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?
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.
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.
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.
My wife and I had good luck using a heavy duty food processor (Kitchen Aid). Placed about a half cup of the candied ginger nuggets in the processor along with approximately 2 tablespoons of flour. Hand separate any nuggets that are stuck together. Too many nuggets caused some nuggets to stay large. They tend to get a little warm from the friction. Pour the cut pieces onto a cutting board and hand cut any that may be too large. Strain off any excess flour and place in a sealed jar. A & D
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?
I have used "Jar" Cyrstalized Ginger and place it in a Coffee grinder with "Rice" It minces and reduces the "Gumming -up". The Rice acts as a Flour and the mixture is much easier to handle.
I have also place the "nuggets" of crystalized Ginger in a plastic sandwich bag and used a small mallet to pulverize the nuggets. Then mix with flour to prevent gumming. .... Good Luck!
The scone recipe I used called for minced crystallized ginger. I floured the pieces with flour from the recipe so I wouldn't be using extra flour. I had success both with chopping with a knife and with grating on a fine grater. Actually, though, the chopped ginger was more favorable in the scones because eating the little bits gave more flavor to a bite than the smaller grated ones.
I take a couple tablespoons of the sugar from the recipe and put that over top of the ginger and chop through the sugar and ginger together to minimize sticking and keep the ginger from reforming like a spicy Terminator. As suggested above, I suppose flour would work and prevent the ingredients from sinking.
If I'm using the chopped candied ginger for a topping, I will use a tablespoon or two of turbinado or raw sugar.
This trick works for chopping up any dried fruit.