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I like to use candied ginger in place of fresh ginger in some dishes that will be sweet, but I want to use it in much smaller chunks than what it comes in. My problem is that even using a well-sharpened knife, it gums up both the blade and the cutting board quite a bit. Is there some method of treating the blade or the candied ginger that would ease cutting it some?

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Have you tried freezing the ginger? It might work... –  Cerberus Jun 22 '12 at 2:39
    
Do cooking spray (on the blade) or using a Teflon-coated knife (Kuhn Rikon paring knives) help? –  BobMcGee Jun 22 '12 at 3:04
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I normally keep it in the freezer. As @FuzzyChef says, it's quite difficult to chop frozen, and isn't any less gummy. –  baka Jun 22 '12 at 11:23
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5 Answers 5

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Depending on what the ginger is going into, lightly greasing your knife blade helps (but, obviously, not if you're putting them in something where a tiny bit of oil would be an issue). As does using a heavy carbon-steel knife like a Chinese cleaver. Freezing sounds attractive, but it doesn't work because the ginger becomes impossible to chop -- too hard.

Overall, you pretty much have to expect to scrub the knife and cutting board after you're done. You can make it a bit easier on yourself, but you can't make chopping candied ginger not messy.

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I hadn't thought of trying oil. I'll try it next time and see how it goes. Most of the things I'm putting it into use either butter or oil, so that shouldn't be a problem. –  baka Jun 22 '12 at 11:25
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Tried a lot of ways, grating, cutting with knife and food processor. Huge fails. This worked, use thinner pieces of ginger. Cut with clean scissors half way up in small rows. Do not cut all the way to the end. Turn the ginger and cut on the side (criss crossing). Clean your scissors with warm soapy water and a brush often (tried oil, didn't work as well). Also add some sugar to cut ginger to keep it from re-sticking. Works like a charm.Cut ginger with scissors

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Nice answer! Welcome to Seasoned Advice. I took the liberty of removing your signature just because we don't do that here, but your answer is a great example of what we do do here. –  Jolenealaska Dec 18 '13 at 8:21
    
If you add sugar to the cut ginger, you might have to cut back on sugar in the recipe. –  Kyera Dec 19 '13 at 7:40
    
I really wish I could upvote this answer more that once, 'cause I just did it. Worked like a charm :) –  Jolenealaska Jan 7 at 8:01
    
Thanks for your vote Jolenealaska. I found this site because I wanted to make candied ginger shortbread. It was great to read others tips and try them. Sitting with scissors, I thought I would try and it worked so well for me! I could cut the ginger as fine as I would like and no messy boards / knives. –  Kyera Jan 10 at 18:45
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Using Alton Brown's Candied Ginger recipe, try cutting the raw ginger to the desired size and then make it 'candied'. The raw ginger is easier to cut/chop and the result is generally better than what you can buy.

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This is purely hypothetical, as I haven't tried it. If you're adding it to something that you're also adding sugar, you could try dusting it with powdered/icing sugar as you cut, similar to how you would dust a work surface with flour when working with dough. You'd want to account for the extra sugar you're adding though.

Alternatively, you could try using a food processor. I imagine the quick blade would be less likely to get stuck. (You could also add some powdered sugar to that for the same effect?

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Yeah, i tried the food processor once... the ginger wound up gumming up the blade and was sticky enough to actually cause it to stop spinning. –  baka Jun 22 '12 at 11:22
    
Yep, I tried it in a food processor too. What a mess. –  Jolenealaska Dec 18 '13 at 7:43
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I have chopped it frozen before and it is basically regular if you line up the knife then hit the back with you're hand in a solid thud. The ginger is basically gummy enough to just break without shattering.

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