I am a shortcut kind of cook, especially when it comes to mincing. If a recipe says to mince my garlic, I’m probably shooting it through the garlic press. If it says to mince my ginger, I usually do my best, but I am lazy and the pieces always end up larger than they should be because I can’t be bothered to do more. At least that was the case until now.

Last week, King Arthur Baking Company posted a series of stories to Instagram (now saved as a highlight) on how to turn “five ingredients and a little time” into scallion pancakes. But it’s in the dipping sauce that comes after where I learned the most. First, they let slip a hot tip that fresh ginger holds forever in the fridge if you peel it and cover with dry sherry or rice wine vinegar. Then, they share how to rip through chopping tons of ginger in no time.

Here’s how the tip works: Chef Susan Reid, an editor for King Arthur, puts the ginger — sliced into coins — in a plastic bag, on a cutting board. Then, using the flat bottom of a pan or something similar, she simply smashes the plastic bag a few times. The result is minced garlic in just a fraction of the time. How smart is that!

 I’ve used a similar technique with the side of a cleaver a number of times when a recipe called for mashing ginger — something I learned from Fuchsia Dunlop’s Chinese cookbooks — but somehow never made the connection that it’s basically the same type of shortcut that I use with the garlic press.

Reid said her tip works best when you have a lot of ginger you need to mince, but I can see using this smashing technique with just a few coins of ginger when I need to get some anger out while cooking.

Naomi Tomky

Contributor

Seattle-based writer Naomi Tomky uses her unrelenting enthusiasm for eating everything to propel herself around the world as an award-winning food and travel writer.





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