I used to peel my ginger badly, trimming off chunks of skin until I was left with a hexagonal prism and throwing a good third of the original unpeeled knob in the bin. Then a friend gave me this brilliant tip: instead of using a peeler, simply rub off the outer layer of skin with the back of a knife or spoon. These days, however, I rarely peel ginger at all; instead, I grate or finely chop it skin on, so now I waste nothing and get the benefits from the extra fibre, too. The skin is so papery, it all but disappears as it cooks, anyway.
In my experience, ginger keeps best unwrapped at room temperature in a dry place out of direct sunlight. That way, instead of moulding, it slowly dries out, preserving it for ever more (if you do want to store it in the fridge, it keeps best in an airtight container). If you have an abundance of ginger, you can preserve it by finely chopping it, freezing it on a plate, then crumbling it into a plastic tub and storing in the freezer for as long as is needed. Alternatively, preserve it by pickling it sushi-style.
Pickled sushi ginger
Just a nubbin of fresh ginger will make a nice jar of sushi ginger to keep in the fridge. This recipe makes a small batch, so multiply according to the amount you’d like to preserve. It’s a fun way to preserve a glut of ginger, including the skin. Pickled ginger can be used in place of regular ginger in most recipes, so long as you take the extra acidity into consideration. Sushi ginger is traditionally made with young shoots with a pink tip that naturally dyes it a subtle, blushing pink. If you want to imitate that colour, add a small slice of beetroot to the jar before pouring in the vinegar.
1 tsp sea salt
150ml rice vinegar, or cider or white-wine vinegar
2 tbsp unrefined sugar, or honey
Wash the ginger, trim off any tough ends, but leave the skin on, then finely slice with a knife, peeler or mandoline. Boil 250ml water in a small pan with half a teaspoon of sea salt, add the sliced ginger and simmer for a minute (or up to three if you prefer a milder kick). Drain through a sieve, squeeze out any excess liquid and transfer the ginger to a small sterilised jar. In the same pan, bring the vinegar to a boil, take off the heat and stir in the sugar or honey or sugar and the remaining half-teaspoon of salt, until dissolved. Pour over the ginger, seal and leave to cool, then store in the fridge indefinitely.