How To Pickle Ginger?
Pickled ginger is the traditional accompaniment to red eggs at a Red Egg and Ginger Party. The heat of the ginger is intended to help new moms bring their bodies back into balance after childbirth.
As with red eggs, if you’re holding your Red Egg and Ginger Party at a Chinese restaurant, it’s likely that the celebration’s pickled ginger will be included in your banquet package. However, if that’s not the case or if you’re planning to throw your party at home, you’re probably wondering exactly how to make pickled ginger yourself.
There are two primary ways you’ll find pickled ginger prepared for a Red Egg and Ginger Party. The first is a pinkish variety that’s hotter and spicier. The second is a yellow variety that’s cooler and sweeter. Picking one over the other is really just a matter of preference and the preparation steps don’t vary by much.
The key to making great pickled ginger is choosing young ginger at the market. You can tell young ginger from regular ginger by looking for a paler, more pliable skin, as well as a slight pink coloration at one end. You’ll know you’ve mistakenly bought regular ginger if you discover sinewy, fibrous meat when you cut it open.
Here’s what you need to make pickled ginger for a Red Egg and Ginger Party:
– 1 1/4 pounds baby ginger
– 1 tablespoon salt
– 2 tablespoon sugar (optional for hot variety)
– juice from 1/2 lemon (optional for hot variety)
– 2/3 cup rice vinegar (optional for sweet variety)
– 2/3 cup sugar (optional for sweet variety)
1. Peel the ginger with a knife, rinse and dry.
2. Use a mandolin to cut the ginger into 1mm slices, mix well with the salt and let stand for an hour.
3. After the hour is up, squeeze the ginger dry and discard the ginger juice. Rinse with cold water, squeeze dry again and set aside.
Note: At this point, the thinly-sliced ginger will still appear yellowish. If you want to create the hot variety of pickled ginger, continue to steps 4 and 5 below. If you want to create the sweet variety of pickled ginger, skip to steps 6-10 below.
Hot Pickled Ginger Continued
4. Add the lemon juice and sugar, and mix well for up to 15 minutes.
Note: At this point, the thinly-sliced ginger will start to turn pinkish.
5. Put the ginger slices into an airtight glass container and chill in the refrigerator for one day. Remove the ginger slices from the refrigerator and serve to your guests.
Sweet Pickled Ginger Continued
6. Combine the rice vinegar and sugar, and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and set aside to cool.
7. Bring a pot of water to a boil and then pour over the ginger, mix well and steep for 1 minute.
8. Drain the ginger in a colander and allow to cool until you can handle it.
9. Squeeze the ginger as dry as possible.
Note: The ginger slices should still taste slightly salty at this point, but should no longer taste very fiery.
10. Put the ginger slices into an airtight glass container, pour in the vinegar syrup and mix well. Seal and chill in the refrigerator for two days. Remove the ginger slices from the refrigerator and serve to your guests.