I never used to care much for ginger. Finding stem ginger underneath some good chocolate was a disappointment and drinking ginger tea to calm an upset stomach was more punishment than comfort. But all that changed when I started eating sushi. The waver thin, often lurid pink, slivers of preserved ginger were a joy to eat in between bites. It cleans your palette and I just really liked the flavour. Suddenly adding ginger to dishes was no longer a problem. So when I read a recipe for preserved ginger by Nigel Slater I had to make it. Since I really enjoyed the umami imparted on my pickle beets by a small strip of kombu I added some to this recipe as well.
Since I had all the pickling ingredients out I decided to also pickle some daikon. Whenever I cheat on my favourite sushi place with that hussy near the train station I always get their daikon maki. It is not only cheap but also delicious. Neither pickles use any artificial colouring, just some beets for the ginger and turmeric for the daikon.
- big piece of ginger about 300 g
- 5 tblsp rice vinegar
- 1.5 tblsp sugar
- 1.5 tsp salt
- two slices of beetroot
- 1 small strip kombu
- 1 medium daikon
- 10 tblsp rice vinegar
- 3 tblsp sugar
- 3 tsp salt
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 small strip kombu
Soak the kombu for a minute in hot water and make the two pickling liquids by adding all the ingredients bar the ginger and the daikon to sterilized jars. Close the jars and give them a good shake to dissolve the salt and the sugar.
First peel and cut the ginger into manageable pieces. You want to slice it as finely as possible so really your best bet is a mandoline on its narrowest setting. You want the slices to be so thin that you can read through them.
Do this with all the ginger and add the slices to the pickling liquid and give it a good shake.
Daikon is quite a funny looking vegetable, like big fat white carrot. It tastes a lot like radishes and has a really nice crunch. Scrub it clean and divide into three pieces about the length of a pinky finger.
Slice a piece into slices vertically and then cut them into matchsticks. Add the sliced daikon to the pickling liquid.
Let them pickle at room temperature for a couple of hours before transferring them to the fridge. The pickles should keep there at least for a couple of weeks.