Sushi ginger is called “GARI” or “sweet pickled ginger” in Japan, and generally, it is made from young ginger since they have a mild zingy flavor and tender and juicy texture.
These sweet, zingy, refreshing pink-pickled ginge are essential with sushi or ahi tuna, and isn’t it great when you make homemade sushi ginger?
If you are fed up with store-bought sushi ginger-incredible sweet (which makes me thirsty) and may contain many artificial colors, you should make homemade sushi ginger.
However, young ginger is hard to get if Japanese grocery stores are not available around you or if you don’t grow your own ginger roots.
So, my recipe uses general ginger roots.
WHAT’S YOUNG GINGER
“Young ginger” is a “young” ginger root that is available in early summer in Japan. Unlike matured ginger, young ginger is a juicy and mild ginger flavor.
It is called “Shin-Shoga”.
Ginger which you are familiar with at grocery stores and young ginger are the same plant, just harvested at different times. Young ginger is harvested early in summer, while general ginger is harvested in autumn and stored for several months before shipping.
- HEALTH BENEFITS OF GINGER
- COOKING TIPS TO MAKE PICKLED GINGER
- HOW TO TURN SUSHI GINGER INTO PINK
- HOMEMADE SUSHI GINGER MADE WITH COMMON GINGER (NOT YOUNG GINGER)
- HOW TO USE HOMEMADE SUSHI GINGER
- STOCK AMAZU VINEGAR FOR MEAL PREP
HEALTH BENEFITS OF GINGER
For details on the health benefits of ginger, read this post later.
COOKING TIPS TO MAKE PICKLED GINGER
PEEL THE GINGER ROOT
Scrape the edge of the spoon against the ginger to peel off the skin.
Soak the ginger in water to soften the skin if you feel hard to peel.
Remove discolored and spoiled parts if needed.
I just cut off some knots? to straiten the ginger roots for easy slicing.
I just cut off some humps to straighten the ginger roots for easy slicing.
Needless to say, I’ll use these small pieces of ginger for cooking.
SLICE THE GINGER THINLY
Make thinly sliced ginger as possible as you can.
You can use a knife, or use a vegetable slicer.
Slicing thinly reduces the zingy spicy flavor of ginger easily and brings a tender texture.
Ideally, slice the ginger against the grain since the general ginger is fibery and chewy.
Contrary, slice the young ginger along the grain if you use young ginger.
SALT SLICED GINGER TO REMOVE THE ZINGY SPICY FLAVOR
To remove moisture from the ginger, salt the sliced ginger and let them sit for 20 minutes.
This process reduces a tangy flavor and lets the pickle juice infuse ginger effectively.
When using young ginger, this process is not necessary.
BOIL SLICED GINGER TO REMOVE THE ZINGY SPICY FLAVOR
Traditionally, boil the sliced ginger (general ginger/young ginger) before pickling because the pickle juice permeates more and helps remove the zingy flavor.
Bring the water to a boil and cook the sliced ginger for 3-5 minutes.
If you want to remove the zingy flavor more, add the cooking time for another few minutes.
SQUEEZE! SQUEEZE! SQUEEZE OUT THE WATER
After draining the sliced ginger and letting them cool down, squeeze them thoughtfully with your hands.
Excess water bothers to make delicious pickled ginger.
HOW TO TURN SUSHI GINGER INTO PINK
Some of the sushi ginger products on the market do have pink colored with food coloring since it looks authentically beautiful.
Gari, however, is naturally pale pink when freshly made.
It is because when the anthocyanin pigment contained in young ginger reacts with the vinegar in the pickling juice.
The pink color comes from the pink tips of fresh young ginger which Anthocyanin is abundantly contained.
So, what can we do to make homemade sushi ginger made with common ginger pink?
Simply, use red wine vinegar or add some sliced beets or red radishes with ginger together.
HOMEMADE SUSHI GINGER MADE WITH COMMON GINGER (NOT YOUNG GINGER)
- 1 cleaned and sanitized jar with a lid
- 4-6 fresh ginger roots *for 1 cup of sliced ginger
- ½ TSP salt
- water to boil ginger
For The Pickle Juice
- ½ cup vinegar
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 TSP salt
Prepare Ginger Root
- Wash and rinse the ginger root thoughtfully. Peel the ginger skin with a small spoon. General ginger root is fibery and chewy compared with young ginger, so slice thinly against the grain as possible with a knife or a vegetable slicer.
- Salt the sliced ginger and let the salt brings out the moisture from them, for about 20-30 minutes.Squeeze the excess water with your hands.
- In a medium saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Once the water boiled, add the salted ginger and cook for 3-5 minutes.
- Drain the ginger in a colander and let them cool. Squeeze out the excess moisture thoughtfully.
Make The Pickled Juice
- Meanwhile, add vinegar, sugar, and salt to a small saucepan, and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar.Let it cools down.*Or you can use a microwave.
Pickle The Ginger
- Place the boiled ginger in a cleaned jar, then, pour the pickle juice over it.
- Seal the jar and refrigerate the pickled ginger overnight.
HOW TO USE HOMEMADE SUSHI GINGER
This homemade ginger is so addictive and you can easily serve as a nibble for your happy hour.
Additionally, ginger helps to improve the digestive system so you can consume a few pieces before meals.
Ahi tuna steak is my hubby’s favorite and he loves the combination with ahi tuna, teriyaki sauce, and sushi ginger.
Ahi tuna is high in protein, low in fat, technically healthy, and very easy to cook. Learn the secret to preparing tuna to cut off the fishy taste and pull out the Umami flavor for a sesame-crusted seared tuna steak. It may seem fancy like the dinner for holidays, date nights, and special occasions, but honestly, it’s very easy, simple, and tasty, and both best parts, ahi tuna and authentic! Japanese Teriyaki sauce is a ridiculously savory combination! Only the effort you may need is to make Teriyaki sauce and Japanese citrus chili paste in advance.
STOCK AMAZU VINEGAR FOR MEAL PREP
Amazu is a traditional Japanese essential combined condiment made with vinegar and sugar or mirin in Japanese cooking.
Often, it is used for pickling vegetables and “sweet and sour” sauce…sometimes for sushi rice.
A versatile seasoning that goes well with various ingredients such as vegetables, tofu, meat, and fish, can be used in various dishes.
Amazu vinegar is so easy to dissolve sugar into vinegar make-basically and can be stocked for up to 6 months.
While using Amazu vinegar, you can substitute this condiment for pickle juice in the sushi ginger recipe.
Besides, you can make Japanese sweet vinegar pickled red radishes for a refreshing side dish!
For the recipe, go to the post,