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Solving problems with ginger

Avoiding problems with using ginger and gelatin
Heat ginger before adding it to a gelatin mixture. Ginger contains an enzyme that prevents gelatin from setting properly. Heat destroys the enzyme. The microwave oven makes this a quick fix: Heat the ginger on medium power until heated through, 20 seconds.

Chopping candied ginger without sticking
Chop in a mini food processor with a bit of granulated sugar (if the recipe you're making includes sugar, use some of the sugar to chop the ginger, then add the sugar to the recipe). Or, if chopping small amounts with a knife, spray the knife blade with cooking spray or dip the blade into flour. You can also use scissors. Or, for convenience, you may want to keep prechopped crystallized ginger on hand in a tightly sealed jar at room temperature.

To quickly peel ginger
Scrape the skin with the side of a teaspoon, following the curves and bumps of the root. You can also use a vegetable peeler, but it tends to take a bit of flesh with it. The flesh just beneath the skin layer is often the most flavorful.

To avoid peeling ginger
If you are slicing ginger to flavor a marinade or tea, or if it will be grated, there is no need to peel it.

To quickly chop or mince ginger
For large amounts, cut into 1/2 inch chunks. Place in a mini food processor and mince in 2- to 3- seconds pulses to desired fineness. For small amounts, cut into small chunks and place in a good-quality garlic press. Press over a small bowl or directly into the food. This will yield mostly ginger juice, so scrape off the garlic press to get the flesh as well.

To avoid chopping or mincing ginger
Use preminced or prechopped ginger, a widely available product. If you frequently use ginger and garlic together, look for ginger-garlic paste in Asian markets.

Grating ginger
Grating ginger is much easier and faster than mincing it. Simply peel away the skin from one of the knobs, hold the entire unpeeled root with your free hand, and grate the peeled section on a cheese grater or rasp. If you're frustrated by the tiny fibers of fresh ginger than can clog graters and rasps, look for a special ginger grater at an Asian market. Made from strips of bamboo or a solid porcelain plate, ginger graters have small teeth that crush the flesh of the ginger but leave the hairs attached to the stub of ungrated ginger.

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