Ingredients for Pickled Ginger
2 lb fresh young ginger (shin-shoga)
2 tsps salt
3 cups rice vinegar
2 cups sugar
Wash the young ginger rhizomes. Do not peel. Slice the ginger thinly across the grain and salt the slices. Leave salted ginger slices in a bowl for about one hour. Dry the ginger slices with paper towels and put them in a clean mason jar. Mix rice vinegar and sugar in a pan and bring to a boil. Pour the hot mixture of vinegar and sugar over the ginger slices. Cool them. Pickled ginger changes its color to very pale pink (most noticeable in our Bubba Blue variety). Keep refrigerated.
You can still make pickles after your ginger goes from baby to young. Just make sure your knife is real sharp when you slice the rhizome.
We used Bubba Blue and the ginger pickles had a nice pink blush. I added some dried hibiscus flowers to intensify the pink. I bet you could use a few slices of fresh beets to achieve the same effect. A couple weeks after I made the pickles a found a piece of the Bubba Blue left from making pickles. You can see this two week old Bubba Blue in the two photos on the left and the pink has turned dark. There are some areas of skin forming so the ginger I used was past its baby stage and on into the young stage. The most important thing is to use the ginger when it is with in a day or two out of the ground and use a very sharp knife. Note the Bubba Blue in the photo on the far right. It is fresh out of the ground and ready for pickles or market. The pickles in this photo are sliced a little thicker than your traditional pickled ginger you get at your sushi bar. These thicker slices are nice and crisp. Great with any grilled food and grains. They are also very good as a little side dish and can be served with most anything.
Baby vs. Young
Here in Hawaii a ginger farmer will know the difference between baby, young/semi mature and mature rhizomes. But ginger marketed in Hawaii is referred to as young ginger, whether it's in the baby or semi mature stage. It is all premature until it gains most of its skin (which happens around Christmas). Then for the next couple months it continues to harden and the skin thickens until it becomes fit for seed. Baby, young, semi mature.....who cares, you grew it so call it what you like!
For the noodles
1 pound pack good brand linguine
Water to boil
2 Tablespoons Biker Dude Big Red Curry powder (available almost nowhere, but i know a guy), or regular Red Curry powder
Boil water like normal but add curry powder before it boils.
The cucurmin from the Curry actually infuses into the noodles giving them a rich yellow glow like 24k gold.
Only cook pasta for a few minutes, and while it's cooking prep the following for the sauce:
5-6 nice cloves garlic, chopped.
4-5 Thai chilies chopped fine. Can sub a red Jalapeno or Fresno chili to your taste... I like it hot!
1 medium onion, chopped medium dice.
2 pinches black pepper.
Little olive oil in cast iron pan.
Fry above ingredients for about 2 minutes until slightly colored, then add:
2 tins nice quality sardines in olive oil...oil and all,
and fry a few minutes longer. Add:
2 small cans of tomato paste.
1-2 tablespoons Thai sweet chili sauce.
Salt to taste.
Stir and cook a few minutes longer, use wooden spoon to stir and keep from burning.
Add some of the broth/pasta water to sauce (maybe 2-3 cups)
Lightly strain UNDERDONE noodles and add to sauce.
Cook all together so linguine adsorbs some of the sauce until pasta is AL DENTE
Garnish with some fresh Thai basil.