Cooked with ginger, fried tofu skin, and soy sauce-based sauce, this Japanese Ginger Rice is so fragrant that you would enjoy it on its own.
Have you seen young ginger (新生姜) in recipes before and wondered what it is? Compared to “regular” ginger, young ginger has thin skin and some parts may be a little bit pinkish. As young ginger is juicier and has a mild taste, it is often used in pickled ginger/sushi ginger (Gari ガリ in Japanese) or in this delicious Ginger Rice.
Watch How to Make Ginger Rice
Fragrant Japanese rice cooked with ginger, fried tofu skin, and flavorful soy sauce-based sauce.
What is Young Ginger?
Young ginger is in season during the summertime, usually between June and August in Japan. Young ginger and regular ginger that you normally see in the grocery store are actually the same. When you leave the young ginger under certain conditions for about 2 months, it turns into regular ginger.
During this 2 month period, the pink color turns into a golden color and the skin gets hardened as it matures. The ginger can actually last close to 1 year if you can control the moisture and temperature.
The Usasage of Ginger in Recipes
Ginger adds a nice aroma, zest, and spicy kick to Asian cuisines. It tastes great with food, but it’s also very good for you and your body. Not only does ginger’s unique powers keep you warm, but it’s also an appetite stimulant and digestive aid. There are also other health benefits, and if you’re interested, continue reading here.
Young ginger can be found in Asian grocery stores during the summertime. If it’s out of season or you cannot find any, you can substitute it with regular ginger, as I did for this recipe. If you’re not a big fan of ginger, reduce the amount of ginger by 1/3 or half, especially if you’re not using young ginger. I use the same amount of ginger as young ginger and my family enjoyed it.
What Dish to Go with Ginger Rice
We recently ate Ginger Rice and Miso Salmon together and it was fantastic.
- 1½ cups uncooked Japanese short-grain white rice (1½ cups (2 rice cooker cups, 360 ml) of uncooked rice yield roughly 4 servings or 3½ cups of cooked rice)
- 1 piece aburaage (deep-fried tofu pouch) (0.7 oz, 20 g; you can substitute it with crispy fried tofu cubes from an Asian grocery store, but blanch them first to remove excess oil)
- 1 oz ginger (preferably young ginger so it‘s less spicy)
- 1⅓ cups water
- Gather all the ingredients.
- Rinse 1½ cups uncooked Japanese short-grain white rice and drain well. For detailed instructions on rinsing and cooking Japanese rice, read my How to Make Rice post.
- Boil water in a small saucepan and pour on top of 1 piece aburaage (deep-fried tofu pouch). This will remove the oil in the aburaage (the manufacturer’s oil doesn’t taste good, so this extra step will improve the flavor of the aburaage).
- Cut in half lengthwise and slice thinly into strips.
- Peel 1 oz ginger and cut it into julienned pieces.
- In a 2-cup measuring cup, mix all the ingredients for the seasonings: 1 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 Tbsp sake, 1 Tbsp mirin, and ¼ tsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt. Then, add 1⅓ cups water to the seasonings so that the liquid totals 1½ cups or 360 ml (equal volume as rice).
- Place the well-drained rice into the rice cooker. No rice cooker? You can also make rice in a pot over the stove, an Instant Pot, or a donabe. Pour the liquid into the rice cooker and mix well, and add the ginger and aburaage on top. Do not mix. Rice cooks evenly when it is not mixed with other ingredients.
- Soak for 20–30 minutes and then start cooking. If you have a “Mixed Rice” option, use it (see Notes below). When the rice is done, let it steam for another 10 minutes. Fluffy it up with the rice paddle and serve.
- You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container and store in the freezer for a month. See the tutorial here.