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)
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.
Gyudon with Kizami Beni Shoga
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 Gari