Gari is Japanese pickled ginger that is always served with sushi. While traditional gari is made with young ginger that still has pink fingers, we will be making our gari with ginger that is commonly available in the super markets. Most but not always the Gari that you get in super markets will appear dark pink to dark red in color. These pickles are colored using artificial food colors. Gari that is made with young ginger with pink fingers will give a mild pink natural gue to the pickle and the one that we are making will have its typical light brown hue. The traditional recipe also uses Konbu – an edible kelp that adds a taste of umami to this pickled ginger. We will be making the pickled sushi ginger gari with four ingredients, ginger, vinegar, salt, and sugar.
Pickled sushi ginger – GariDifficulty: Medium
Gari is the Japanese pickled sushi ginger. It has a sweet, salty and acceptable levels of pungent taste to it.
200 grams ginger slices
1 Tbsp non iodized salt
1 cup rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
6 Tbsp sugar
- Wash the ginger thoroughly. Peel the ginger using a small kitchen knife or with a spoon. Slice the ginger using a mandoline slicer. If your knife skills are great then slice as thinly as possible. The thinner the slices the more pleasant it will be to eat.
- Add 200 grams of this sliced ginger to boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. This will reduce the pungency of ginger to acceptable levels. To make it even more milder cook for it for an additional 2 minutes.
- Drain the water into a bowl. This water is the ginger tea and you can store bottled in a refrigeator or freeze into ice cubes. It can last upto three weeks in a refrigerator.
- Dip the ginger into cold water to stop further cooking.
- After a few minutes, squeeze the ginger to drain out the excess water. This drained water can also be added to the bottle containing the ginger water from blanching process – step 3.
- Place the ginger in a bowl and mix it with 1 tablespoon of salt. While it adds a nice salty flavor to ginger , it will also help in removing any excess water from ginger.
- While the ginger sits in the bowl, let’s prepare the vinegar in which the ginger will stay preserved. Add one cup of rice vinegar to a bowl. Any other vinegar such as Apple cider vinegar , grape or coconut vinegar would also work.
- Add 6 Tbsp sugar. I am using white refined sugar. Unrefined sugar will also work but will make give a brown look to the vinegar.
- Cook the vinegar for a few minutes until all the sugar has dissolved.
- Before we bottle the ginger slices , they must be squeezed one more time to drain excess water. This salt water can be had in small doses to boost digestion.
- Add the vinegar and sugar solution to the bottle containing the ginger.
- Leave the bottle outside at room temperature for two days and then store it in a refrigerator to last for several weeks.