*Beni shoga* is a type of [*tsukemono*](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/tsukemono-guide) (Japanese pickle) made with ginger root. *Beni shoga* consists of young ginger that is cut into thin strips and pickled in *umezu*, a plum vinegar left over from making [*umeboshi*](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/umeboshi-pickling-recipe) (*pickled plums*). The *umezu* brine, which is dyed by red shiso (perilla) leaves, makes *beni shoga* bright red in color. Commercial versions of *beni shoga* are widely available and sometimes made with artificial coloring.\n*Beni shoga* and *gari* are both types of pickled ginger used as garnishes and condiments in Japanese cooking, but there are some key differences:\n\n- __Shape__: *Beni shoga* is julienned into matchsticks, and *gari* is thinly sliced lengthwise.\n- __Color__: *Beni shoga* is bright red in color, and *gari* is light pink.\n- __Flavor__: *Beni shoga* has a sharp, sour flavor since it is made with *umeboshi* vinegar. *Gari*, which is often served with sushi and sashimi, is made with rice vinegar and sugar and is sweeter than *beni shoga*.\n*Beni shoga* is a popular condiment and garnish that adds flavor and color to many Japanese dishes.\n\n1. __*Gyudon*__: *[Gyudon](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/gyudon-recipe)*, a type of *[donburi](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/donburi-rice-bowls-guide)* (rice bowl) featuring beef, is often topped with *beni shoga*. \n2. __*Yakisoba*__: *Beni shoga* is a popular addition to [*yakisoba*](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/what-is-yakisoba), a stir-fried noodle dish.\n3. __*Okonomiyaki*__: *Okonomiyaki* is a Japanese savory pancake often garnished with *okonomiyaki* sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, [bonito flakes](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/bonito-flakes-explained), and *beni shoga*.\n4. __*Takoyaki*__: Small octopus-filled pancakes, called [takoyaki](https://www.masterclass.com/articles/takoyaki-recipe), are often served with *beni shoga*.\nLearn how to make Japanese red pickled ginger at home.