Two of my favorite condiments are served beside sushi. First, it’s that pleasantly hot and spicy wasabi. Second is the pickled ginger. I could eat that ginger on just about anything. It has crossed my mind that I could probably make it at home, but I never ventured to seek out a good recipe. Fortunately, now I don’t have to because this time around a good recipe found me.
All summer I have been browsing the pages of one amazing cookbook. It contains recipes for pickled everything! Or at least it seems like just about everything. The Joy of Pickling: 250 Flavor-Packed Recipes for Vegetables and More from Garden or Market by Linda Ziedrich has proven to me that I knew very little about the potential of pickling.
While you will find a huge variety of cucumber pickles, this cookbook goes well beyond the standard dill. Figs. You can pickle figs?! And peaches? There is even pickled pig’s ear should you choose to go there. There is also page after page of interesting condiments and sauces like Hot Orange Ketchup and Rhubarb Chutney.
There were so many tempting recipes to try in this book, but I knew I finally had to give Japanese Pickled Ginger a try. The best part about many pickling recipes is that they are so easy to make. Top a few fruits or veggies with a liquid, seal and rest. A few days later you have a crisp, tangy snack or condiment.
That is definitely the case with this ginger. Peeling and slicing takes a little time, but I had this recipe done in less than 30 minutes. Now that I have the ginger down, it may be time to start practicing the sushi.
This book has been out for a while now and I’m so glad that it finally caught my attention. I can tell it will become a well-used resource book for me every year. If you are spending late summer and early fall wondering what to do with all your garden produce, the chances are good that you can pickle it. This cookbook will show you how.
Japanese Pickled Ginger
©Linda Ziedrich 2009. Reprinted with permission from The Harvard Common Press.
Makes: About 1 Pint
From the book:
Use fresh young ginger for this pickle. Available in Asian markets, young ginger is pale, almost white with very thin skin and pink stem stubs. A mandolin may be useful for slicing the root.
Your pickled ginger may turn out faintly pink, but it won’t have the hot pink color you’ll see in commercial versions of this pickle, that color comes from food dye.
A traditional accompaniment to sushi, pickled ginger refreshes the palate and cleanses the mouth of fishy tastes.
1 quart water
½ pound fresh ginger, sliced paper thin
1 teaspoon plus a sprinkle of pickling salt
1 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon light (usukuchi) Japanese soy sauce
Bring the water to a boil in a saucepan and add the ginger. Bring the water back to a boil and then drain the ginger well in a colander. Let the ginger cool.
Put the ginger into a bowl and sprinkle the ginger lightly with salt.
In a saucepan, bring to a boil the vinegar, the sugar, the 1 teaspoon salt, and the soy sauce, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Pour the hot liquid over the ginger, mix well.
Store the ginger in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator. It will be ready to use in a day or two and will keep for several months, at least.
Disclosure: This cookbook was sent to me for review purposes by The Harvard Common Press. I was not required to post about it and I received no compensation for doing so.