How to peel & chop ginger root
The easiest way to peel ginger and remove just the skin without wasting a lot of the root is to use a spoon. Seriously. Break off a segment of your ginger. Use a spoon to scrape off the peel. It takes seconds and does a great job.
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My two favorite ways to chop and grate ginger
My favorite way to chop ginger is in a food processor or a mini-processor. If I am just chopping medium amounts of ginger, and don't want a very fine grate, I use a Cuisinart Mini Prep, which is surprisingly affordable. Depending on the model you buy, they run $30-$40. If I am grating a small amount of ginger, and want a very fine grate, I use a microplane.