Taiwanese sweet and sour pickled ginger

During Taiwan’s hot and humid summer, it’s very common to see Taiwanese people add a few pieces of pickled ginger to their food. In this season, Taiwanese people believe that pickled ginger is appetizing, and it’s also good for the stomach if your stomach tends to feel bloated.

I learned how to make sweet and sour picked ginger from a very experienced Taiwanese chef. She said there’s no exact recipe – the amount of sugar and rice vinegar you add is up to you, so how sweet or acid you want it depends on your taste. Some people like it sweeter; Some prefer to add more vinegar.

She said it’s better to use crystal sugar, because it tastes better. She also reminded me not to waste any remaining sweet and sour dressing when I had finished making the pickled ginger. She usually dilutes the dressing, and drinks it as a ginger-flavored vinegar. Or she would use it as a dressing for other dishes.

 

Taiwanese sweet and sour pickled ginger recipe:

Ingredients

1000g young ginger

4 teaspoons salt

400ml rice vinegar

200g crystal sugar

 

What is young ginger?

There are several things to look for to identify young ginger:

1. The color is pale, not dark like aged ginger.

2. The texture is tender, not strong like older ginger.

3. Young ginger is less than 30 days old. Aged ginger is from 3 to 6 months old.

4. Young ginger is usually used in pickles, appetizers, or for cooking seafood.

 

How to prepare the sweet and sour sauce:

1. Mix the crystal sugar and vinegar in a sauce pan. Use medium heat to cook the crystal sugar and vinegar. When you see the crystal sugar is almost melting, turn off the heat, and cool down the sauce.

2. If you use higher heat, the vinegar may be cooked away very quickly.


How to prepare the young ginger:

1. Trim away all the old skin or rough parts of the young ginger.

2. First wash the young ginger under tap water. Then use clean drinking water to clean the ginger again.

3. Cut the young ginger into pieces 2cm long, so it’s easy to serve.

4. Sprinkle the salt on to the young ginger, and shake well.

5. Leave the salted ginger for about two hours (so the ginger won’t taste too hot).

6. At the bottom of the bowl you will see some salted water remaining. Drain it away.

7. Soak the salted ginger in the sweet and sour dressing for one day. Then keep it in a glass gar, and store that in the fridge.

 

 

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