This tropical rhizome (an underground stem) is one of the essential flavors of Asian cuisine. Its pleasantly pungent flavor comes from naturally occurring chemical irritants that also create a warm sensation on the tongue. When choosing fresh ginger, choose the hardest, smoothest pieces you can find. The longer ginger sits around, the more wrinkled it gets. Avoid any pieces that show signs of mold. To test for freshness, break off one of the knobs. If the ginger if fresh it will break with a clean snap.
To store fresh ginger
Keep it at room temperature for up to a week, or wrap it in a paper towel, seal it in a plastic bag, and refrigerate for 2 to 3 weeks. Or, keep unpeeled ginger in a pot or container of horticultural sand. Cover with well-pierced foil to provide ventilation, and store in a cool, dark place.
To freeze ginger
Place whole, unpeeled knobs of ginger in a zipper-lock freezer bag for up to 3 months. Slice or break off what you need and return the rest to the freezer. Freezing ruptures its cells and changes its texture, but the flavor remains intact. Avoid freezing fresh ginger after it is peeled and chopped.
** Asian Recipes