Red Pickled Ginger Substitutes: Here Are Some Recommended Alternatives You Can Choose

Yaki-soba, beef bowl, fried rice, okonomiyaki.

Red ginger is used as a garnish in a variety of dishes to add flavor and color.

However, there are times when you want to eat it and you don’t have it at home! But there are times when you want to eat it and you don’t have it at home!

Oh no! I don’t have any red ginger. What should I do?😫😫😫

If you don’t have red ginger on hand, what kind of ingredients can you substitute?

In this article, I’ll introduce you to some useful substitutes for red ginger, so please take a look!

What is red ginger?

Red ginger is a kind of pickled ginger made by soaking ginger in plum vinegar.

Dried plums are made by drying salted plums in the sun, and the liquid that remains after the plums are pickled in salt is called plum vinegar.

As the name implies, plum vinegar is sometimes used as a valuable seasoning, and one of the pickles that make use of it is red pickled ginger.

So that sour taste comes from ume vinegar.

The trick to choosing a substitute is to choose one that has a sour taste that refreshes the palate and a salty or pungent taste that accents the dish.

It is also a good idea to choose a substitute while paying attention to the color of the dish and the fact that it adds a pleasant crunchiness.

8 substitutes for red ginger

Red Ginger Substitute 1: Dried plums

Dried Plums

As mentioned above, red ginger is made by soaking in plum vinegar.

If the flavor of red ginger comes from the plum vinegar that is produced when the plums are pickled, then “pickled plums” can serve well as a substitute.

If you want to add only sourness and saltiness to your dishes, I recommend the simple, traditional pickled plums.

If you pickle them with red shiso (perilla), they will serve as an excellent substitute in terms of color.

There are also dried plums pickled in honey that have a mild sweetness, so if you want to use them instead of red ginger, you need to be careful about the type.

Substitute for red ginger 2: Shibazuke

Pickled Vegetables

Shibazuke, a kind of pickled vegetables with vivid reddish-purple color, can be used instead.

The crunchy texture of pickled plums can be replaced by the pleasant texture of shibazuke.

Shibazuke, a traditional Kyoto pickle, is made by pickling eggplant and cucumbers with red shiso and salt.

Red shiso is also used to pickle pickled plums, so you won’t feel a big difference if you use it instead of red ginger.

Why not add some chopped shibazuke to your dishes?

Substitute for red ginger 3: Fukujinzuke


If you have leftover Fukujinzuke that you opened the day you made curry rice, this is also a good substitute for red pickled ginger, depending on your preference.

Fukushinzuke is not pickled with plum vinegar or red shiso, but it is seasoned with vinegar, and its moderate acidity can serve as an accent or palate cleanser.

It is sweeter than red ginger, so you need to be careful about how much you use.

In addition to shibazuke and fukujinzuke, there are many other types of pickles.

Each of them has its unique flavor, but if you consider this and use them in the right amount, you may discover a new taste depending on how well they go with your food.

If you find yourself in a situation where you are out of red ginger, or if you have some pickles left in the fridge, please consider this as a potential substitute!

Substitute for red ginger 4: Kimchi


When making okonomiyaki, takoyaki, yakisoba, etc., if you want to accent the flavor with something instead of red ginger, I recommend using kimchi.

“If I’m going to use kimchi instead of red ginger, why don’t I use chives? “If I use kimchi instead of red ginger, I can use chives. “If I use kimchi instead of red ginger, I’ll use chives for the vegetables.

Substitute for red ginger 5: Gari


Gari is often served next to sushi.

Gari is ginger marinated in vinegar, and in that respect, it is very close to red ginger, so it can be a good substitute.

Gari is ginger marinated in sweet vinegar, and red ginger marinated in plum vinegar, and it is said that the difference in the way they are eaten was created in Kanto and Kansai regions respectively.

The flavors of sweet vinegar and plum vinegar are slightly different, but if you can’t find red ginger, try chopping up gari and using it.

If you don’t have access to red ginger, try chopping up ginger and using it as a substitute for red ginger, such as sprinkling it on chirashi-zushi or garnishing okonomiyaki.

Substitute for red ginger 6: Ginger + vinegar + sprinkled red shiso

If you have ginger in the refrigerator, you can cut it into strips and season it with vinegar and shiso sprinkles to make it look like red ginger.

This recipe is easy to make, just fill a storage container with the ingredients and let it marinate for about half a day.

When making red pickled ginger, plum vinegar is used, but if you don’t have access to plum vinegar, please try this method that can be made with familiar ingredients!

Red Ginger Substitute 7-8: And more! Everyone’s ideas

  • Fresh Ginger
  • Myoga

Homemade red ginger made with fresh ginger and store-bought plum vinegar

If you have access to fresh ginger and have the time to spend on it, why not try making your red ginger at home?

It will take a little while until it is ready to eat, but if you are interested, please give it a try!

Things to prepare

  • Fresh ginger
  • Salt (about 3% of the weight of the ginger)
  • Plum vinegar (enough to soak the ginger)


  1. Sprinkle salt on the sliced fresh ginger and leave it for a few hours.
  2. After the salt has soaked in after a few hours, squeeze the ginger tightly with both hands. This is the same way you squeeze the water out of salted cucumbers and radishes.
  3. If you can dry the squeezed ginger in a well-ventilated place, that’s even better. To make red ginger that can be stored for a long time, it is essential to drain the water from the ginger.
  4. Fill a storage container with fresh ginger after squeezing out the water, and pour in plum vinegar until the container is filled to the brim. Cut the ginger into strips beforehand before packing it in the container, so that it is convenient when using it for cooking.
  5. Store in the refrigerator for a few weeks to a month and it is ready to use.

It is also possible to make red ginger with a strong spicy hiné ginger, but if you want to make it soft as easily as possible, it is recommended to use fresh ginger.


  • Red ginger is a kind of pickled ginger pickled in plum vinegar.
  • The following foods are recommended as substitutes for red ginger: pickled plums, shibazuke, fukujinzuke, kimchi, gari, ginger + vinegar + red shiso sprinkles, fresh ginger, myoga.
  • You can easily make red ginger at home by soaking fresh ginger with salt and drained water in ume vinegar.