We tested a few popular ginger-storing methods to determine which ones really worked.
We've had multiple readers reach out to say that the best way to store leftover fresh ginger is to refrigerate peeled chunks submerged in vodka or sherry. We tested these methods against our usual approach (freezing the peeled nubs) as well as against ginger that we refrigerated after submerging it in plain water (to evaluate if simply storing it in liquid was key). After four weeks, we grated the ginger and cooked the samples in a stir-fry.
THE UPSHOT: All the samples retained equivalent ginger flavor, and the frozen ginger and the ginger stored in sherry and vodka were equally easy to grate. However, the ginger stored in sherry picked up sherry flavor, and the ginger stored in water became mushy, so its fibers got tangled in the grater. That's because fresh ginger contains enzymes that break down its starch and pectin over time. Alcohol inhibits these enzymes, as does freezing, so ginger stored via those methods was able to maintain its firm texture.
THE TAKEAWAY: We now have two good ways to store ginger: freezing the nubs or submerging them in vodka.