Let's make Pickled Sushi Ginger (or Gari ガリ) at home! Slight sweet and refreshing, it's perfect for cleansing your palate as you enjoy delicious sushi.
Course: Side Dish
Author: Namiko Chen
8ozyoung ginger(you can increase the ginger by as much as 50% for this recipe; regular ginger will be VERY spicy, but you can use it if you increase the boiling time to reduce the spiciness)
2tspkosher salt (Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)(for sprinkling; 3-5% of the ginger's weight)
For the Sweet Vinegar (Amazu)
1cuprice vinegar (unseasoned)(rice vinegar is mild compared to other vinegars; if you use another type, adjust the taste by adding more sugar)
½-¾cupsugar(I used organic cane sugar, but using white granulated sugar will make a clear pickling solution that showcases the pink color better; DO NOT USE LESS SUGAR than specified because the ginger will not preserve well; ½ cup is the least you can use, and it is still quite tangy; if you prefer the taste of store-bought sushi ginger, use the higher measurement of sugar indicated)
1tspkosher salt (Diamond Crystal; use half for table salt)
Using a knife (you can also use the back of the knife or a spoon), scrape off the brown spots and thin skin of the ginger.
Using a peeler, thinly slice the ginger. You can also use a mandolin. I prefer to use a peeler as it slices very thinly.
When you can't slice the ginger anymore with the peeler/mandolin, use the knife to slice the rest thinly.
Sprinkle the salt on the ginger slices and set aside for 5 minutes. The salt helps remove the moisture from the ginger so it can better absorb the pickling solution.
Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Once boiling, blanch the thinly sliced ginger for 1-2 minutes. If you want to keep it spicy, take it out after 1½ minutes. If you are using regular ginger (not young ginger), blanch it for 2-3 minutes to remove the extra spiciness.
Drain the ginger slices in a sieve. Let them cool slightly so you can handle them with your hands.
With your clean hands, spread out the slices in a single layer over a large Japanese bamboo sieve (called bonzaru 盆ざる) or paper towel/wire rack. Set aside until it's completely cooled and dried out a bit more.
Once cooled, squeeze the liquid from the ginger slices and put them in a sterilized airtight jar.
To Make the Sweet Vinegar (Amazu)
In a small saucepan, add the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt.
Mix and bring it to a boil on medium heat. Cook the vinegar mixture until the strong vinegar smell has evaporated and the sugar has completely dissolved.
Remove from the heat and let it cool slightly because the just-boiled liquid could break the glass jar. Pour the hot vinegar mixture into the jar with the ginger slices. Using clean chopsticks (or any utensil), mix it well together. Close the lid, let it cool completely, and refrigerate.
After 4 hours or so, the ginger will turn slightly pink (see the photo below). I recommend waiting until the following day or a few more days to enjoy.
Keep the pickled ginger in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to one year. Always use clean utensils to remove the pickled ginger from the jar to avoid contamination and to help them keep for a long time.