The Difference: Beni Shoga vs Gari pickled ginger

When you think of Japanese “Tsukemono (漬物)” pickles for the beef bowl “Gyudon (牛丼)” and Sushi respectively, what come to mind?

Many Japanese like to eat Gyudon with “Beni Shoga (紅しょうが)”, while Sushi is typically served with “Gari (ガリ)” in Japanese Sushi restaurants.

Actually, these Japanese garnishes, Beni Shoga and Gari are made by pickling ginger, and besides, they are kind of similar in appearance.

Japanese Pickled Ginger: Beni Shoga vs Gari

Then, what is the difference between the 2 types of Japanese pickled ginger, Beni Shoga and Gari? Today, I will talk about it.

Kizami Beni Shoga (刻み紅しょうが)

Kizami Beni Shoga Red Pickled Ginger

Beni Shoga is often referred to as red pickled ginger in English. It is made by pickling the roots of ginger in Ume plum vinegar infused with red Shiso (perilla) leaves.

Hence, Beni Shoga is somewhat sour, and its reddish color primarily comes from red Shiso extract. By the way, “Beni (紅)” means red in Japanese, while “Shoga (しょうが or 生姜)” is the Japanese word for ginger.

Beni Shoga is usually shredded into thin strips prior to being served, and the thin strips of red pickled ginger are generally called “Kizami Beni Shoga (刻み紅しょうが)” in Japan.

Typical Japanese dishes served with Beni Shoga include Gyudon, Yakisoba, and Okonomiyaki.

Gyudon with Kizami Beni ShogaGyudon with Kizami Beni Shoga

Gari (ガリ)

Gari Pickled Ginger

On the other hand, made of thinly sliced ginger pickled in sweetened vinegar, “Gari (ガリ)” is sweet and sour in taste, and this Japanese pickled ginger usually has a pale yellow hue.

Gari is well-known as a garnish for Sushi and is characterized by the sharp taste of ginger, which actually helps remove a fishy smell from Sushi.

It is said that Gari originated in the Kanto region around Tokyo, while Beni Shoga has its roots in the Kansai region around Osaka.

Sushi with GariSushi with Gari

(Reference Pages : Wikipedia 紅しょうが, ガリ )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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