Does Pickled Ginger Need to be Refrigerated?

Pickled ginger is one of the vital components to a successful sushi dish, but it can often be a mysterious substance to handle.

So, should you refrigerate pickled ginger? If you want to preserve the flavor and safety of the item, then you absolutely should refrigerate it. However, this only applies to when you already opened it. If you just got it from the store and it is still in its container, it doesn’t necessarily need to be placed in the fridge right away.

On that note, there are some important points that need to be brought up with regards to pickled ginger’s storage for maximum enjoyment and preventing health hazards.

How to Properly Store Pickled Ginger

It might be simple to say that pickled ginger only needs to be stored in a fridge, but this may not necessarily be the case. There are several things that can go into the matter of storing pickled ginger properly and they all come down to answering a few simple questions. These would be:

·         Where did the pickled ginger come from?

·         What form does it take?

·         Who made it and what was it stored in?

·         How long ago was it made?

·         What is its quality?

If you are going to store pickled ginger, you need to take its type into consideration. This will affect the steps that go before the actual placement of the item in the refrigerator. If it’s not done right, it will affect not only the quality and the taste but also the length of storage. For this, you can consult the table below:

Type of Pickled GingerStorage Method
Store-bought pickled gingerStore directly when unopened. After opening, seal tightly and store in the fridge immediately after use.
Homemade pickled gingerStore in a dry, clean, glass container. Keep only for a few days.
Restaurant pickled gingerPlace in a clean, glass container. Store only for one day.
Specialty pickled gingerRead instructions or ask for tips. Some specialty pickled gingers require immediate consumption or room temperature storage.
Pickled ginger recipesPlace in separate containers and store them immediately.

In the case of pickled ginger that you can just buy from a store in a jar, you don’t really need too much thought into it. You either place it directly in the fridge or reseal it after opening and then put it in the fridge. You can only keep it for a maximum of five days, though.

As for homemade pickled ginger, you should make sure that the container you place it in will be clean and dry. You should also make sure to keep it in the fridge for only three days, at most. Without preservatives, it will spoil faster.

When you got the pickled ginger from a restaurant, you really should just eat it right away. However, if you want to store it, you need to transfer it to a clean container.

Specialty pickled gingers can often come with particular storage methods. Some require you to place it in a room temperature area while others require colder storage. This is why you need to ask beforehand.

Finally, if you are planning on making homemade pickled ginger, you need to store the ingredients separately. This will prevent them from contaminating each other.

How Long Will Pickled Ginger Last?

Generally speaking, pickled ginger is a highly perishable item. As a result, it will only last a short time before it goes bad. For example, when you are buying it from a store, you will only have a few hours to use it if you leave it out in the open after breaking the seal.

This is why it is usually a good idea to put the jar directly in the fridge right after you open it so that you can preserve its safety and taste. Once you do, however, you will only have a maximum of five days while it is in the fridge. Even in the cold, the bacteria are still spreading in the jar after the contents are exposed to the air.

The time limit becomes even shorter when you are dealing with homemade pickled ginger, which usually doesn’t come with preservatives. After making it, you should either eat it all right away or store it right away. Even after storing it, though, you will only have up to three days to consume it.

The shorter timeline is also important for the taste since the pickled ginger is likely to develop a more concentrated flavor the longer you keep it in the fridge.

Homemade VS Commercial Pickled Ginger

As has been made abundantly clear already, you can’t treat commercial pickled ginger and homemade pickled ginger the same way. Apart from the difference in taste that they are likely to come with, there is also the matter of storing them.

Since commercial pickled ginger is likely to already come in a jar, it’s just a simple matter of placing it directly in the fridge. There’s no need to transfer it to another container and no need to trouble yourself even if it goes bad since you can just throw it away.

In the case of homemade pickled ginger, however, there is a bit of emotional investment since you are the one who made it. What’s more, there is also a sense of pride in you wanting to eat it all. Throwing it away would be much harder to do since you don’t want to waste your hard work in making it.

As such, you want to make sure to hedge your bets from the outside and simply make sure that you are using the right container. It needs to be a jar made of glass and will have an airtight lid. It will also need to be completely clean and dry before you put the pickled ginger in them. Otherwise, you would be contaminating the product before you even place it in the fridge.

Related Questions

Is Eating Pickled Ginger Good for You?

Eating pickled ginger is extremely good for your health and digestive system. It’s full of nutrients that are great for your stomach’s health, promoting the absorption of vitamins and minerals, and even helping to move toxins along. It is especially helpful when you are having trouble pooping.

How Does Pickled Ginger Taste?

Pickled ginger comes with a sweet and sour taste that is still reminiscent of the strong, pungent flavor of the ginger. The fleshy texture can take some time getting used to, but when paired with sushi, you are getting an excellent experience. This is why it is a favorite among sushi lovers.

Pickled Ginger and Safety

When it comes to matters of safety, pickled items are usually among the most reassuring since the process of making them pretty much involves preservatives. However, if you’re talking about pickled ginger, it can be a different matter since it is a highly sensitive food item.

You can only ever say that pickled ginger is safe to eat when it meets a few conditions. To start with, it will need to come directly from a sealed container that was just taken out of the fridge. If it was already sitting out in the open for a while, don’t touch it at all.

When it comes to restaurant pickled ginger, you should have stored it in the fridge right away if you weren’t going to eat it after getting it. Once you take it out, you cannot put it back since it has already been exposed too much.

Finally, when in doubt as to the origins and the conditions of the pickled ginger, don’t touch it. You could end up getting food poisoning from the item and that’s just not worth it. You might even end up having to throw away expensive sushi if you aren’t careful.

Enjoying Pickled Ginger

If you truly want to enjoy pickled ginger as you were meant to, it will first need to be as fresh as possible. If you are making a homemade version of pickled ginger or you got homemade pickled ginger from someone else, you need to eat it right then and there.

As for store-bought pickled ginger, you need to eat it the first time that it is open. This is because of the fact that the oxidization has already begun and since you are dealing with an acidic food item, the taste will be affected.

This basically means that the longer the pickled ginger is stored in the fridge after it was opened, the less pleasant the taste is going to be. This is also why you should only buy pickled ginger at sizes that suit your needs the most. If you can, go with the smallest jars since it would only be a waste to go with the big ones and you can’t finish it in time.

Remember that you are fighting against the clock when it comes to pickled ginger and if you got a specialty product form Japan or something, you really don’t want to waste that. So go ahead and finish it right away. It’s far better than having to throw it out. 

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