Hello dear reader,
It is officially spring here in the Northern Hemisphere and, when I see the cherry blossoms appear, my thoughts often turn to Japan. Cherry trees are known as Sakura in Japan and their pretty blossoms are celebrated with many parties and feasts.
Never having been to Japan, my sole knowledge of its cuisine are the commonly-known teriyaki and sushi. I especially adore sushi but when I checked out the ingredients I found that the pickled ginger accompaniment often has lots of colourings and E-numbers added. In my quest to eliminate all unnecessary additives from my diet, I decided to make my own pickled ginger.
It is really easy and a great way to use up any excess root ginger, if you only needed a small amount for a recipe.
You will need 150g of root ginger to make a 450g jar of pickled ginger. First of all peel the ginger. You only want to remove the outermost papery skin and the easiest way to do this is to simply scrape it off with a spoon. I was delighted to recently discover this method, as it is really quick and easy plus you lose hardly any of the tasty ginger.
Next cut off any dried ends and slice the remaining ginger really thinly. I just used the vegetable slicer on my food processor, as I was in a rush, but the ginger should ideally be thinner than this. It is best to use a mandolin or vegetable peeler. For the tenderest pickled ginger, slice across the grain. Toss your sliced ginger in ¾ tsp sea salt and leave for a few hours or overnight.
Rinse off the salt & then pop the sliced ginger into a sterilised jar. My simple method to sterilise my jars is to wash them in hot soapy water, rinse and then leave to dry in a warm oven.
Next heat 1 cup of rice wine vinegar with 1 tbsp honey over a medium heat until the honey has dissolved. Pour into the jar, making sure all the ginger is submerged in the pickling liquid.
Leave to cool, pop on a lid and then store in the fridge for at least a week before using. This allows the ginger to pickle, giving a lovely rounded flavour with no harshness – perfect for delicate sushi! Sometimes the ginger will turn a pretty pale pink colour – this is fine – it depends on the age of the ginger and type of rice wine vinegar.
Homemade pickled ginger
recipe from Vohn’s Vittles at vohnmcg.com
– 150g root ginger
– ¾ tsp sea salt
– 1 cup rice wine vinegar
– 1 tbsp honey
1) Peel the ginger and slice as thinly as possible.
2) Place in a bowl and mix in the salt. Leave for a few hours or overnight.
3) Rinse to remove excess salt, then place in a sterilised jar.
4) Heat rice wine vinegar and honey together over a gentle heat until the honey has dissolved.
5) Pour the honey-vinegar mixture over the ginger, leave to cool and then store in the fridge for at least a week before using.
Watch this space for step-by-step instructions to make your own sushi to serve with your home-pickled ginger!
P.S. I am entering my homemade pickled ginger into The Spice Trail blogger challenge run by Vanesther over at Bangers & Mash, as her theme this month is ginger.