Called gari or sushoga in
Japanese, pickled ginger is an obligatory accompaniment to sushi. (We will
be covering sushi later). I like to use it also in vinaigrettes or in
sandwiches, as you might use a cucumber pickle. A Little Thai pepper gives
this a pleasing kick.
The pickled ginger can be stored, refrigerated, for about one month.
2 cups rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
1 small red beet, peeled and halved
2 bay leaves
1/2 tablespoon white peppercorns
2 Thai bird chiles
1 to 1 1/2 ounces ginger, cut into 1/8-inch slices
In a medium saucepan,
combine the vinegar, salt, sugar, beet, bay leaves, peppercorns, and
chiles. Bring to a boil over high heat and add the ginger. Reduce the heat
and simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool, about 1/2
hour. Transfer to a jar and refrigerate overnight.
Ming’s Tip: Though pickled ginger will turn a nice pink color
over time, I often use beets or red shiso leaves to tint the pickle
delicately. Though hard to come by, the red shisos provide superior color
and an herby flavor