Minced fresh ginger lends an incomparable piquancy to curries, stir-fries, soups, cookies, cocktails, and more. But before you can mince fresh ginger, you need to peel it, and ginger’s knobbly, uneven shape makes peeling difficult.
The usual suspects don’t do a great job when it comes to ginger: A regular vegetable peeler takes off way too much of the valuable flesh but isn’t precise enough to get into ginger’s nooks and crannies. If you use a paring knife, you risk taking a chunk of your finger off. Some people tell you to freeze ginger and then grate it with a Microplane grater (which allegedly separates the peel from the flesh), but ginger’s meat is too fibrous to yield easily to a Microplane.
The best way I’ve found to peel ginger is with a utensil you certainly already have, even if you never cook:*
Correction, May 14, 2014: This post originally used the word “grate” instead of the word “peel.”