I love condiments. They are the easiest way I know to add lots of new flavor to old favorites. You can make a weekly steamed fish and change it up just by topping it with a different condiment each time. I love creating my own as well, and this Young Ginger Condiment is a favorite. Just 5 ingredients and 15 minutes gives you a fresh and exciting topping that lasts for weeks! You will come up with endless ways to use it, so let’s get started!
My mom goes back to Japan a couple times a year and always brings home a suitcase full of treats. And no other country makes it as easy to bring home food gifts as Japan. This “omiyage” culture is truly the best thing ever created to those of us who b. So one year, my mom gave me a small packet of chopped ginger and the suggested uses were as a topping for rice and tofu. I like ginger but I loved this little condiment. This humble looking condiment was seriously the most delicious and memorable gift in the entire bag.
But young ginger is a specialty item and can be difficult to find. Luckily for me, my friend Adena at LNB Grovestand grows it. Her family farm specializes in tropical fruit like avocados, lychees, and bananas, but they always have some fun experimental things growing, like tumeric and roselle. So one day she sent me some young ginger. And the memory of that chopped ginger condiment came racing back. I had to make some.
Young ginger is similar to baby potatoes. Both have soft skin that is easy to peel and creamy colored flesh. Young ginger is a much more mild version of its older self, with a nice sweetness and a floral aroma. Unlike the gnarled ginger root that you find in the grocery store, which is grown for at least a year, young ginger is harvested at about 6 months. You may find it with green shoots still attached, and the skin might be tinged with pink. The pickled ginger that is so ubiquitous at sushi restaurants is normally made with young ginger because of its gentle heat and mild flavor. You can find it when it’s season at Asian grocers, or at some farmers markets. You can also use regular ginger, just be aware that your condiment will much more pungent and peppery.
Making my Young Ginger Condiment is so easy. The hardest part is cutting all that ginger. It has to be done by hand because if you try to do it in a food processor, it will turn into ginger paste. First get your ginger ready by scraping off the skin. I use a small demitasse spoon but any teaspoon would work too. Don’t use a peeler or anything that would cut into the flesh. You want to preserve as much of the ginger as possible and the skin should peel off rather easily. Then get to chopping.
You will have a LOT of minced ginger:
Now it’s time to make the sauce. I use mirin for sweetness, soy sauce for savory depth, and a touch of dashi powder for some funky umami flavor. I just heat all the ingredients to a boil, then immediately remove from the heat and let it cool. Since this is a condiment meant to flavor bland foods, it should be a bit saltier than something you would eat on its own.
All that’s left to do is to transfer the Young Ginger Condiment into a clean container and store in the fridge.
Now is where the real fun begins. What dishes will you enliven with your new condiment?! Dollop some onto noodles. Add it to a veggie stir fry. Spoon on top of steamed tofu…the possibilities are endless. Gingered avocado toast, anyone? Here are some more dishes that would love a little ginger embellishment:
However you end up enjoying it, let us know. Leave a comment and rate the recipe below, and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!
Young Ginger Condiment
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: condiment
- Cuisine: Pan-Asian
- 6 oz young ginger
- 2/3 cup mirin
- 2 Tablespoons soy sauce*
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dashi powder (optional)
- Use the edge of a small spoon or a vegetable brush and peel the ginger. Next finely mince the ginger. You’ll need to do this by hand.
- Place the ginger into a storage container.
- Add the mirin, soy sauce, salt, and dashi powder to a small sauce pan and bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as it boils. turn the heat off and let the sauce cool to room temperature.
- Pour the sauce over the ginger. Stir to combine. Store the ginger in the fridge until ready to use.
- The sauce lasts for several weeks in the fridge. (Always use a clean utensil when spooning the ginger out of the container).
*To make this gluten free be sure to use gluten free soy sauce
*If you are a vegetarian, use vegetarian dashi powder or just omit
Keywords: asian condiments, young ginger