Just as there are different soy sauces for cooking, dipping and dietary requirements, there’s also a world of Asian vinegars waiting to be explored. Discover three of the most versatile Asian rice vinegars to add to your pantry, then try our recipe suggestions for authentic dishes.
As the name suggests, this Japanese-style vinegar is made from fermented rice, resulting in a pale yellow vinegar that is less acidic and milder in flavour than standard white vinegar. It’s ideal for adding a delicate tang to salad dressings, marinades and pickles. Use rice wine vinegar to make the dressing for this teriyaki swordfish salad or this beef tataki salad. An essential ingredient in sushi rice, seasoned rice vinegar contains added sugar, salt and sake, giving it extra flavour than regular rice wine vinegar.
Rice also forms the basis of vinegars in China, where the darkest, most deeply flavoured vinegar is chinkiang. Made from fermented black glutinous rice, this rich Chinese vinegar hails from Zhenjiang in the eastern province of Jiangsu. You’ll commonly find it on the table of your local dumpling restaurant (not to be confused with the bottle of soy sauce!), ready to be splashed over Sichuan-style dumplings, mixed with fresh ginger as an accompaniment to xiao long bau, or used to season noodle dishes.
Milder in flavour than chinkiang, red rice vinegar is another Chinese specialty, made using fermented red yeast rice. It adds its sweet, tart and salty flavour to Cantonese seafood dishes and is commonly used in dipping sauces.
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