Here’s a salsa so good you might just want to eat it plain, with a spoon. It also is a refreshing accompaniment to just about any savory dish. For a milder flavor, scrape out and discard the seeds from the chiles. (Wash your hands after handling these or any other hot peppers.)
When using fresh ginger, seek out the very freshest you can find, for the best flavor and the easiest handling. Choose young smooth, light-colored “knobs” with skin so tight and thin that you can scratch if off with your fingernail. (Older roots tend to be tough and fibrous and can have a strong, harsh flavor.)
Crystallized ginger is made by boiling slices of ginger in a sugar syrup, which causes the texture to become chewy and the flavor to both intensifiy and mellow at the same time. You can buy crystallized ginger in chunks or in flat slices. I prefer the latter, as it is easier to cut into the tiny pieces required in most recipes where it is used.
Here’s one of my favorite obscure culinary facts: Botanically, ginger is a distant relative of the banana. (Keep this in mind, just in case you’re ever quizzed on the subject.)
Preparation Time15 min
Preparation Time - Text15 minutes, plus time to chill
Total Timeunder 30 minutes
Make Ahead RecipeYes
Taste and Texturehot & spicy, sweet, tart
Type of Dishsalsa
- ½ cup minced red onion
- 3 cups boiling water
- 3 cups minced ripe pineapple
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juice
- ½ cup minced crystallized ginger
- ½ cup shredded sweetened coconut
- 1 tablespoon minced serrano chiles
- Mint leaves (optional)
Place the onion in a strainer over a bowl in the sink. Pour the boiling water over the onion, remove the strainer from the bowl, and let it drain for at least 5 minutes.
Combine the pineapple, lemon or lime juice, ginger, coconut, and chiles in a medium-sized bowl. Add the drained onion, and mix well. Chill.
Serve cold, garnished with mint leaves, if desired. Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
2002 Tante Malka, Inc