“Pickled ginger gives snap to all sorts of foods: smoked salmon, trout or mackerel, crispy green cabbage salad or even a prawn cocktail,” explains queen of preserves, Pam Corbin. “You can replace the crystallised ginger in a fruit cake with sushi ginger – add it with the dried fruit or beat it into the batter. Its spicy sharpness will bring a little surprise in the midst of the sweetness.
“Ideally, this recipe will be made with the pink-tipped, pearly-white very young root ginger – look out for it in specialist Asian stores. But if you can’t get hold of any then use the readily available, yellowy-fleshed older root – it’s spicier in flavour but still tastes good; just make sure it’s not dry and stringy.
“The easiest way to peel ginger is with the rounded edge of a teaspoon (though if you’re lucky enough to have young ginger there’s no need to peel it at all).”
- Jars with twist-on lids
- Sharp knife, mandolin or the fine slicing blade
- Mixing bowl
- 300 g fresh root ginger peeled unless it’s young (250g prepared weight)
- 1 tbsp fine sea salt
- 200 ml rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
- 100 ml water
- 50 g granulated sugar
- Sterilise your jars and twist-on lids. Using a sharp knife, mandolin or the fine slicing blade on a food processor, cut the ginger crossways into wafer-thin slices.
- In a mixing bowl, toss together the ginger slices and the sea salt. Cover with a piece of baking parchment and a plate and set aside in a cool place for about two hours to draw out the excess moisture from the ginger. Tip into a sieve and rinse under cold water, then drain and dry thoroughly with kitchen paper.
- Meanwhile, in a medium pan combine the vinegar, measured water and sugar and bring to a simmer, stirring to help the sugar dissolve. Add the ginger, return to simmering point then remove from the heat.
- Spoon the ginger slices into your jars and pour the hot vinegar over to completely cover the ginger and fill the jars to the brim. Seal immediately. Invert the jars for a minute or so before turning the right way up to cool.
- The pickle is ready to eat straight away. Otherwise, store in a cool, dark place for up to a year. Keep in the fridge once opened for up to 10 weeks.
Pam The Jam: The Book Of Preserves by Pam Corbin, photography by Mark Diacono, is published by Bloomsbury.
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