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Peeling Huge Quantities of Ginger


Panaderia Canadiense
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Hi folks! I've been asked to produce about 10 lbs of candied ginger a month, which I'm fine with, but I need some ideas on how to peel that much ginger. For smaller (say 2-3 lb) batches I'm fine with peeling it the old-fashioned way using a small spoon to rasp off the skin, but 10 lbs would take me a week to do that way and I'd probably end up with crippled claws in place of my hands.

Does anybody know of reasonably-priced ginger peeling machines, or have ideas on how I might build such a beast myself (I'm fairly handy mechanically)? My first thought was an expanded-metal drum of some sort that I could tumble the ginger in, but I'm unsure whether that would work.

Thanks in advance!

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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No, but are you candying the result? Don't you find that it's tough(er)?

Also, I should mention that I'm not working with the sort of pristinely-washed supermarket ginger that North Americans are used to. I get roots that have come straight out of the field and I'm lucky if they've been washed in even the most cursory of manners.

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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If it were me, I'd tend to just waste more ginger and use a knife to peel it, lopping off smaller protrusions (if you wash / scrub it well first, you can use the leftover unpeeled bits for cooking, or to make ginger syrup or other stuff).

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I don't peel ginger, the skin is very thin and will not effect taste.

However, if you must peel, try these:

1. Use a st. steel wool pad to crub the skin off.

or

2. Freeze the ginger and scrap the skin off with a knife.

or

3. using a high speed drill with a 6" diameter st. steel wheel brush to brush the skin off.

dcarch

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My DeLonghi mixer had an attachment available, I never purchased it, that scrubbed the skins off root vegetables. As I understand it, the device was some sort of insert for the mixer bowl which had sandpaper-like sides and when filled with water and vegetables rotated to scrub them.

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I don't know if the poster YWalker was talking about an electric potato peeler or the small knife kind.

An electric potato peeler, found in large commercial kitchens is a tumbler of sorts, a cylinder with rough-coated walls and a spinning bottom that is rough coated as well. Water is introduced, the machine spun, and the peels abraded off. Works well with onions and garlic too, and "back in the day" we would do carrots and parsnips as well. You would, of course, have to remove all knobby bits before running it in the potato peeler.

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I really wish that I had a camera to show you what I'm working with. Fresh field ginger isn't large enough to do the knife treatment - I'd lose more than 50% of each piece of rhizome, and that's a wasteage that I'm not comfortable with.

I will try the plastic brush in the power drill, though - that sounds as though it will work superbly.

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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When I see ginger in Asian markets here, where there is a very high turnover, the freshest pieces seem not to have formed much of a skin. The skin appears thin and translucent, and I usually don't peel it when it is in this state. How fresh can you get it?

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When I see ginger in Asian markets here, where there is a very high turnover, the freshest pieces seem not to have formed much of a skin. The skin appears thin and translucent, and I usually don't peel it when it is in this state. How fresh can you get it?

That's not freshness, that's age. Young ginger will have a thinner skin.

PS: I am a guy.

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When I see ginger in Asian markets here, where there is a very high turnover, the freshest pieces seem not to have formed much of a skin. The skin appears thin and translucent, and I usually don't peel it when it is in this state. How fresh can you get it?

That's age, not freshness. Even very fresh old ginger will have a tough rind on it, although that rind might be a bit softer if it's still less than a day out of the soil...

I believe that I mentioned that I get my ginger about 12 hours from when it's removed from the fields. The past 20 lbs or so have been very small rhizomes, more like setts than proper chunks of the spice. The last 10 lbs I suspect of being at least partially Mariposas Blancas (Hedychium coronarium), and partially Galangal, since there was a huge disparity in piece size and shape as well as core colour. (Not that I mind the Mariposas; it's a touch sweeter than true ginger and candies marvellously. The Galangal I try to separate out as it can turn an entire batch bitter.)

Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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I don't peel ginger, the skin is very thin and will not effect taste.

However, if you must peel, try these:

1. Use a st. steel wool pad to crub the skin off.

or

2. Freeze the ginger and scrape the skin off with a knife.

or

3. using a high speed drill with a 6" diameter st. steel wheel brush to brush the skin off.

dcarch

OK guys,I just tried all three methods. All three worked very well. Quick and not much waste.

The third method works better with a wheel with softer bristles.

dcarch

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My first thought was exfoliating gloves, if you can get hold of some; I use them to clean potatoes (they make them in brown, and marked 'potatoes', for this very purpose, but they're the exact same things, just more expensive), and they make a quick job of it. They are pretty durable, cheap, and take a good deal of the skin off new potatoes (more so, if they've been soaking for 5 minutes or so).

Or, if the skin on the ginger is thickish, perhaps you could use the mail gloves you already have?

Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
mscioscia@egstaff.org

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