Make Your Own No-Chemical-Added Pink Gari, Pickled Ginger

Posted on Sep 17, 2013 in Hiroko's Blog

new gingerphoto30 M pickled

Zaid recently brought to Union Square Greenmarket his first, successful harvest of young ginger, shinshoga. Shinshoga, is a young ginger as opposed to old ginger, whose skin is light brown, flesh is yellow in color, and texture is firm & stingy. Rhizome of young ginger is moist, crisp and smooth. The color of its skin and flesh are white. This is the ginger which we use to make gari, pickled ginger, which accompanies sushi and sashimi dishes at Japanese restaurants.

Gari served at Japanese restaurants are most likely commercially produced ones. Therefore, its pretty pink color is a result of adding food colorings during the process. If we make our own gari with young ginger, it is totally different story. When slices of young ginger is pickled in vinegar solution, antocianin in the ginger turns the ginger slices to beautiful pink color.

Zaid is an owner farmer of organic farm, Norwich Meadows Farm. He comes to Union Square Greenmarket on Monday, Friday and Saturday. When Zaid showed me young ginger at his stand, I was surprised that it is one of his NY State produce. I know that young ginger, shinshoga, loves warm temperature, rich moist soil and humidity. Zaid grows his young ginger in the temperature controlled tunnel house (65-70 degree F). He is bringing more young ginger to the market. Get some of them ($16/per pound) and make your own gari. Gari is not just for sushi or sashimi. We in Japan serve it with grilled oily type of fish. It is a mouth refresher, so you can find out more ways to enjoy it. I will post the recipe in my next blog. Here is the link to Zaid farm;