When you think of pickled ginger, the sweet and sour neon-pink pile served alongside sushi at Japanese restaurants probably comes to mind. But did you know it's easy to make an all-natural version at home? Be sure to use unseasoned rice vinegar here; the seasoned kind contains added sugar and salt. If you like, you can use cider vinegar or white wine vinegar instead.
In a tall 8-quart pot fitted with a rack, sterilize a quart jar by boiling it in water for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the jar in the water until you’re ready to use it.
Peel the ginger with a vegetable peeler or the edge of a spoon. Using a mandoline, slice the ginger as thinly as possible (preferably paper thin and no thicker than 1/16 inch).
In a 5-quart saucepan over high heat, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. In a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat, combine the vinegar, sugar, and salt. Stir until the sugar and salt dissolve, then increase the heat to medium high and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and cover the pan.
When the water boils, add the ginger and cook, stirring once or twice, to soften it, about 30 seconds.
Drain the ginger in a large colander, tossing the pieces so they drain well. Remove the jar from the water bath, and drain well. Transfer the ginger to the jar, using a canning funnel if you have one. Pour in the vinegar mixture (it should completely cover the ginger).
Cover the jar with its lid, allow to cool completely, and refrigerate. The ginger will be ready to eat after several hours.
Make Ahead Tips
Pickled ginger will keep in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
Try adding the ginger to stir-fries, vinaigrettes, fruit salads, and green salads. Use it in marinades for roasted meats and fish. Or layer it in sandwiches (especially Vietnamese banh mi) or in shrimp summer rolls with fresh herbs and rice noodles.
nutrition information (per serving):
per 2 Tbs., Calories
0, Fat Calories
0, Saturated Fat
0, Monounsaturated Fat
5, Polyunsaturated Fat
Photo: Scott Phillips