Since going a little pickle-crazy this summer (pickling everything in my vegetable crisper from carrots and baby beetroots, to jalapenos and birds-eye chilies), I’ve been the market for a good Japanese pickled ginger recipe that would take care of the rather large quantity of ginger I recently obtained from my local grocer. I was coveting the tell-tale pink hue of the pickled ginger that comes in Japanese restaurants, but found that most recipes called for either the hard-to-come-by shizo leaf to achieve it, or else suggested adding red food colouring. Nope.
As she often does, Nigella came to the rescue, this time with a fantastic recipe for Sushi Pickled Ginger. Nige calls for neither obscure Japanese botanicals nor nasty additives, but rather a piece of beetroot to give the ginger that lovely pink blush. Genius.
To get pickling, peel and thinly slice 85g of fresh ginger, using a mandolin, vegetable peeler, or a small, sharp knife. Transfer to a bowl and mix through 1 teaspoon of sea salt and let sit for about half an hour. Meanwhile, combine 1/4 of a cup each of rice vinegar, water, sugar, plus a thumb-sized piece of beetroot in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Once the sugar has dissolved, increase the heat and boil for 1 minute.
After 30 minutes, wrap the ginger in a piece of paper towel or cheesecloth and squeeze out the excess moisture, then pop it into a jar. Remove the beetroot from the saucepan and pour the vinegar and sugar mixture over the ginger, topping up the jar with another 1/4 cup of rice vinegar. Leave in the fridge for around 24 hours, after which time the flavours will have developed nicely. The wafer-thin slices of delicately flavoured ginger are delicious in a rice, avocado, salmon, and sesame seed sushi bowl, or sliced and tossed through a salad or some fired rice.
Adapted from Simply Nigella.