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Shōga - Pickled Ginger

Type of Cuisine: Japanese
Provided By: Haru Kadono
Category: Local Favorite
From: Wailuku


10 lbsyoung, fresh ginger, scrubbed clean, sliced thin
4½ cupswhite sugar
6 cupsJapanese vinegar
1½ cupHawaiian salt


  1. Boil 4-1/2 cups of white sugar, 6 cups of Japanese vinegar, and 1-1/2 cups of Hawaiian salt
  2. Pour hot mixture over ginger strips and allow it to sit overnight in a glass bowl
  3. Store in sterilized glass jars and refrigerate
Haru Kadono

Haru Kadono, or “Maui Grandma,” was an excellent cook. Leading up to New Year’s Day, or “Shogatsu,” she was always busy shopping and cooking. From making the mochi for the ozoni soup, which is the first meal you ate on New Year’s morning, to rolling the maki sushi on the Eve – it was a lot of preparation but made for lasting memories. Other side dishes added to the New Year’s Day feast included nishime, sashimi, namasu-style hasu (lotus root), kazunoko (fish eggs on seaweed, thanks to cousin Mark) and of course, there was always the good luck kuromame, or black beans.

Maui Grandma’s recipe book was a well-worn half-size tablet that was bound on the side. The pages were worn, and some were stained -- probably from soy sauce and from the years of flipping through this treasured book. Her cursive was neat and steady.

Maui Grandma always believed in storing food in glass and never liked artificial coloring. Hence her shōga was never that deep red hue made from adding red food coloring. It was a light tinge of pink that came naturally from the young ginger.

Submitted by Shawn Shimabukuro, Granddaughter of Haru Kadono