Lucky enough to get Myoga (Japanese Ginger)? Make this easy Myoga Amazuzuke (Sweet Pickled Japanese Ginger). Refreshing and addicting, it‘s our favorite kind of pickles in the summertime.
I received homegrown myoga as a gift from a local JOC reader and have enjoyed making all kinds of myoga recipes. This Myoga Amazuzuke (みょうが甘酢漬け), or Sweet Pickled Japanese Ginger, is particularly my favorite. It’s tasty on its own but also makes a lovely accompaniment to jazz up our salads and rice.
What Is Myoga (Japanese Ginger)
Myoga (ミョウガ, みょうが, 茗荷) is the species Zingiber mioga in the Zingiberaceae family. Native to Japan, China, and Korea, myoga is harvested for its unopened flower bud and flavorful shoot instead of its root. The flower buds are slightly larger than thumb-size and they come in pinkish bronze outer layers. It is sometimes called myoga ginger or Japanese ginger.
You can read more about this produce here on my pantry page.
How to Make Sweet Pickles (Amazuzuke)
Amazuzuke (甘酢漬け) is a Japanese technique of pickling fresh vegetables in sweet vinegar. You might already familiar with the most well-known example of an Amazuzuke – pickled sushi ginger or gari (ガリ).
Ingredients You’ll Need
The pickling solution is made with 4 simple ingredients:
- Rice vinegar – it has a mild tangy taste compared to other kinds
- Sugar – feel free to adjust the amount as you like (store-bought tends to be sweeter)
- Myoga (Japanese ginger)
Can’t get any myoga? Try using other vegetables!
- Kabu (Japanese turnip)
- Lotus root
- Red onion
- Yellow/red/orange bell pepper
How to Use Substitute: I recommend sprinkling salt over sliced/cut vegetables to draw moisture out before pickling. After 10-15 minutes, squeeze the vegetable to remove moisture and then pickle in the solution.
Overview: Cooking Process
- To make a sweet pickling solution, combine rice vinegar, sugar, and salt in a pot and bring to a boil.
- Pour the hot pickling solution over myoga (or fresh produce of your choice).
- Pickle for 2 days (can last for 2 weeks in the fridge!).
That’s it! Easy, right? Myoga will turn beautiful pink color after a few days!
How to Enjoy Myoga Amazuzuke
This sweet pickled Japanese ginger can serve many purposes. The mildly tangy and sweet flavor makes it a refreshing perk-me-up with BBQ spreads or cold summer noodles. You can enjoy it whole in between bites of grilled meat or seafood. Or thinly slice and toss it with salad or rice or lettuce wrap. I haven’t tried it but I think it would work with Japanese-inspired sandwiches too!
Other Myoga Recipes
Love myoga ginger? Try all these varieties of myoga recipes!
- Mizuna Myoga Salad with Ponzu Sesame Dressing
- Pickled Cucumbers and Myoga
- Myoga Shiso Rice
- Eggplant and Myoga Salad
- Tomato Myoga Salad
Myoga Amazuzuke (Sweet Pickled Japanese Ginger)
- 10 myoga ginger (1.8 oz, 50 g; you can add more as long as they are covered with the pickling solution; Read more about substitute in the blog post)
Amazu (Sweet Pickling Solution)
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 2 ½ Tbsp sugar
- ½ tsp kosher/sea salt (I use Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
- Gather all the ingredients. Rinse and cut off the ends of myoga ginger.
- In a small saucepan, combine rice vinegar, sugar, and salt.
- Bring it to a boil over medium heat and let the sugar dissolves completely.
- Pour hot Amazu over myoga ginger in an air-tight jar. Once cool, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 days.
- 2-3 days later: Myoga gingers now have a beautiful color. Serve it as an accompaniment to brighten up your meals. (More ideas in the blog post)
- You can keep it in the air-tight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.