The Illustrated Menu: Pickled ginger [Gari ガリ]
Pickled sushi ginger, or Gari (ガリ) , is a staple side complement to sushi and sashimi. It is made from thinly shaved young ginger root and pickled in rice vinegar, salt, and sugar. In addition to the complex spicy and sweet flavour which adds to the unique tastes of sushi, it is traditionally used to cleanse the palette between meals. The fermenting process also delivers certain health benefits: ginger is high in antioxidants, anti-microbials, and helps stimulate enzymes in the gut which assists the digestive process.
DID YOU KNOW?
THE PINK HUE OFTEN SEEN IN PICKLED GINGER TRADITIONALLY COMES FROM THE YOUNG GINGER ROOT, WHICH HAS A PINK TINT. SOMETIMES, RADISH IS ADDED TO GARI AS A NATURAL FOOD COLOURING TO MIMIC IT. OTHERWISE, PICKLED GINGER WILL RETAIN ITS NATURAL PALE YELLOW HUE.
Pickled ginger is a staple alongside sushi. Above, left to right: special rolls and sashimi; foie gras unagi; vegetarian nori roll.