed for grating ginger or wasabi (Japanese horseradish), but it works well for any vegetable with a similar texture, like garlic, European horseradish, or even carrots.

I use mine mainly for grating ginger in order to extract the juice.

I don't like using it to grate garlic as your fingers end up smelling and I am quite happy with my garlic press.

A ceramic grater is very easy to use. This is what you do:

1.  Cut off a small piece of fresh ginger root and rub it up and down on the ceramic teeth until it becomes a pulp

If I am doing this to extract the juice, I do not bother to remove the skin. If you want to add the pulp to your dish you will need to peel the ginger first.

2. Gently collect the pulp from the grater, hold it in your hand and squeeze it tightly over a bowl until you have removed as much of the juice as possible

You will be left with a bowl of juice and a small ball of dry pulp.

3.  Ideally, it is best to use the ginger juice immediately

Ginger contains volatile substances and you may lose some of the flavour if you store it for too long. Cover the bowl with a small plate until you are ready to use it.

4.  Ideas for using ginger juice

Wake-up drink in the morning.

Add 1 teaspoon fresh ginger juice and a slice of lemon to boiling water, allow to cool and drink first thing in the morning.

This helps to boost your immune system and stimulate your digestion ready for the rest of the day.

Ginger has anti-microbial properties so I always drink this if I feel a common cold might be developing.


I love adding ginger juice to stir-fried vegetables to give them an energising, uplifting flavour.

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