The hardest part of this recipe is getting the Ginger sliced thin enough. Smaller chunks are hard to stabilize and slice thinly. I use my mandolin and have had pretty good results. Patience is the key. And of sourse,as as always, keep those fingers out of the way !!
It's best to use fresh young ginger (shin shoga) to make gari.
1Cut the ginger into fair size chunks (1-1/2 to 2 inches) and place them in a bowl. sprinkle with salt, stir to coat and let stand for 30 minutes or more. drain and transfer ginger to a clean jar.
2In a saucepan, stir together the rice vinegar and sugar until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil and pour the boiling liquid over the ginger root pieces in the jar.
3Allow mixture to cool on kitchen counter. Put lid on the jar and store in the refrigerator for one week minimum.
4The liquid will change color to a slight pink hue in a few minutes. Don't be alarmed ! It is the reaction of the rice vinegar and sugar that causes the change. Only quality rice vinegar will do that. NOTE: red food coloring is usually added to commercially produced pickled ginger to give it a pleasing color.
5Now, for a VERY important final step. The ginger MUST be sliced paper thin !!! When you have accomplished that, put sliced ginger (GARI) back in the refrigerator.
6Serve GARI with any Asian meal as a palate cleanser. It has a slight bite to it, but belongs with sashimi (raw fish or seafood) and sushi.
7NOTE: Ginger root is available in two forms: young and mature. young roots, also called green or spring ginger, has a pale, thin skin that requires little or no peeling, is very tender and has a milder flavor.