Pink Ginger Pickled (Japanese Gari Recipe)

If you love sushi, youll be familiar with the soft pink pickled ginger that accompanies your delicious platter of seafood and rice but how is it made?

Light pink ginger is taken from the new shoots of ginger root in summer. These rhizomes (as they are known) are more delicate than the fibrous root and have a mild, pleasant taste.

With its refreshingly sweet and sour flavor, pink ginger complements the taste of sushi beautifully. Read on to find out how easy it is to create this useful Japanese pickled condiment at home!

What is Pink Ginger?

Known as Gari in Japanese, pickled ginger is thin ginger slices that are pickled in a sweet rice vinegar mixture and then served with sushi. The soft pink ginger prevents the taste buds from becoming desensitized during a meal. In other words, it cleanses your taste buds between bites so that each mouthful of sushi is as delicious as the last.

Find pink ginger online, buy it from Japanese and Asian grocery stores, or make your own with our handy recipe below!

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • ginger sprouts
  • vinegar made from rice
  • sugar
  • salt
  • powdered kelp dashi

How to Make Pink Ginger

  • Take the ginger roots and cut off the lower crimson section of the stems. Scrub the shoots clean but dont peel them.
  • Bring water to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the thinly sliced ginger slices and boil for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool after draining.
  • Return your empty saucepan to the burner over medium heat. Pour in the remaining ingredients. Allow to boil and bubble until completely dissolved.
  • Meanwhile, squeeze the ginger slices to remove any excess moisture or pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Add the ginger slices to a small container or mason jar. Pour the rice vinegar mixture over the ginger while the liquid is hot. It should tint the ginger pink.
  • Refrigerate the pink ginger for at least 3 hours before serving with a platter of fresh sushi.

Tips & Tricks

  • Thinly slice the ginger with a paring knife for the best results.
  • Remember to keep the lower red pigment section of the shoot to give your ginger a gorgeous soft pink hue.
  • Be sure to get rid of any excess water by taking a handful of ginger at a time and squeezing. You can also pat it dry with paper towels.
  • Dont wait for the sweetened vinegar to cool down add it while its hot.

How To Store Pickled Ginger 

Once the pickled ginger has cooled down completely, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one month.

What Does Pink Ginger Taste Like?

Depending on the level of pickling and fermentation, pink ginger can taste bland (little to no fermentation) or acidic sour (high fermentation). It should ideally have a delightfully sweet and sour taste.

Why is Sushi Ginger Pink?

Presentation is important in any restaurant, and its no different for sushi chefs! While yellow ginger cleanses the palate just as well, sushi chefs believe pink ginger is more visually appealing.

Gari gets its stunning coral pink hue from the new shoots attached to young ginger rhizomes. The pigment is released when the ginger is cut and vinegar extracts anthocyanins from the shoot.

You can also make ginger pink by adding beet juice or beet extract during the pickling process, or by simply adding red food coloring.

Is Pink Ginger Healthy?

Like any fermented food, pickled ginger contains good bacteria or probiotics, which support intestinal balance and digestive health. It is also low in calories and high in antioxidants natural compounds that can potentially prevent or delay harm to your cells. Lastly, pickled ginger contains vinegar which is associated with several surprising health benefits.

Pickled Pink Ginger (Gari) Recipe

If you love sushi, you’ll be familiar with the soft pink pickled ginger that accompanies your delicious platter of seafood and rice – but how is it made?


Servings: 1jar


  • 1 tablespoon ginger shoots (also known as ginger rhizomes)
  • 1 cup rice vinegar
  • 3tbspsugar
  • 4tspsalt1
  • 1 teaspoon kelp dashi powder


  • Cut the lowest red area of the stems from the ginger roots. Cleanse the shoots but do not peel them.
  • Thinly slice the shoots using a mandolin or paring knife.
  • In a small saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the ginger slices and boil for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool after draining.
  • Return your empty saucepan to the burner over medium heat. Pour in the remaining ingredients. Allow to boil and bubble until the mixture is fully dissolved.
  • Meanwhile, press or pat dry the ginger slices to eliminate any extra moisture.
  • Fill a small container or mason jar halfway with ginger slices. While the liquid is hot, pour the rice vinegar mixture over the ginger. It should tint the ginger pink.
  • Refrigerate the pink ginger for at least 3 hours before presenting with fresh sushi on a dish.


  • Keep a lookout for new ginger rhizomes in supermarkets between early summer and fall as they are harvested in June. They are soft, juicy, and white with crimson stems where the foliage shoots.
  • Kelp dashi powder is available online and in Asian grocery stores.


What makes pickled ginger pink?

Pink tips of fresh young ginger provide the color. Young ginger is preferred for pickling, as it has a thin skin, which is incredibly easy to peel, and the flesh is tender and easy to thinly slice.

Is pickled ginger gari good for you?

Pickled ginger, sometimes called Japanese pickled ginger or Gari, is white-beige to pale pink. It is commonly served alongside sushi and is known to have several health benefits! It contains plenty of probiotics, has important gingerols, Lowers cholesterol and also provides digestive relief!

What is in Japanese pink ginger?

To make sushi ginger, only young ginger is used. It’s thinly sliced and then pickled in a sugar and rice vinegar mixture. The sliced ginger will naturally become light pink from the tips of the young ginger (see the photo). Many commercially produced and sold pickled ginger are artificially dyed pink.

Is pink pickled ginger healthy?

Pickled ginger, like many pickled vegetables, is a low pH food that is high in good microbes, particularly, lactobacillus bacteria, which is recognised as a primary probiotic. Ginger microbes can boost gut microbiota that can prevent disease and improve overall health.

Why didn’t my pickled ginger turn pink?

With huge disappointment I went on line and searched for the answer to learn why some new ginger doesn’t turn to pink There were not many helpful answers, but it seems that new ginger has to be very fresh. Fresh ginger has higher anthocyanin content than ginger that has been stored for weeks.

What is pink ginger marinated in?

Japanese Pickled ginger is also known as “Gari” in Japanese. You will always find pretty soft pink thin ginger slices pickled in sweet rice vinegar mixture accompanying sushi.

Is pickled ginger good for kidneys?

Ginger is identified as an excellent herb, which can improve functional attributes of kidneys. They are helpful in food digestion, improvement in blood purification and increase in the flow of oxygenated blood towards kidneys.

Can you have too much pickled ginger?

Ginger is safe to eat daily, but experts recommend limiting yourself to 3 to 4 grams a day — stick to 1 gram daily if you’re pregnant. Taking more than 6 grams of ginger a day has been proven to cause gastrointestinal issues such as reflux, heartburn and diarrhea.

Does pickled ginger increase testosterone?

Ginger has the potential to increase testosterone levels.

Early studies with ginger suggest that it might enhance testosterone production by increasing cholesterol in the testes, reducing oxidative stress, normalizing blood glucose levels, and increasing luteinizing hormone levels (11).

What is the benefit of pink ginger?

11 Proven Health Benefits of Ginger
Contains gingerol, which has powerful medicinal properties. …
Can treat many forms of nausea, especially morning sickness. …
May help with weight loss. …
Can help with osteoarthritis. …
May drastically lower blood sugars and improve heart disease risk factors. …
Can help treat chronic indigestion.

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