Beni-shoga (Red pickled ginger) (紅しょうが)

Beni-shoga is a pickles made from pickling groundnuts of ginger in plum vinegar.


How to make beni-shoga
After pre-pickling blocks of ginger roots in salt, boil well in plum vinegar for a couple of days and take them out to be cut into thin strips.

Plum vinegar with beefsteak plant turns deep purple (thanks to color transfer), but even with the plum vinegar without beefsteak plant, ginger turns faint red as it reacts with the acid of plum vinegar due to the pigment from the anthocyanin family contained in it.

When beni-shoga is produced industrially, however, ginger shredded in advance are often pickled in a condiment liquid of plum vinegar with red food coloring.


It can be eaten as it is, but its basic use is to supply color, to help arrange food pleasingly on the plate, as a palate refresher, and as relish.

Most of the restaurants of gyudon (rice covered with beef and vegetables) and Hakata ramen put containers of beni-shoga on customers' tables so that customers can help themselves.

Foods accompanying beni-shoga as garnish
Okonomiyaki (savory pancake with various ingredients)
Takoyaki (octopus dumplings)
Yakisoba (stir-fried soba noodles)
Yakiudon (stir-fried udon noodles)
Hiyashi chuka (cold Chinese noodle topped with egg, roast pork, bean sprouts, tomato, and cucumber)
Hakata ramen (Chinese noodle which was made originally in Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture, using a pork bone broth and thin noodles)
Okinawa soba (a filling bowl of thick wheat noodles, pork chunks and stir-fried vegetables in a thick stew)
Sushi (Chirashi-zushi [a style of sushi where the topping is placed on a bed of rice, in a bowl] and Maki-zushi [sushi roll])
-In Kinki region, rather than cutting the different ingredients into strips, these ingredients are sliced thinly and then mixed together in tempura batter before being deep-fried.

Satsuma-age (fried fish cake)
Fried rice
Sekihan (auspicious white rice with red beans) from Hokkaido
Curry and rice
-Not mainstream but popular in some places.

[Original Japanese]