Japanese Pickled Ginger

Pickled ginger, or sushi ginger, is called ​gari or shin-shoga no amazu-zuki in Japanese. It’s served with sushi or sashimi; the ginger’s spiciness and sweet vinegar flavor cleanse the palate in between eating different types of sushi, allowing you to enjoy the taste of different kinds of fish and rolls. Gari is also great with century eggs, which are a Chinese delicacy.

Although you can find prepared pink or white pickled ginger in most Asian markets, it is simple to make your own. The success of the recipe, however, hinges on using fresh young ginger. The young ginger’s skin is very thin and easy to peel with your fingers or a spoon and is thinly sliced and then marinated in sugar and rice vinegar mixture.

Click Play to See This Japanese Pickled Ginger (Gari) Come Together

“These pickles are awesome to spice up any dish. Served on the side, they add crunch and work great as a palate cleanser. Also great on top of white rice. Using a mandoline speeds up the prep greatly, but use extreme caution. Thinner is better, as ginger is fibrous and not pleasant if too thick.” —Rick Horiike

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  • Gather the ingredients.
    The Spruce Eats
  • Wash the young ginger root and scrape off any brown spots with a spoon. Then scrape off all the skin with a scraper or peel the ginger by hand.
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  • Dry the ginger slices with paper towels and put them in a sterilized, heat-resistant container or jar.
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  • Mix the rice vinegar and sugar in a pan and bring to a boil until the strong vinegar aroma has evaporated.
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  • Drain the slices in a colander and let them cool by placing them on a paper towel in a single layer. The pickled ginger should change its color to light pink; if you are using old ginger, it might not turn pink naturally.
    The Spruce Eats
  • With clean hands, squeeze the liquid out of the slices and place them in a jar.
    The Spruce Eats


  • Young ginger is harvested and sold in early summer. It has a mild ginger flavor and a fine fleshy texture that is tender, unlike matured ginger usually used for cooking. Look for ginger with the pinkish tips, which will make the pickled ginger naturally pink. (Some of the commercially produced and sold pickled ginger is artificially dyed.) You can find young pinkish ginger in Asian grocery stores.
  • If you find yourself with extra fresh ginger and would like to try to use it differently, there are plenty of ways to preserve fresh ginger, from freezing it for later use to drying it to add to baked goods to fermenting it into real ginger ale.


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10 minutes ( doesn’t include resting time)

2 cups (200g) ginger, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons granulated sugar

1. Peel the skin from the ginger. Slice the ginger as thin as possible. Blanch the ginger slices for 1-3 minutes to remove the pungency. The time depends on how pungent you want the pickled ginger to be. Drain the water and rinse the ginger slices under the cold water. Squeeze out the water. Sprinkle with salt then leave them to rest for 5 minutes. Squeeze out the moisture again.

2. To a pot over medium heat, add in the rice vinegar and sugar. Once it comes to a boil, remove from heat and let it cool down.

3. Squeeze the water out of the ginger again. Combine the ginger with the marinade in a clean glass jar. Let them sit together at least overnight.

※Watch more on YouTube!

1. If the pickled ginger is too tangy then feel free to add an additional teaspoon of sugar. Another option is to reduce the amount of vinegar used to ¾ cup and replace the missing volume with ¼ cup of water.

2. If you are sensitive to the pungency of ginger, blanch the ginger for 3 minutes instead of 1. I did 1.5 minutes in the video.

3. Try to pick fresh ginger with thin skin for the best pickled ginger!

Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

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There’s no doubt you’ll be making this quick pickled ginger constantly. Not only is it great for adding a fresh, punchy bite to meals, but it’s also one of the greatest superfoods beaming with endless benefits!

Pickled Ginger Benefits

From personal experience, I can honestly say that a pickled ginger a day keeps the doctor away. This recipe came to fruition when I wasn’t feeling a hundred percent. Bloated, unhappy digestion, tired, you know what I’m getting at. And my go-to solution for any sort of tummy symptoms is always ginger.

There’s so many beneficial things about ginger, but a few key points are that it’s a great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory ingredient. Plus it aids with digestion and detoxification. A seriously powerful superfood!

But instead of blending it into ginger shots or Jamu juice, for this recipe you’ll consume it in whole, raw form. Bonus – when it’s pickled it becomes an even better probiotic. So long story short, after enjoying this pickled ginger recipe, I was back to feeling as good as new!

Pickled Ginger Ingredients

  • First, see if you can find young ginger rather than mature ginger. If not, don’t worry – just take a look at the notes below!
  • Secondly, rice vinegar is the traditional ingredient used. But you could always sub apple cider vinegar if you’re grain-free.

Find the printable recipe with measurements below.

Young Ginger vs Mature Ginger

I mention above to use young ginger for this recipe because it’s less pungent, fibrous, and tough compared to mature ginger. But the reality is that it’s hard to find young ginger (and often can only be found certain times of the year).

If you can’t find it, try to at least get bigger pieces of ginger (I find better options at Japanese markets) as it’s easier to thinly slice. You can always increase the sweetener a bit if it’s too spicy, but I like it spicy!

How To Make Pickled Ginger (aka Gari or Sushi Ginger)

You’ll first peel and thinly slice the ginger with either a vegetable peeler or mandoline. I prefer a peeler as you can slice it more thinly, though it does take a bit longer.

And whether you prefer to slice with the grain or against the grain, that’s totally up to you. I find that it doesn’t make much of a difference.

How to Store Pickled Ginger

Container wise, I’m using my favorite Weck Jar. But any small glass container will work as long as it can be sealed tightly! Once you’ve found one, add all the ingredients to your jar and stir it up until it’s nicely mixed together.

This will sit at room temperature for about one hour, then refrigerate it for at least 4 hours to give it enough time to pickle!

Helpful tip: Always use fresh utensils when taking the ginger out of the jar! This will make sure you don’t introduce any new bacteria into the container, and make it last longer in the fridge.

Ways to Serve Pickled Ginger

Of course, this is a must-have when eating sashimi or any type of sushi. But there’s plenty of other ways to enjoy pickled ginger! Here’s a few notes to spur up some ideas.

  • Stir Fries: Although fresh ginger is typically used in Asian stir fries (like my garlic ginger bok choy), you can also dice up pickled ginger.
  • Protein Bowls: Depending on the flavors happening in your protein bowl, a small spoonful of pickled ginger is always welcome. This will go great with baked salmon or chicken bowls of some sort.
  • Drinks: You can add this to hot teas or even cocktails!

And how do I most often eat this recipe? Plain! I literally just take some chopsticks or a fork to the jar and remove a few pieces of the pickled ginger to enjoy throughout the week. It really does keep my tummy happy!

Storage Tips

From a meal prep standpoint, this is a great ingredient to have on hand to jazz up your meals. Just store the jar or container in the fridge for up to 2 months!

More Ginger Recipes

I say grab a few extra pieces of ginger while you’re at the market. They work beautifully to create these delicious recipes:

If you love ginger, this pickled version is a no brainer. So give it a try and let me know your thoughts in a comment below!

Quick Pickled Ginger

Not only is quick pickled ginger great for adding a fresh, punchy bite to meals, but it’s also a powerful superfood beaming with health benefits!

  • ginger (young ginger preferred)
  • boiling hot water
  • honey or maple syrup
  • Prep the ginger. Peel and thinly slice the ginger with a vegetable peeler or mandoline (see my tips above).
  • Add the ginger. Place the thinly sliced ginger into a glass storage container.
  • Add everything else. Add the vinegar, hot water, honey, and salt, then stir to combine everything together.
  • Let it pickle! Place the lid on the jar and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours before enjoying. Always make sure to remove the ginger with fresh utensils, to not introduce bacteria into the container and allow it to store longer.

Pickled ginger or “Gari” as it is known in Japan, is something that usually served alongside sushi or sashimi and it is perfect for cleansing the palate and enhancing the flavors of your meal.


  • 3-4 Ginger roots, young or regular
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Salt, divided
  • 1 cup (240ml) Rice vinegar
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons (125g) Sugar
  • Using the back of a spoon or a peeler, peel the ginger.
  • Then, using a sharp knife or a mandolin, cut the ginger as thinly as possible.
  • Place sliced ginger in a bowl, sprinkle 2 teaspoons of salt, mix well and set aside for 15-20 minutes. That helps remove moisture.
  • Meanwhile bring pot of water to a boil, when boiling, add the ginger and blanch for 2-3 minutes.
  • Drain the ginger and allow to cool, then, squeeze the water as much as possible out from the ginger. Put the ginger in a sterilized airtight jar.
  • Make the vinegar mixture: in a small saucepan combine rice vinegar, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, cook for a few minutes, until the sugar has dissolves.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Then, pour vinegar mixture over the ginger. Allow the mixture to cool, then put the lid on.
  • Refrigerate for at least one day before consuming.


Keep pickled ginger in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. Always use clean utensils to pick pickled ginger if you want to keep the pickled ginger for a long time.


Usually, pickled ginger is made with YOUNG GINGER, it makes a lighter gari and less bitter, if you can’t find ginger, you can use regular ginger, it will still taste good.


Yes, this recipe can be adapted to make a smaller or larger batch, depending on the quantity you require, just make sure you keep the original sugar/vinegar ratio and that the vinegar mixture is fully covers ginger slices in the jar.

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Never run out of pickled ginger with your sushi again! Whip up this super easy Pickled Ginger and keep it on hand in the fridge in case of emergency.

I am the person who is always asking for extra pickled ginger with my sushi order (at least when I remember, which I often do not). I truly cannot get enough of it! It was about time I start making it myself to keep on hand at home, and am I ever happy I did.

What is Pickled Ginger

Pickled ginger is served with sushi; the ginger’s spicy, sweet and acidic flavour cleanses the palate in between eating different types of sushi, allowing you to enjoy the taste of each piece as if it was your first bite. It is made from thinly sliced ginger root that has been marinated in a solution of sugar and vinegar.

How to Pickle Ginger

  • Prep your ingredients
  • Use a mandolin to slice your ginger extra thin (please watch your fingers!)
  • Bring the vinegar, sugar and salt mixture to a simmer on the stove
  • Pour over your ginger filled jars
  • Refrigerate for 2 hours +! The longer the time in the fridge, the milder and sweeter the ginger becomes

Some tools you may need:

  • Chefs knife
  • Mandolin
  • Wide mouth canning jars (I love Weck Jars!)
  • Funnel

Ways to use Pickled Ginger

Besides with sushi, pickled ginger has many uses (similar to how you could use fresh ginger slices!). Chop it up finely to add into a stirfry or Asian dish, pour the brine into sauces or salad dressings, stir some slices into cocktails (no ginger beer for your Moscow mule? No problem!).

I love this ginger on top of my Tuna Poke Bowls, alongside the Tuna Stacks, and with the Crispy Rice with Sweet and Spicy Shrimp.

Want more pickling recipes? Try my famous Quick Pickled Red Onions!

Never go without ginger with your sushi again! Whip up this super easy Pickled Ginger and keep it on hand in the fridge.

  • ginger root, peeled
  • rice wine vinegar
  • Using a mandolin, thinly slide the ginger. Divid the sliced ginger evenly among your sterilized jars.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the rice wine vinegar, sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, whisking until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Carefully pour the hot liquid into each ginger-filled jar, evenly dividing and covering the ginger. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. It will get milder the longer it sits! Store for up to 1 month in the fridge.

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