Ginger often accompanies sushi as a palate cleanser, and its signature pink hue adds color to your plate. However, many wonder why pickled ginger has a pink hue.
The real reason for fresh sushi ginger's bright color stems from the pickling process and the part of the ginger root that was used to make it.
Ginger is harvested in late spring or early summer before it matures and is distinctive for having translucent skin, juicier flesh, milder flavor, and trademark pink roots.
The pink hue develops when the ginger root is sliced, added to a mixture of rice vinegar, salt, and sugar, and left to soak. The liquid brings out the pigment in the root.