Finely shredded pickled ginger, used as a garnish in Japanese recipes, is easy to make and tastes fresher than store-bought. San Francisco Bay Area chef Sylvan Mishima Brackett prefers young ginger because it's juicer and less fibrous (a very thin skin makes it easy to identify). Regular ginger is fine too.
1 small red beet
4 ounces fresh ginger, peeled and cut into very thin 1-in.-long matchsticks
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon kosher salt
How to Make It
Put beet in a small saucepan with water to cover by 1 in. Bring to a boil, then simmer until tender when pierced with the tip of a small knife, about 25 minutes. Drain. When cool enough to handle, peel and cut into quarters.
Meanwhile, put ginger in a medium saucepan with water to cover by 2 in. Bring to boil. Drain and repeat process once or twice more, depending on the spiciness of the ginger. It should have a strong taste but not be too spicy.
Combine rice vinegar and salt with 1 cup water in a small bowl, stirring to dissolve salt. Add ginger and beet, cover, and chill overnight.