We love sushi in this house. Actually some would say we live off the stuff! When the kids were little living back home in Raglan and being gluten-free the only place we could really ever take them ‘out’ for lunch was to the local sushi shop. They kinda had no choice in the matter; they were just going to have to grow up loving the stuff as much as I do! Lucky they never really put up a fight. From a very young age both the kids could polish off a tofu musubi in two seconds flat and now that they are just that much bigger, in size and in appetites, I’ve got into regularly making sushi for dinner so they can pig out on it without breaking the bank! Ada will happily eat a whole roll (yes, 10 pieces) and Kye eats his fair share too.
Now for me sushi is not sushi without the accompaniments… wasabi, soy sauce and pickled ginger. They take sushi from something simple and plain to something that is all at once hot, salty and spicy. I have just one pet hate and that’s when I’m served fluro pink ginger that looks like it belongs in a lab, not on my food. You can buy the natural pickled ginger, but I find it’s pretty hard to buy in small amounts (for some reason?) and I only ever see it in huge 5kg bags at the Asian grocers. You can also buy the natural stuff at health food stores, but phew they come with hefty price tags. If you’ve been reading for some time you will have noticed that rather than forking out for such things, I rather just make it myself. Especially when it’s as simple as thinly slicing fresh ginger, adding salt then pouring over a mixture of rice vinegar, water and sugar. The only trick is finding really fresh, young ginger. The younger the better, you don’t want too many fibrous strings which are a sure sign it’s old ginger. Be sure to look for plump, mostly unblemished bulbs. If they are wrinkled in anyway, look else where.
The beautiful pale pink colour you see below occurs naturally when the hot vinegar syrup is poured over the salted ginger, just like magic. There’s definitely no need for colourings, what so ever.
homemade pickled ginger
Unless you go through large amounts of pickled ginger I suggest you preserve them in small glass jars. This way you can open just a little at a time. My jars were different sizes, but I’d say at a guess it would make 2 or 3 1/2 cup capacity jars. So sterilise more than you think you will need just in case.
makes around 1 1/2 cups.
- 185g fresh ginger
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 90ml (1/3 cup + 2 teaspoons) rice vinegar
- 90ml (1/3 cup + 2 teaspoons) water
- 70g (1/3 cup) unrefined raw sugar
Peel the ginger either using a vegetable peeler or the back of a teaspoon, scraping the skin off. Slice the ginger into thin slices using a vegetable peeler (again) or a mandolin. Place into a bowl with the salt. Use your hands to thoroughly mix the two. Set aside for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile place 1-2 small clean glass jars into preheated oven at 120 C/250 F for 20 minutes. Turn off oven and leave jars in there until required. To sterilise lids, place in a bowl and cover with boiling water, leave for 5 minutes before draining. Use your hands to squeeze out as much liquid from the ginger as you can before transferring to the sterlised jars, packing it in lightly and filling each jar to the top.
Heat rice vinegar, water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Increase heat and bring to the boil. Remove from heat and pour over ginger, right up to the rim of the jar. Screw on lid and leave to cool, then store in the refrigerator. Leave at least 24 hours for the flavours to develop before eating. Once opened use within 2 weeks.
This recipe has been linked to:
Slightly indulgent Tuesdays @ simply sugar & gluten-free