Homemade pickled ginger for sushi

Hello dear reader,

It is officially spring here in the Northern Hemisphere and, when I see the cherry blossoms appear, my thoughts often turn to Japan. Cherry trees are known as Sakura in Japan and their pretty blossoms are celebrated with many parties and feasts.

Never having been to Japan, my sole knowledge of its cuisine are the commonly-known teriyaki and sushi. I especially adore sushi but when I checked out the ingredients I found that the pickled ginger accompaniment often has lots of colourings and E-numbers added. In my quest to eliminate all unnecessary additives from my diet, I decided to make my own pickled ginger.
It is really easy and a great way to use up any excess root ginger, if you only needed a small amount for a recipe.


You will need 150g of root ginger to make a 450g jar of pickled ginger. First of all peel the ginger. You only want to remove the outermost papery skin and the easiest way to do this is to simply scrape it off with a spoon. I was delighted to recently discover this method, as it is really quick and easy plus you lose hardly any of the tasty ginger.

Peeling ginger using a spoon

Peeling ginger using a spoon

Next cut off any dried ends and slice the remaining ginger really thinly. I just used the vegetable slicer on my food processor, as I was in a rush, but the ginger should ideally be thinner than this. It is best to use a mandolin or vegetable peeler. For the tenderest pickled ginger, slice across the grain. Toss your sliced ginger in ¾ tsp sea salt and leave for a few hours or overnight.

Rinse off the salt & then pop the sliced ginger into a sterilised jar. My simple method to sterilise my jars is to wash them in hot soapy water, rinse and then leave to dry in a warm oven.

sliced ginger

Next heat 1 cup of rice wine vinegar with 1 tbsp honey over a medium heat until the honey has dissolved. Pour into the jar, making sure all the ginger is submerged in the pickling liquid.

Ginger pickling

Leave to cool, pop on a lid and then store in the fridge for at least a week before using. This allows the ginger to pickle, giving a lovely rounded flavour with no harshness – perfect for delicate sushi! Sometimes the ginger will turn a pretty pale pink colour – this is fine – it depends on the age of the ginger and type of rice wine vinegar.

Pickled ginger


Homemade Pickled Ginger – recipe

 – 150g root ginger
 – ¾ tsp sea salt
 – 1 cup rice wine vinegar
 – 1 tbsp honey

1) Peel the ginger and slice as thinly as possible.
2) Place in a bowl and mix in the salt.  Leave for a few hours or overnight.
3) Rinse to remove excess salt, then place in a sterilised jar.
4) Heat rice wine vinegar and honey together over a gentle heat until the honey has dissolved.
5) Pour the honey-vinegar mixture over the ginger, leave to cool and then store in the fridge for at least a week before using.  


Watch this space for step-by-step instructions to make your own sushi to serve with your home-pickled ginger!



P.S. I am entering my homemade pickled ginger into a couple of blogger challenges…

The Spice Trail blogger challenge run by Vanesther over at Bangers & Mash, as her theme this month is ginger.

spice trail

The “Made with Love Mondays” challenge run by the Javelin Warrior over at Cookin w/ Luv

Made with Love Mondays


  1. I’ve never tried to pickle anything before. I think I would like to try making pickled ginger.

    Thanks for sharing,

    • Go for it Joanne. Pickling is great as can pickle foods that are in abundance, tasting wonderful at the height of their season, and then enjoy them at other times of year. 🙂

  2. I love pickled ginger – it’s one of my favourite parts of sushi and I can’t wait to try out this recipe. And thanks for the tip on how to peel the ginger. What a neat trick – and I can’t believe I didn’t know it, considering how much ginger I cook with! Do you know how long the pickled ginger will keep for by the way?

    Plus – a fab entry for this month’s Spice Trail ginger challenge. Thank you so much for taking part.

    • My pleasure Vanesther. I can’t remember where on the internet I first saw the spoon trick. I thought initially it was a con and didn’t even plan to try it – then when I did it was a mind blowing moment of wow-ness! 😀

  3. Hey great tip on how to peel ginger! I always do it with a knife but next time I will try like this. I always end up wasting too much when peeling it.
    I love this pickle, I want to learn more about foreign cooking! Thank you for sharing Vohn.

    • I used to waste ginger too Alida – not only does this way waste less, it is also much easier than using a knife! x

  4. auntbeesrecipes says:

    This is great! And seems way easier to do than I imagined! Or maybe you just make it look easy 🙂

    • Ha! Thanks Brandi – it is really that easy to do! x

  5. Ooh I’ve always wanted to make this Vohn and there you go! Thanks so much for the recipe. We love pickled ginger even in dressings 😀

    • Wowee – I can’t believe I’ve given you a recipe Lorraine – you are my recipe guru! I’ve been loving trying the pickled ginger in lots of dishes – it gives a wonderful warmth, especially in raw dishes. x

  6. I’ll have to show this to my dad – he’d love to give this a go for his homemade sushi.

    • Go for it Zoe – it is so very easy to do – much easier than homemade sushi! 😉

  7. I love pickled ginger (especially with sushi) and I never really thought much about what goes into the commercial stuff. But it makes sense that food dyes and preservatives are added, so this is a welcome change and simple recipe!

    • I’d never really thought of it either Mark but I have recently started reading all food labels – some of them are quite alarming!

    • Aw thanks Kate – I never thought of it being a gift – that’s a great idea! Vohn x

  8. Ooh yes, love this recipe Vohn. What a fab idea. We consume a lot of root ginger in our house and always try to have some on hand in case CT gets a migraine. But we also often have some of it going to waste. I’ve never been to Japan either, although CT spent a couple of weeks there a few years ago and hasn’t stopped talking about it since.

    • Thanks Choclette. I adore root ginger too. I’ve found the same with my friends who have been to Japan – they never stop talking about how amazing it was. What a treat for a botanist too! x

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