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Learn how to make delicious homemade pickled sushi ginger (gari) with this easy recipe. Perfect for sushi lovers, this guide includes simple steps and ingredients to elevate your sushi experience. Fresh, flavorful, and preservative-free!

pickled sushi ginger next to sushi

If you’re a fan of sushi, you know that no sushi experience is complete without that tangy, slightly sweet pickled ginger on the side. Japanese pickled sushi ginger, or “gari,” is not just a palate cleanser; it’s an essential part of the sushi feast. Today, I’m going to show you how to make this delicious condiment at home!

Why Homemade?

Sure, you can find sushi ginger in any Asian market or major grocery stores, but trust me, homemade pickled ginger tastes leagues better than the store-bought version! When you make it yourself, it’s fresher, more aromatic, and free of preservatives. Plus, it’s super easy and quick to prepare with only 4 ingredients. If you love cooking and homemade food, you’ve got to try this sushi ginger recipe at least once.

homemade ginger sushi in a small mason jar

Ingredients

See recipe card for quantities.

  • Fresh Ginger – Young ginger (“shin shoga”), in particular, is preferred because it’s tender, less fibrous, and has a mild, sweet flavor that’s perfect for pickling. You recognize it by the smooth, light-colored skin. It’s plump and firm, without any wrinkles or signs of drying out. Old ginger, on the opposite, is wrinkled, and dry.
  • Salt -Helps draw out moisture from the ginger slices, making them more receptive to absorbing the vinegar and sugar.
  • Rice Vinegar – For the pickle brine. I recommend getting it from an Asian Shop, where rice vinegar is sold at a much better price than in regular grocery stores.
  • Sugar – Adds a subtle sweetness to the pickled ginger, balancing out the sharpness of the vinegar and the spiciness of the ginger.

Visual Step-by-Step Instructions

This visual step-by-step instruction will help you along the way – definitely recommended if you’re a cooking beginner!

  1. Prepare the Ginger: Peel the young ginger (use a sharp teaspoon – it’s a neat trick that works wonders) and slice it as thinly as possible. A mandoline slicer works great for this, but a sharp knife will do the trick too.
  2. Salt the Ginger: Mix the sliced ginger with ½ teaspoon of salt in a small bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  3. Blanch the Ginger: Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the salted ginger and cook for 1 minute (up to 5 minutes if you prefer it less spicy). Drain the ginger in a sieve, let it cool, and squeeze out any excess liquid with your hands. Transfer in a mason jar.
  4. Pickle the Ginger: In a small saucepan, combine the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Heat until the sugar and salt are fully dissolved, then remove from heat. Pour the warm pickling solution over the ginger, ensuring all slices are submerged.
Pickled Sushi Ginger Recipe Step 1-6
  1. Cool and Store: Let it cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours before serving. The flavors develop beautifully over time, tasting best after a few days.
a glass with freshly pickled ginger

My Pick

schutzhandschuh

You want your ginger to be very thin, which works best with a high-quality mandoline slicer. I love this adjustable one from Microplane! Very important: Please use a cut-resistant glove to keep your fingers safe! One of the best investments I made! 😁

Alternatively, use a sharp knife or vegetable peeler.

Recipe FAQ

How long does it keep fresh? Your pickled ginger will stay fresh in the refrigerator for several weeks. The flavor improves as it sits, making it even more delicious over time.

What to do with leftover pickling brine?  Don’t throw away the vinegar mixture once the ginger is gone! It makes a fantastic stir-fry sauce when mixed with soy sauce and a bit of brown sugar.

What can I serve it with? While pickled ginger is a classic accompaniment to sushi and sashimi, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy it! Add a few slices to your salads or sandwiches for a zesty kick. Top your poke bowl with it for an extra layer of flavor. Pair it with Asian stir-fries, or noodles.

Why is some sushi ginger pink? Naturally pickled ginger can range from pale yellow to slightly pink. Sometimes, commercial versions are dyed a bright pink using food coloring, but you can achieve a natural pink hue if the ginger has a bit of its skin left on and is very young with pink roots.

More Recipes To Perfect Your Sushi Game

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📖 Recipe

pickled sushi ginger next to sushi

Pickled Sushi Ginger (Gari)

Learn how to make delicious homemade pickled sushi ginger (gari) with this easy recipe. Perfect for sushi lovers, this guide includes simple steps and ingredients to elevate your sushi experience. Fresh, flavorful, and preservative-free!
Author : Aline Cueni
4.93 from 14 votes

Click on the stars to leave a vote!

Prep Time :15 minutes
Cook Time :5 minutes
Total Time :20 minutes
Servings : 1 Jar
Calories : 184kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 3.5 oz (100 g) fresh ginger choose young ginger
  • ½ tsp salt

Brine

  • ¼ cup (60 ml) rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt

Instructions
 

  • Peel the young ginger (use a sharp teaspoon – it’s a neat trick that works wonders) and slice it as thinly as possible. A mandoline slicer works great for this, but a sharp knife will do the trick too.
  • Mix the sliced ginger with ½ teaspoon of salt in a small bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes.
  • Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the salted ginger and cook for 1 minute (up to 5 minutes if you prefer it less spicy). Drain the ginger in a sieve, let it cool, and squeeze out any excess liquid with your hands. Transfer in a mason jar.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Heat until the sugar and salt are fully dissolved, then remove from heat. Pour the warm pickling solution over the ginger, ensuring all slices are submerged.
  • Let it cool to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours before serving. The flavors develop beautifully over time, tasting best after a few days.

Notes

  • Ginger Cooking Time: The longer you cook the ginger, the milder it gets. But don’t cook it longer than 5 minutes.
  • Store: Your pickled ginger will stay fresh in the refrigerator for several weeks. The flavor improves as it sits, making it even more delicious over time.
  • Leftover Pickling Liquid: Don’t throw away the vinegar mixture once the ginger is gone! It makes a fantastic stir-fry sauce when mixed with soy sauce and a bit of brown sugar.

Nutrition

Calories: 184kcal | Carbohydrates: 42g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1759mg | Potassium: 412mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 26g | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating




4.93 from 14 votes (12 ratings without comment)

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6 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    So easy, and turned out excellent!
    I used brown sugar, nd I barely boiled the ginger to keep it nice and spicy. The flavours developed even more after a few days. Thank you for this great recipe!

  2. 5 stars
    the flavor on this pickled ginger recipe is wonderful…I will make again…Thank you