If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled ginger how many pickled gingers did Peter Piper pick?
This is the one English tongue twister that rolls of my tongue with ease. Well with peppers which I switched up for ginger. For this month’s Creative Cooking Crew challenge we were challenged to pickle something and then use our pickle in a recipe. Can you guess where I got this idea? Yes when I last ate sushi! I pickled my own ginger and then used it for my version of a Japanese salad: a Cucumber Carrot Ginger Salad.
There are tons of recipes for pickled ginger, Gari in Japanese, but I chose this one for ease and for a special trick to get the right color. A real pink hued pickled ginger will be made with young fresh ginger…not always the easiest thing to find. Many companies today use older ginger and put in an artificial dyes. I used a natural dye with a slice of beet. I put less in than the original recipe and I got a lovely soft pink color.
Pickled ginger is not just a condiment, it actually has several purposes. The ginger takes the role of a palate cleanser when served in between dishes or different foods on one plate. But initially pickled ginger was served to protect the digestion from bad fish since it acts as an antiseptic. Finally ginger is also a wonderful digestive aid for a troubled stomach.
Yields 1 cup
- 6 inches of ginger root, peeled
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 beet slice
- 1 tablespoon sugar/honey/agave nectar
- Rice wine vinegar
- Vinegar, any kind
- Once the ginger is peeled, continue using the peeler to skim very thin pieces off of the root. Collect all of your pieces is a bowl and add the salt. Massage the ginger for a minute or two to work in the salt. Let it sit for an hour or so.
- Once the ginger has sat, bring a pot of water to boil. Pop the beet slice into the pot of water and add the ginger to the boiling water. Let it cook for 3-4 minutes. Once the time is up, drain the ginger and remove the beet slice.
- In a glass jar pour the sugar and about a tablespoon of each of the vinegars. Add the ginger and more vinegar until the ginger is just completely covered. Let the ginger sit overnight.
What a delightful and quick salad, very fresh and zesty. I loved the flavorful bite I got from the ginger slices and sambal oelek. Get your vegetable peeler and make pretty strips with small cucumbers and a carrot for a modern and fun look. This salad goes perfectly with chicken, fish or seafood. I served my salad with a nice seared pink tuna steak. A great match.
Yields serves 4
- 3 small cucumbers (like a Kirby or Lebanese)
- 1 large carrot
- 1/4 cup pickled ginger
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 1/2 tbs soy sauce
- 1 tbs rice vinegar
- 1 tbs mirin
- 3/4 tsp sesame oil
- 1/4 tsp sambal oelek
- dash of salt
- Sesame seeds
- Use a vegetable peeler to slice cucumbers and carrot into ribbons. Place in a large bowl with the pickled ginger and bean sprouts.
- Combine the vinegar, mirin, soy sauce, sesame oil and chilli in a jug and whisk with a fork until combined. Drizzle over cucumber mixture and toss to combine. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.