Beni shoga–vibrant and pungent–could be considered the harsh, garish cousin of sushi ginger.
Generally bright red (thanks to artificial coloring), this recipe doesn’t quite deliver on color. However, it is quite flavorful. Especially surprising considering how simple the recipe is.
Here’s all you need:
Umeboshi vinegar is the by-product of pickling ume plums. If I ever get my hands on some, umeboshi would be a great thing to make as well! However, since it’s impractical to make your own ume plum vinegar, it’s (most likely) readily available at your local ethnic market. Here’s a closeup of the ingredients in the one I purchased:
First, we gotta get the ginger into manageable pieces to slice into matchsticks. I start by chopping off the “limbs” to make a clean chunk to work with. Then, take a spoon (or paring knife) and peel the skin off.
Now that we have pretty, clean chunks, we slice! Slice into slabs and then into matchsticks.
Give the ginger a quick blanch in boiling water (only about 10 seconds), then drain and lay out to cool.
Once cooled, pour enough vinegar over the ginger to cover.
Marinate for at least a few hours and up to a few days. After a few days, the ginger was a soft orange-ish pink.
For such an incredibly simple recipe, the outcome was better than expected. The ginger doesn’t have the vibrancy I hoped for, but it was still tasty. Since the vinegar has salt and all the flavors of the ume pickling process (including red shiso leaves, which add more color and also a hint of anise flavor), it was well-seasoned without any other additions.
- 1 cup ginger
- 1/2-2/3 cups umeboshi vinegar (umezu/plum vinegar)