Monday, February 14, 2011
New Season Ginger - Get Pickling!
I recently got really excited at the sight of all the new season ginger popping up at organic markets out and about. This fresh, delicate rhizome, with a pinkish hue is perfect for making japanese pickled ginger, so it's best to stock up now. Making your own pickled ginger means you'll be avoiding the preservatives and artificial colours that normally come with the cheaper mass produced variety. There are no measurements here, just use as much ginger as you like!
Step one - Sterilise your glass jar
First, make sure your jars are free of any cracks or chips then wash with warm soapy water. Rinse them well and place on a tray without touching with the open lid facing up. Place in a preheated oven at 80 degrees celsius for 20 mins. Alternatively you can place them in a saucepan of boiling water with the lids for 15mins. Be sure to use tongs when removing and let them cool at room temperature slowly.
Step two - Peel your ginger into thin slices with a fruit peeler or mandolin. Try to get it as fine as possible. Peel as much as you like. Place in a bowl and cover lightly with a good quality salt, finely ground. I use celtic, macrobiotic or himalayan. Let sit for half an hour.
Step three - At a ratio of 3:1, Apple cider vinegar : Mirin, place in a pot on the stove. You will need to make enough to cover the ginger completely. Add a couple of tablespoons of sugar, honey or agave to sweeten. Bring slowly to the boil and simmer to dissolve the sugars. Once your sweetner has dissolved, turn off the heat. Place your salted ginger into a glass jar and pour the vinegar mixture over the ginger until completely covered. Let cool and then place lid on top. I then keep mine in the fridge.
Step four - Use as you desire! A simple salad of greens, firm tofu, avocado and a squeeze of lemon with pickled ginger on top is perfect for spring and summer, with the heat of the ginger balancing the cooling aspects of your green leafies and tofu, and the lemon and vinegar to help move a stagnant liver.
Optional extra.. I often place a small amount of wakame, dulse or other seaweed in with the vinegar once it has boiled. You can also add some beetroot juice if you desire a pink colour. YUM!