What a lot of people don't know is that the pickled ginger often eaten with sushi isn't considered vegan. This ginger, usually dyed to a pink-orange hue, actually uses carmine, a food coloring produced by drying and crushing the cochineal, a type of tropic beetle. (If this ginger is a whiter color, however, you are usually safe.) Fortunately, if you're a fellow Japanese foodie like me, and like to make all sorts of sushi rolls, yakisobi, and donburi at home, you'll find that making your own 100% vegan pickled ginger isn't too difficult at all! The following recipe will make about a 3/4 cup of pickled ginger. (And doesn't it always feel awesome when you can say you made it yourself?) ------------------------------------------- Pickled Ginger 1 large ginger root (about 6 inches long) 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup water 1/2 cup rice vinegar 1 teaspoon salt 1. Rinse the ginger root well and then use a spoon to gently scrape away the skin. 2. Slice it very thinly, ideally with a mandoline or a vegetable peeler in order to get the slices extra thin. You should have around 1 cup of sliced ginger. Place it in a sterilized jar. 3. In a small saucepan, stir together the sugar, water, rice vinegar, and salt so that the sugar dissolves. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat and then pour it over the ginger. 4. Let the liquid cool slightly, then cover the jar and refrigerate it overnight before serving the ginger. It will keep in the fridge for up to two weeks.