Sushi without pickled ginger wouldn’t be the same. But did you know that you can easily make your own pickled ginger? It’s cheap, easy, and so satisfying!
As I promised in the ginger beer post, this is the recipe for homemade gari (pickled ginger).
You can start from scratch with the ginger root, or if you’ve made the ginger beer, then we’re working with the leftover ginger slices.
I’ve included both ways in the recipe box below. The main difference is that when we’re working with the leftover ginger slices, then we’re not adding any additional sugar in the liquid.
I love the combination of making ginger beer syrup first and then using the ginger slices for the pickled ginger. You get two for one :)
Eating sushi without some pickled ginger is just not the same because it adds such an essential flavor to it. Sometimes I even snack just the plain pickled ginger pieces. Don’t judge. I’m sure you have weird habits too.
As you can see, the ginger isn’t pink like most store-bought versions. Normally only very young ginger roots produce pink pickled ginger. Store-bought pickled ginger is oftentimes artificially colored to get the color that we are used to. You could use some beet juice to color them naturally if you’d like that but I left mine white/yellow because I think pickled ginger is pretty in its natural color.
Have you ever looked at the ingredients of pickled ginger? There are LOTS OF e-numbers, preservatives, and ingredients I can’t pronounce. So making pickled ginger yourself at home is a great alternative and you know exactly what’s in there. Yay!
How to make Pickled Ginger
The Ingredients & possible substitutes
You’ll only need a handful of ingredients:
- ginger root – 200 g of ginger root is enough for 1/2 cup of pickled ginger
- rice vinegar – I am using white rice vinegar. Brown rice vinegar would also be fine.
- sugar – I am using white sugar but can also use dextrose or brown sugar.
The Basic Steps
As always you can find the whole recipe below in the box. I want to show you the basic steps first, though.
Step 3: Then fill the ginger and liquid into a jar, close the lid, let it cool off. Then store it in the fridge. The ginger will last for months. Let it pickle at least overnight before using the ginger.
Good to know
How do you eat sushi with ginger? Pickled Ginger is used as a palate cleanser between sushi servings, so you are not meant to lay ginger on sushi. I will not call the sushi police if you don’t follow this etiquette.
Why is pickled ginger pink? If you use young ginger roots, they have a pinkish tint which is enhanced further by pickling. Because of this people expect pickled ginger to be pink, that’s why pickled ginger is most often artificially or naturally dyed (e.g. with beetroot juice).
How long does pickled ginger last? If you only use clean utensils to spoon out the pickled ginger that you need, it will last up to six months. Make sure the pickled ginger is covered with the liquid when you put it back into the fridge.
Serve it with…
Love it? Rate it!
I hope you enjoy this pickled ginger as much as I do! If you like it, please let me know. It always makes my day to hear good reviews!
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- 1 large ginger root (200g)
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
If you start from scratch and haven't made the ginger beer:
- Peel the ginger and slice it with a vegetable peeler into super thin pieces.
- In a pot, heat the water, rice vinegar, sugar, salt, and ginger slices. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Put everything in a jar, close it, let it cool off, and store it in the fridge. Let it pickle at least overnight and then use it for your favorite dishes! It will keep in the fridge for months.
If you have the ginger slices leftovers from making the ginger beer recipe:
- In a small pot, heat 1/4 cup of rice vinegar and 3/4 cup of water, and 1 teaspoon salt (So everything except the sugar). Bring it to a boil.
- Place the ginger slices in a jar. Pour the liquid over the ginger slices, close the jar, let it cool off, and place it in the fridge. Let it pickle at least overnight.
Thursday 1st of July 2021
I'm currently making your syrup recipe so I will definitely be making this next. I also eat pickled ginger in top of the sushi AND snack on it by itself! It's like spicy candy! Thank you for these recipes!
Monday 24th of May 2021
About how many grams of ginger root? The root comes in lots of sizes. Thank you!
Thursday 27th of May 2021
My ginger root had 200g.
Friday 2nd of October 2020
you are not weird..lol i eat this the same way I do with pickles by itself...ginger is really good for digestion and good for liver detoxing and keeping it healthy...which is why i was so happy when i found ur recipe...i was buying ginger pickled from the sushi place near me...with this recipe now i can make my own...TY! =)
Sunday 4th of October 2020
Hope you enjoy! :)
Tuesday 16th of April 2019
I have the leftover ginger from making ginger beer, I only used sugar free granules but now I want to make a sweet preserve with the ginger pieces. I don't eat sushi. Any ideas?
Sunday 14th of June 2015
I just made this yesterday. It was still very spicy, I hope it will be less spicy in 5 days, when I plan on using it with the sushi bowl :) Thanks for the recipe, I never would have tried this diy without it. And I always did find it quite expensive in the stores. My boyfriend is still scetical, though, he thinks it won't turn out like the storebought.
I'll let you know how we liked it.
Wednesday 24th of June 2015
Hi, after 7 days of letting it sit in the fridge, we had the ginger with the sushi bowl. I really liked it, my boyfriend thinks, the slices weren't thin enough and not soft enough. Maybe I should have cooked them longer, since I couldn't get them as thin as the storebought are. I worked with a big sharp knife but still, not thin enough. Thanks for the recipe, I will keep it and work on my cutting, adjust cooking time and maybe use a little more sugar. xoxo