The Best Off-Label Uses For Sushi Ginger

Photo: Claire Lower

I am an absolute fiend for pickled ginger. I always order extra, not for eating with my sushi, but for after I have eaten my sushi. The spicy sweet slices are a perfect stomach-settling end to a meal and if you plan on getting dessert, they make a great palate cleanser.

This Ginger Dressing Tastes Exactly Like It Came From A Japanese Restaurant

I am obsessed with ordering side salads at sushi restaurants. Not because I feel the need to keep my body running with leafy greens, but because I love that damn ginger dressing.

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After one food delivery fiasco left me without any extra, I have been buying jars of the stuff, ensuring there is never a shortage. This abundance of giri has had me munching on slices throughout the day, as well as putting it in any and everything I can think of. Here are some of my favourite, non-sushi uses for sushi ginger:

  • Blend it into store-bought dressings and sauces: Use it to add sweetness and oomph to condiments you may have grown tired of. Are you bored with plain ol' peanut sauce? Blend half a cup of it with 25g or so of pickled ginger to help you fall in love again. (Do not do this with ketchup.)

  • Put it in salads and sandwiches: It is, after all, a pickle and sandwiches need pickles. Pickled ginger is terrific with chicken, turkey and (surprisingly) roast beef. For salads, cut the slices into shreds and them toss with tuna salad, chicken salad, or a big pile of greens.

  • Make this restaurant-worthy ginger salad dressing: All you need is giri, soy sauce and toasted sesame oil.

  • Marinade meat with it: Blend a jar of pickled ginger into a paste, mix it with a little soy sauce or miso, perhaps a little cheap beer and slather the mixture on some pork, chicken, or beef to tenderize and flavour.

  • Splash a little brine into a cocktail: Did you know you can make a dirty martini with any brine you like? You can; I'm giving you permission. A dirty ginger martini is divine, is what I'm saying.

You can also do what I do and just eat the slices straight from the jar, dipping them in a little soy sauce for a salty sweet snack. Or you could not do that; some people find it off-putting.


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