In my world, Pickled Ginger is synonymous with hard-boiled eggs. It is often associated with the happy occasion of a child’s birth. Traditionally, a “full moon” celebration is held when the baby is a month old. Red colored hard-boiled eggs are served to signify new life. The color red is for prosperity and good fortune. The tangy and spicy ginger with its vinegar provides moistness and flavor to the otherwise dry and bland egg yolks.
Pickled ginger is also a must-have with century eggs (皮蛋; pídàn). The preservation of these eggs causes the yolk to turn a dark green to grey color with a creamy consistency while the white becomes a dark brown translucent jelly. It is definitely an acquired taste and is not for everyone although pídàn juk (century egg congee) is often served at the dim sum restaurants. Ginger with sushi only entered the scene much later in life.
In Malaysia and Singapore, two types of ginger are sold at the markets. “Young” ginger is light yellow in color with a very thin layer of translucent skin. It also comes with lots of pink and green shoots and is the preferred type of ginger. Young ginger is not as pungent and may be eaten raw. It is often julienned as a garnish or used in stir fries. When pickled, it turns a blush or light pink color.
“Old” ginger has tan dry skin and is much spicier and more fibrous than young ginger. It has a stronger flavor and is used mainly in soups and curries. What is sold here in the US would be considered old ginger. Always choose thinner knobs of ginger as they are younger and less fibrous.
Homemade pickled ginger is very easy to prepare. Always use young ginger if available. Old ginger will spicier and will remain yellow in color.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 😎