Is it OK to freeze fresh ginger?

Freezing fresh ginger is a great way to extend its shelf life and have it on hand whenever a recipe calls for it. Ginger freezes very well with little change to flavor or texture when thawed and prepared properly. Here are some tips on freezing fresh ginger and how to use it once thawed.

Can you freeze fresh ginger root?

Yes, fresh ginger root freezes very well. The cold temperature prevents the loss of moisture and flavor compounds in the ginger. While some of the signature spicy bite may be lost, frozen ginger retains enough robust flavor for use in most recipes calling for fresh ginger. Thawed, it has a texture nearly identical to fresh.

What’s the best way to freeze ginger?

Follow these steps for ideal frozen ginger:

  • Select fresh, firm ginger root without wrinkles, mold or soft spots. The fresher the ginger, the better it freezes.
  • Wash the ginger thoroughly under cool running water.
  • Cut the ginger into slices or cubes according to how you plan to use it. Slices are good for grating into recipes. Cubes work well for soups, stir fries, etc.
  • Blanch the ginger pieces for 2-3 minutes in boiling water. This kills off bacteria and organisms that may cause spoilage and helps retain flavor and texture.
  • Drain blanched ginger and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Line a freezer-safe container or ziplock freezer bag with parchment paper.
  • Spread ginger pieces in a single layer on the parchment paper.
  • Place container/bag in the freezer. Once frozen, you can transfer ginger cubes or slices to a smaller container or bag.

How long does frozen ginger last?

Properly frozen ginger keeps well for up to 6 months. Whole, unpeeled ginger may last up to one year. Over time, the flavor diminishes and the texture becomes less crisp. Always label frozen ginger with the date to track freshness.

Can you refreeze ginger?

Previously frozen ginger can be refrozen once, but the quality further declines. Refrozen ginger is best used in cooked dishes rather than raw applications. If thawed ginger displays any signs of spoilage like mold, off smells or mushiness, it’s safest to discard it.

What’s the best way to thaw frozen ginger?

You can thaw frozen ginger in a few ways:

  • Refrigerator thawing: Place frozen ginger in a sealed container in the refrigerator. This gradual thaw takes 12-24 hours but preserves quality.
  • Cold water thawing: Seal ginger in a plastic bag then submerge in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes. Thawing takes about 1 hour.
  • Microwave thawing: Place ginger in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 10 second bursts until thawed, about 1-2 minutes.

Once thawed, pat ginger dry before using. Use within a week for peak freshness and flavor.

How do you know if frozen ginger has gone bad?

Signs that frozen ginger has spoiled and should be discarded:

  • Unpleasant or off odors
  • Soft or mushy texture
  • Visible mold
  • Unusual dryness or stickiness
  • Significant freezer burn
  • Loss of original color or new discolorations

If the thawed ginger smells and looks fresh, it should be safe to use. Trust your senses – when in doubt, throw it out.

Can frozen ginger be substituted for fresh?

Frozen ginger can be used in just about any recipe calling for fresh ginger. The flavor won’t be quite as bright and intense as fresh, but it will still pack the signature ginger punch. Adjust amounts as follows:

Fresh ginger Frozen ginger
1 tablespoon grated 1 1/2 tablespoons grated
1 inch piece, minced 1 1/2 inch piece, minced
1 inch piece, sliced 1 inch piece, sliced

Add extra frozen ginger or other spices to brighten flavor as needed when substituting in recipes.

How to use frozen ginger

Frozen ginger is versatile and can be used in any way you’d use fresh ginger. Here are some ideas:

  • Grate or mince into stir fries, soups, marinades, dressings, baked goods
  • Add to smoothies for flavor and health benefits
  • Steep into tea or use in infused water
  • Blend into sauces, curries or other gravy-based dishes
  • Add to vegetable or chicken noodle soup
  • Stir into ginger ale or cocktails for extra gingery taste

Substitute thawed frozen ginger 1:1 for fresh in boiled, baked or roasted dishes where appearance isn’t as important. Enjoy the convenience of frozen ginger on hand whenever you need it!

Can you freeze ginger paste?

Yes, fresh ginger paste freezes well for later use. To freeze ginger paste:

  • Start with fresh, peeled ginger. Grate it finely or blend into a paste.
  • Measure paste into tablespoon or teaspoon portions and pack into an ice cube tray.
  • Freeze tray until solid, then pop ginger paste cubes into a freezer bag.

Keep frozen for up to 4 months. Thaw cubes as needed to add fresh ginger flavor to recipes.

Can you freeze ginger and garlic paste?

A handy blend to have on hand is frozen ginger garlic paste. To make:

  • Grate fresh ginger and finely mince garlic cloves. Use a 2:1 ratio of ginger to garlic.
  • Blend to a smooth paste with a bit of water.
  • Portion into ice cube trays or tablespoons on a parchment lined sheet.
  • Freeze solid, then transfer to freezer bags.

Keep frozen up to 3 months. Add cubes to Indian curries, stir fries, soups and more.

Can you freeze ginger tea?

Yes, it’s easy to freeze extra homemade ginger tea to enjoy later. Here’s how:

  • Brew strong ginger tea using fresh ginger root or ground ginger powder. Sweeten if desired.
  • Let tea cool completely, then pour into ice cube trays.
  • Freeze until solid cubes form, about 12 hours.
  • Pop ginger tea cubes into freezer bags.

To use, add frozen ginger tea cubes directly to hot water for instant ginger tea or to smoothies for a flavor boost.


Freezing fresh ginger is an excellent way to always have it on hand for cooking. Blanch peeled, sliced or cubed ginger first before freezing for best quality and flavor retention. Frozen ginger keeps for about 6 months and can be substituted for fresh in just about any recipe, though you may need to use slightly larger amounts. Thaw frozen ginger in the refrigerator, with cold water or briefly in the microwave before using. With proper freezing and thawing, frozen ginger retains much of the spicy, bold flavor of fresh ginger root.

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