The other week as I shopped at a local Korean market, I noticed huge bins of fresh garlic, ginger and chilies. Korean food is heavily seasoned with these ingredients so I was not surprised at volume that was being bought by the customers, but it did inspire me to buy a lot of garlic and ginger myself. Usually, I buy my garlic whole, still in the papery skins, because it keeps fresher longer but I couldn’t resist buying a large package of pre-peeled garlic for the convenience. Since then, I’ve been overdosing on garlic, roasting whole cloves to use in everything from dips to eating straight.
I’ve done the same with the wonderful fresh ginger I bought. In the past, I’d buy only what I need, breaking off small shoots. But then, my mother told me that fresh ginger can be frozen and kept until later use. Wrap it well in both plastic wrap and then aluminum foil first. When you take it out to thaw, cut off a small bit on the end which will have dried out a little.
But if you should find a large amount of fresh ginger root, try to make your own homemade gari (pink pickled ginger) or beni shoga (red pickled ginger). The former is served with sushi as a palate cleanser while the latter is a familiar condiment for many Japanese dishes like okonomiyaki or yaki soba. Here are the recipes for both:
Beni Shoga Red Pickled Ginger Recipe
Not to be confused with the pale pink slices served with sushi as a palate cleanser, beni shoga is a condiment served atop many Japanese dishes from okonomiyaki to gyudon.
Gari Pink Pickled Ginger Recipe
Thinly shaved slices of ginger pickled with rice vinegar are served with sushi for a palate cleanser so your taste buds can distinguish between the subtle flavor differences of raw fish.
Fresh Ginger Tea
Soothing to the stomach, invigorating to the senses, fresh ginger tea is simple to make at home.
Your Japanese food words of the week:
water mizu (mee-zoo)
cold water tsumetai mizu (tsoo-meh-tah-ee mee-zoo)
hot water oyu (oh-yooh)
ice koori (koh-oh-ree) don’t forget to roll your tongue on the “r”
green tea ocha (oh-chah)
black tea koocha (koh-oh-cha)
Food for thought:
Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.
- Helen Keller
I long to accomplish a great and noble task; but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.
- Hellen Keller
Until next time…nourish yourself with good thoughts as well as good food.
BellaOnline.com Japanese Food Editor
BellaOnline.com Living Simply Editor