Japanese Vinegar

Japanese vinegar, 酢 (す), is commonly used in all sorts of cooking, including sushi, salad dressing, Japanese pickled dishes (i.e.sunomono, tsukemono), etc.

To name a few that are most common:

  • Kome-zu 米酢 (Rice Vinegar): Made from rice. It is sweeter, very mild and mellow compared to white vinegar and even Chinese rice vinegar.
  • Kokumotsu-su 穀物酢 (Grain Vinegar): Made from a mixture of grains such as rice, barley, and/or corn. It is the most standard and widely used vinegar in Japan.
  • Sushi-su すし酢 (Sushi Vinegar): It is specifically made for sushi. It is typically made with a combination of rice vinegar, salt and sugar. If you are out of sushi vinegar, you can mix it with the ratio of rice vinegar 6 : sugar 1: salt 1.
  • Pon-zu ポン酢: It is a citrus taste sauce which is made from rice vinegar, mirin, bonito fish flakes, kombu seaweed. It is not made by fermentation, therefore it is often categorized as a sauce rather as it is produced differently from an ordinary vinegar. The sour taste of this sauce resulted the word “su” (vinegar) in the name. And the beginning of the word “pon” originated from a now-obsolete Dutch word “pons” which means punch as in beverages made from fruit juices. Nowadays, even ponzu with added soy sauce is often referred simply as Ponzu.
  • Kuro-zu 黒酢 (Black Vinegar): Made with matured grains. It is high in amino acids and is considered as a healthy drink.

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