Small Batch

How to Make Your Own Pickled Ginger from Scratch

By • May 13, 2014 • 6 Comments

It's always more fun to DIY. Every week, we'll spare you a trip to the grocery store and show you how to make small batches of great foods at home.

Today: With help from Molly Yeh of My Name is Yeh, pickled ginger is stepping out of wasabi's overbearing shadow. 

I feel sorry for pickled ginger.

It’s usually dyed a weird shade of pink, it doesn’t resemble a raw knob of ginger, and you wouldn’t even get a kick out of successfully triple-dog-daring your dad to eat a raspberry-sized blob of it like you would its sassy green sister wasabi. Pickled ginger, it seems, has always been the other sushi accoutrement

More: Leftover ginger? Here's how to enjoy it at every meal.

Until an embarrassingly short time ago, when I made the connection that the odd little pile on my sushi plate came from the same root that made ginger ale and ginger chews, I was too afraid to try it. It may look slimy and gross (right?!), but when I did finally try it, I realized how good it tastes. It adds that perfect refreshing zing to my nigiri and my maki, and now no sushi supper is complete without it.

Sushi night at home used to mean putting on my eyeglasses and looking closely at every item in the “Ethnic Food" aisle for a small and expensive jar of artificially-dyed pickled ginger. Now, with a homemade option, sushi night is tastier, less expensive, and more natural. I’d estimate that it’s approximately one unit of ease less than using store bought, but it is well worth the effort.

A few pickled ginger tidbits: Young ginger will naturally turn slightly pink from the pickling process. Many store-bought or mass-produced types don’t use ginger that is young enough, which is one reason why it’s artificially dyed. Pickled ginger was originally served with sushi because of its antiseptic and stomach-calming properties, which were thought to prevent any ill effects of bad raw fish. Now, it’s served mainly as a way to cleanse the palate.

Pickled Ginger

Makes about 3/4 cup

1 large knob of ginger (about 6 inches long)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt

Rinse the ginger and then use a spoon to gently scrape off the skin.

 

 

Slice it very thinly, ideally with a mandoline or a vegetable peeler in order to get the slices extra thin (a sharp knife will work, too). You should have around 1 cup of sliced ginger. Place it in a sterilized jar. 

 

 

In a small saucepan, stir together the sugar, water, rice vinegar, and salt so that the sugar dissolves. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and then pour it over the ginger. 

 

 

Let the liquid cool slightly, then cover the jar and refrigerate it overnight before serving the ginger. It will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Molly Yeh

Jump to Comments (6)

Tags: how-to & DIY, small batch, pickled ginger, ginger, sushi, asian, japanese, condiments, snacks

Comments (6)

Default-small
Default-small
Default-small

24 days ago joanne silberner

I'm curious about the two week shelf life. with all that vinegar and sugar, I'd think it'd be more like several months. How did you come up with two weeks?

Default-small

26 days ago Miles

Can you use ginger that's been frozen? Or would that be too watery (is that a word)? Thanks!

Default-small

3 months ago tulip549

Great recipe! I use honey instead of sugar and it turns out great!

Gg_vegan_sample_jar

3 months ago Gaia Goodness Natural Foods

Ok thank you thank you thank you for this. I had sushi two days ago and was just wondering why I'd never made my own. Doing this pronto!!

Bw_o

3 months ago Sini | my blue&white kitchen

For me, pickled ginger has always been one of the highlights of my sushi plate. However, I've never made it myself. Can't wait to make a batch! [Also, artificially dyed pickled ginger? :o I haven't been aware of that so thanks for pointing this out, Molly!]

Tworedbowls2

3 months ago cynthia | two red bowls

Pretty sure I have never seen ginger looking so fiiine. With this and Emma's sushi tutorial I am so set for life! Love it, Molly <3