You are what you eat & drink

Gari ガリ

Most of us are familiar with sushi even if we don’t like it. When sushi is served it usually comes with wasabi (the green horse radish paste) and gari (the light brown, sometimes pinky stuff that tastes like ginger).

What exactly is gari? Most of us just say, “oh that’s ginger.”

Well, it is, but it is pickled ginger.

Pickled ginger

Ginger Root

Pickled ginger is no mystery, the recipe is simple, you can make it at home.

What you need:

  • ½kg (1 lb) fresh ginger
  • 2 cups unseasoned rice vinegar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbs salt

What you do:

Scrape or peel the root, slice thinly using a mandolin. Blanch the ginger for about 30 seconds in boiling water or enough to soften it. Seperately, add vinegar, sugar, and salt to 1.8lts (3 pints) of water dissolve and bring to the boil. Once the ginger has been strained and put into a large jar, cover with the conserve. Seal, let cool and refrigerate.

It will be ready to use in about 8 hours, and will keep refrigerated for up to three months.

Some other suggestions:

Of course, now that you have your pickled ginger a whole new world opens. Apart from sushi, you can use it in vinaigrettes, fruit salads, and green salads. Use it in marinades for roasted meats and fish. Or in sandwiches (especially Vietnamese banh mi) or in shrimp summer rolls with fresh herbs and rice noodles. Try adding the ginger to stir-fries to enhance the flavour.

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