I fell in love with gari in Japan on a trip with osteopath extraordinaire Julie Peipers, senior partner at the Northcote Osteopathic Clinic. Julie was teaching in Tokushima city and I got to travel and adventure while Julie taught. I found myself eating gari as a vegetable instead of the condiment as it is intended; I had some funny looks from the very polite local Japanese.
Fermented foods increase the bacterial diversity in our gut, creating an inner rainforest of bacteria, picture that for a moment! Lushness in the guts, yes please! Fermented foods help to regulate gut function, reduce inflammation and boost immunity, and maybe even most importantly they help us make the most of all the food we eat by enhancing our capacity to absorb nutrients. Ginger in particular stimulates circulation, reduces nausea and is an anti-inflammatory herb. Fermented foods are essential in a healthy diet, and they can be fun and easy to make yourself.
Gari is a delicious and long lasting ginger pickle, with no fake pink colouring! Or you can, of course, add a few drops of beet root juice to have the pink colour. The recipe I used is from Darebin library- Asian pickles, by Karen Solomon. I made jars and jars of it, because it keeps for years in the fridge! I use gari in many dishes such as apricot jam and tamari, as a marinade with oven-roasted Chicken drumsticks, in tofu salad, and served with any fish or meat. My absolutely favourite gari recipe is a brown rice tuna salad with coriander, toasted sesame seeds, with sesame oil and lime juice dressing.