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?

  • 1
    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
  • 1
    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

10 Answers 10


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.

  • 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

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

  • 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 than once, 'cause I just did it. Worked like a charm :) – Jolenealaska Jan 7 '14 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 '14 at 18:45

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?

  • 1
    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

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.


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!


I was struggling with this just this morning trying to prepare a ginger bread. I finally wet my Yukon blade with hot water and then wet the ginger piece. Huge difference!


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.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.