Ingredients, dishes and drinks from Japan by Ad Blankestijn

Sunday, July 10, 2011


Ginger. Zingiber officinale. ショウガ(生姜、生薑、薑)

Spice with a refreshingly sharp flavor. Originally from China and India, but known in Japan since the Nara-period.

In June, juicy shoots of the new ginger arrive in shops. Aid to digestion and antioxidant in the hot summer moths (but eaten all year round).

Harvesting ginger (Kochi Pref.)
[Harvesting ginger in Kochi Pref. Photo Ad Blankestijn]

  • Fude-shoga, longer slender stalks of shoga are marinated in sweetened vinegar and served with grilled fish to refresh the mouth.
  • Gari is the sushi term for the fresh shoga that is eaten between different types of sushi to cleanse the palate (never on sushi or in the same bite!). It has been marinated in sweetened vinegar.
  • Ground hine-shoga is used as a condiment for somen noodles. It is also cooked with fish to delete the fishy smell.
  • Beni-shoga is a type of pickle: shoga cut into thin strips, colored red with the help of red shiso leaves and pickled in umezu. Served with okonomiyaki, yakisoba, gyudon etc.
  • Shoga gohan is rice flavored with shoga.

Shoga (ginger)
[Photo Ad Blankestijn]