Originally posted on Rantings of an Amateur Chef:
I started making stir fry for the first time when I was in high school. My default was really pretty simple: cubed chicken, diced onions and peppers, broccoli, some soy sauce, garlic and ginger. It was easy, predictable and tasted pretty good. I generally used granulated garlic, but occasionally would tackle a clove of the stuff. Not having learned the easy way to peel it (using the flat part of your knife, break it open and the peel comes right off), I spent way too much time working to get the skin of the clove off.
Ginger, on the other hand, was always that powdered stuff in the spice aisle. In fact, I never knew what ginger root looked like until my mid 20s. The first time I saw ginger root, I honestly didn’t know what to do with it. After some trial and error, and a little cookbook learning (this was before the Internet became popular), I found my way around the root. What I found was that fresh chopped ginger is so much better than the powdered stuff. I rarely cook with the powdered stuff anymore.