Monday, May 17, 2010
The local organic shop has lots of lovely, youngish ginger at the moment ... so I bought a few handfuls. I've got a real love for ginger's warmth and spiciness, for gingerbread and tea and ginger beer ... but on the occasion I don't use it all, I've got to come up with some storage ideas ...
One way to store ginger (when you've got lots) is by popping it into the freezer ... then you just pull it out, grate what you need, and put it back in. But I've got an even better way to keep ginger around ...
My all-time favourite is pickled ginger. I'm the girl who circles like a vulture over the table at Japanese ... waiting to see if anyone I'm dining with isn't a fan. Lucky for me, my Robbie often donates his - in exchange for my wasabi (fair deal, I reckon!). If you're a veggie, you can't beat pickled ginger on an avocado roll.
200g fresh ginger
1 tsp salt
3/4 c rice vinegar (but you can use white wine vinegar in a pinch)
3 Tbs raw sugar
3/4 c water
1-2 small jars with vacuum-pop lids (like the ones you buy jam in)
1. Peel the ginger, rub it with the salt and leave in a covered bowl overnight.
2. The next day, wash a small jar or two in hot, soapy water and dry in the oven for 15 min at 140C (280F).
3. Use a mandolin or cheese slicer to slice the ginger as thinly as possible. Blanch the ginger slices for about 30 sec in boiling water, then drain and pat dry with a clean towel.
4. Put the vinegar, sugar and water in a small saucepan and gently bring to a simmer. Stir to make sure the sugar dissolves.
5. Carefully pull your jars out of the oven and while they're still hot fill them with ginger slices. Top up with your vinegar mix. Put the lid on and tighten. If you do this all while the vinegar and jars are hot, your lid should vacuum seal itself as it cools (making a lovely and gratifying popping sound).
6. As with all pickled things, this is best left a week or two before you eat it. I usually store mine in the fridge, where it keeps for ages. The ginger will probably turn pinkish, but probably not to the extent of commercial varieties.
I used all organic ingredients in my batch ... the ginger was $19/kg so about $4. I used white wine vinegar that I'd gotten on special (I stocked up - bought 6 at once!!) for $6 for 1L. So that was around $1. The sugar was probably about $0.20. I save jars, so that was no cost at all! So, my jar of organic pickled ginger cost me $5.20 and lasts me ages.
PS. Just ate the dish in the above photo as I wrote this posting. May it rest in peace.