Sweet and sour, sometimes has a softly spicy flavor, it's absolutly refreshing!
Pickled ginger, also known as Gari (japanese name) is used as a palate cleaner between japanese dishes so you can fully enjoy all the flavors. You can find it in Japanese restaurant specially at the sushi ones.
I got the recipe from my grandmother, she is an interesting japanese woman so my recipe is an adventure.
Let's started it!
Step 1: What You Need
- Ginger. 150 g or 2 large hands
Preferly young roots, you can identify it by the soft skin and pink/green color in the tips. I find mine in the chinese market.
- White sugar. 100 g or 3/4 cup.
Add to your taste. If you like it more sweet you should add some more.
- Vinegar. 250 ml or 1 cup.
It can be white vinegar or rice vinegar (the sour flavor it's more soft). I use white vinegar.
- Salt. 16 g o 1 Tbsp.
Add to your taste. If you like it more salty you should add some more.
- Kitchen's knife or mandoline.
- Recipient for storage, like a jar.
- Small spoon.
- Paper towels.
- Cutting board.
Step 2: Prepare the Jar (Optional)
For better storage of your pickles, jam or sauces, you must always make sure the containers you use are "perfectly" sterilized. I always recycle jar of glass. How do you prepare your jar?
Easy, all you need to do is a water boiled bath. Put the jar in boiling water, after 10 minutes, your jar is ready to use.
If the lid / cap has a rubber seal like mine, I recommend to reduce the boiled time for it, this way you can prevent damage in the rubber.
Step 3: Peel the Ginger
After some experience, the best way to peel a ginger is using a small spoon.
Make sure you don't leave any ginger skin and have patience, for me this is the tedious part.
Step 4: Slice the Ginger
Next, you need to slice the ginger as thin as you can with your knife or use a mandoline.
The more thin is cut the Ginger, its spiciness is more soft.
If you use a knife make sure you put the hand you use to hold the ginger like a cat paw to avoid accidents.
Step 5: Salt the Ginger
Mix the salt with the sliced ginger. With this step the ginger soft its texture.
Make sure is well mixed, let it rest about 30 - 45 minutes.
When the time is done, if you want, you can remove the salty moisture with the paper towel like the picture.
Step 6: Mix the Brine
While the ginger and the salt is resting, you can mix the vinegar and the sugar in a bowl.
I used the jar as a bowl so i don't have to clean to much, make sure to leave space for the ginger and saved some mix if you need to fill the jar.
Step 7: Filling the Jar
When the ginger is ready, fill the jar with it and seal it!
Step 8: Let It Rest
After filling the jar you need to let it rest so the flavor we are looking for develops.I always put it in the fridge.
It will be ready in the next days (24 -48 hours), you can see how it slowly turn pinks, i think this is because the chemic reaction between the protein of the ginger and the acid of the vinegar. It's interesting!
Now you have your own pickled ginger ready to used, try it with some white rice and toasted sesame seed.