Japanese pickled ginger (gari) is very easy to prepare, and deliciously healthy condiment commonly served with sushi and sashimi.
Gari is an excellent palate cleanser (much like a sorbet). You do not eat it like an appetizer, nor you should put it on top of your sushi (a common mistake!)
The proper way of having gari at a sushi-bar or a table is to take one or two slices between different pieces of sushi or fish, so you can fully appreciate the subtle differences in tastes of different foods you eat.
Ginger comes in season in early summer. The young roots have tender flesh and natural sweetness, with strong immune-boosting properties. They are yellowish when you slice them, and turn a pretty pink as you pour marinade (see below) over them.
- Ginger (preferably newly harvested young ones) – 500g
- Water – 500ml (2½ cups)
- Vinegar – 400ml (2 cups)
- Sugar – 300g (1½) cups
- Salt – 30g (1½tbs)
- Peel the skin of ginger (or scrape off using a spoon) and slice thin.
- Boil water in a large pan and blanch the sliced ginger for 10-20 seconds.
- Drain and wash thoroughly under fresh water.
- Prepare the marinade: Stir the water, vinegar, sugar, and salt in a small pan over low heat and bring it to a boil. Remove from heat.
- Place the gingers in a jar and pour the marinade mix over the ginger.
- Wait at least 3 hours before serving.