Does Pickled Ginger Need to be Refrigerated?

What Is Pickled Ginger?

Pickled ginger is a fermented preparation of the rhizomatous spice ginger root or Zingiber officinale, a tropical flowering plant from the same family as cardamom and turmeric. The sharp bite of raw fresh ginger comes from gingerol, an aromatic compound that transforms into the sweeter zingerone when heated or dried, making ginger an especially versatile ingredient.

Known as gari and amazu shoga in Japanese, you can make pickled ginger by soaking thin slices of ginger in a brine of rice wine vinegar, salt, and sugar. This versatile pickled condiment is a common accompaniment to sushi and will keep well in the refrigerator for up to a year.


How To Pick Good New Ginger Rhizomes For Pickling

Look for ones that have a fresh-looking and white to pale yellow in colour with firm surface. Also the stems are a bright crimson colour.

Why Do We Use Young Ginger?

Young ginger has a mild zesty flavor and a fine fleshy texture that is tender. Unlike matured ginger that’s usually used for cooking, the young ginger’s skin is very thin and easy to peel with fingers or a spoon.

To make sushi ginger, only young ginger is used. It’s thinly sliced and then pickled in a sugar and rice vinegar mixture. The sliced ginger will naturally become light pink from the tips of the young ginger (see the photo).

Many commercially produced and sold pickled ginger are artificially dyed pink. If you’re purchasing pickled sushi ginger, you can find some brands that avoid artificial coloring.

Young ginger is harvested and sold in early summer around May/June!

Young gingers found in Asian grocery stores sometimes do not have the pink tip (already cut off). You can still make pickled ginger with these, but they won’t be naturally pink.

Where to Find Young Ginger

Where to Find Young Ginger

  • Japanese/Asian grocery stores
  • Farmers markets
  • Etsy (I’ve purchased young ginger from Hawaii before)
  • Good Eggs


Instructions Checklist
  • Cut the ginger into chunks and place them into a bowl. Sprinkle with sea salt, stir to coat and let stand for about 30 minutes. Transfer the ginger to a clean jar.


  • In a saucepan, stir together the rice vinegar and sugar until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil, then pour the boiling liquid over the ginger root pieces in the jar.

  • Allow the mixture to cool, then put the lid on the jar and store in the refrigerator for at least one week. You will see that the liquid will change to slightly pinkish in few minutes. Don’t be alarmed because it’s the reaction of rice vinegar that causes the change. Only quality rice vinegar can do that! Some commercial pickled ginger has red coloring added. Cut pieces of ginger into paper thin slices for serving.

With what do you eat marinated ginger?

With what do you eat marinated ginger? The question is natural, but at the same time almost immediately responsible for itself. As it is an oriental product, it can easily be used as a supplement to any similar dishes as seasonings. For example, it has become an integral part of the well-known sushi. The fact is that in his Asian kitchen pickled ginger is used as a means for cleaning taste buds, a means for protecting against infection with microbes that can be found in raw fish. But at the same time, he is perfectly suited to those dishes that are somewhat lacking in sharpness.

Salad with pickled ginger

Salad with marinated ginger has a wonderful and very tonic taste. To all the fault of the taste of the root is ginger. And a remarkable fact is that there is a huge number of all kinds of recipes for such a plan.

Salad recipe with cabbage and pickled ginger:

  • A small cabbage of Beijing cabbage.
  • Acid-tasting apples – 1 pc.
  • Marinated ginger (the amount depends on personal preferences).
  • Salt / greens to taste.
  • Tablespoon of honey.
  • A tablespoon of vegetable oil.

All the necessary ingredients are to be chopped, seasoned with honey and vegetable oil and mixed.

Chicken with pickled ginger

Chicken with pickled ginger has a unique taste exactly as well as aftertaste. It is perfect for both a noisy party and warmer family gatherings at a table during the holidays. For cooking you will need:

  • One hen – size does not matter.
  • Root of ordinary ginger.
  • Spices, salt pepper – not less than one tablespoon of each.
  • Five ordinary, medium-sized cloves of garlic.
  • A common sleeve for baking.
  • Marinated ginger.

How to cook:

  • Wash the chicken, spice it, give a little soak in it (two hours).
  • Peel the garlic, cut into pieces, cutting ginger into thin slices in parallel.
  • Half of sliced ginger put in chicken, the rest under the skin.
  • Do the same with garlic.
  • We add the chicken, then put it in a sleeve and in the oven for 40 minutes at a temperature of 190 degrees.
  • Marinated ginger use at the time of filing.

Meat with pickled ginger

Meat with pickled ginger has a unique taste. And in this case, ginger is used as a serving or as an additional separate dish for increasing taste qualities. More importantly, it should be understood that such ginger is most often used as an aftertaste after a dish, since it is pickled ginger that has exceptional similar properties. It can be served with almost any meat, whether it’s chicken, pork, lamb, veal or other types of meat. He will become an indispensable assistant, which will absolutely give any charm to somebody.

Pork with pickled ginger

Pork with pickled ginger – this is a rare case when you do not need to reinvent the bicycle, because Asians are very fond of pork, and therefore actively used in cooking, including in combination with such ginger. Pork in soy sauce with ginger requires the following ingredients:

  • Not less than 400 grams of pork.
  • At least 150 grams of soy sauce.
  • Ginger root, not less than 20 grams.

How to cook:

  • Slice the meat into thin slices.
  • Make them chops.
  • Next marinade – soy sauce is mixed with the third root.
  • We put the slaughtered meat there for at least 30 minutes.
  • Then proceed to roasting. Fry on both sides (3 minutes per side).
  • Serve with a pickled ginger.

Marinated ginger with apple cider vinegar

Pickled ginger with apple cider vinegar is not a fantasy, but one of the possibilities of preparing a delicious serving element for almost any meat dish. The recipe is absolutely identical with the usual recipe, with the only difference being that it is apple cider vinegar that is used. With this preparation, an interesting apple flavor arises, which only complements the overall picture, the palette of flavors. So do not be scared if you could not find rice vinegar. No problem! You can apply and apple. In this case, you can get the product that can become your favorite goodies.

The Benefits of Pickled Ginger

Marinated ginger is not inferior to fresh in the content of nutrients. The root contains:

  • vitamins (A, C, group B);
  • Mineral substances (magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc salts);
  • rich amino acid composition.

Ginger root stimulates the digestive processes, warms in severe frosts, strengthens the immune defenses of the body, cleanses the liver and dilutes the blood. Several pieces of ground ginger can relieve headaches and calm the nervous system.

Ginger is also useful for men: a pickled root restores sexual strength, increases potency, gives energy and strength.

However, one of the main beneficial properties of ginger is its protective effect. Marinated ginger is a kind of barrier for pathogenic microorganisms that can be contained in poor-quality food, as well as in raw fish or meat pieces. Just for this reason, the root is necessarily served to sushi and rolls, as well as to pickled meats and other fast-processed dishes.

Pickled Ginger Health Benefits

When you set out to learn how to pickle ginger, you probably wondered what all the fuss is about. While pickling ginger isn’t the most challenging task you’ll encounter, the total time spent doing it is significant. So, it’s crucial to understand why preserving your ginger for long-term storage is worthwhile.

Palate Cleanser

Pickled ginger (Gari), or sushi ginger is often served with Sushi. But why? Because eating pickled ginger cleanses the taste buds between pieces of sushi. Eating refreshing ginger prevents the taste buds from becoming desensitized by eating the same taste food. As a result, your sushi experience is more delicious.

Which sweetener should be used?

Most recipes call for white sugar and cook it together with the vinegar. While I have made it that way before, I have also successfully made an uncooked version by dissolving the sugar directly in the vinegar solution.

I have also made several batches using alternative sweeteners like panela, honey, or maple syrup. These unrefined sweeteners result in darker, golden brown ginger slices. While that doesn’t sound desirable, it actually combines well with the more purple-ish shade of beetroot to make a pretty coral pink-colored ginger.

Why make it?

Most modern pickled gingers are colored with artificial dyes. They also, sadly, often include artificial sweeteners and preservatives. While the added coloring didn’t surprise me, seeing the artificial sweeteners and preservatives on the label did.

Once I realized that I didn’t especially like the ingredient list, I knew I wanted to try to make it myself. Plus, it ends up being a lot cheaper to make it than to buy it.

If you make it yourself, you can also choose to make a raw, more pungent version. Or, you can cook the ginger to obtain a milder flavor.

Young Ginger

Do not be deterred if you cannot find young ginger in your neck of the woods. In all my years here in Minnesota, I have not seen young ginger being sold, even in the summer. As such, I make do with regular “old” ginger and I assure you it will turn out just fine. Simply choose rhizomes with smaller knobs as these tend to be less fibrous. The color will remain yellow after pickling but I think most of us can live with that. 😉

Give it a try. I don’t think you will go back to the store bought stuff.

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Sweet Pickle Amazuzuke

There are many types of pickles or what we call Tsukemono (漬け物) in Japan. The sweet and vinegar type is called Amazu-zuke (甘酢漬け).

All you need is just 3 ingredients for the pickling solution: rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Put all the ingredients in a saucepan to meld and let cool completely. You can keep the finished Amazu for 2-3 months in the refrigerator, and use it in batches.

Do you need to use rice vinegar? Ideally, yes. The taste of rice vinegar is mellow, milder and refreshing compared to the other types of vinegar, and because of that, you can use less sugar. If you use another type of vinegar, please adjust the amount of sugar. For authentic Japanese flavor, rice vinegar is preferred!

Nutritional Information

Nutritional Information

Homemade Pickled Ginger (Gari) Servings Per Recipe: 32 Calories: 13.7 % Daily Value * protein : 0.1g carbohydrates : 3.3g 1 % dietary fiber : 0.1g 1 % sugars : 2.2g fat : 0.1g niacin equivalents : 0.1mg 1 % vitamin c : 0.3mg 1 % folate : 0.8mcg calcium : 1.2mg iron : 1mg 6 % magnesium : 4.3mg 2 % potassium : 29.8mg 1 % sodium : 83.4mg 3 % calories from fat : 0.5 * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. ** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data. (-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption. Powered by the ESHA Research Database © 2018, ESHA Research, Inc. All Rights Reserved


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