Sushi one day, spicy noodles the next , a quick ‘wok’ or curry: we are all more and more at home in Asian cuisines. There is therefore a good chance that you have a bottle of sushi vinegar, rice vinegar or rice wine vinegar in your kitchen cupboard. But what is the difference between these three? And what do you use when and for what? Culy explains!
What are the differences between rice vinegar and rice wine vinegar?
Just to get straight to the point: nothing. Rice vinegar and rice wine vinegar are the same product. Both are made from – you guessed it – rice. Although the processes to arrive at the end product are sometimes slightly different, the result is often the same: a mild, almost sweet vinegar that is hot in Asian kitchens . Rice wine vinegar is used in many English recipes : you can simply grab your bottle of rice vinegar for this.
Black rice vinegar is widely used in Chinese cuisine . It is darker in color and stronger in taste. Japanese white rice vinegar, on the other hand, is a real good bag in your kitchen cupboard that gives every ingredient it comes into contact with an extra bit of shine.
Use it to pickle cucumber or carrot, as an ingredient in a marinade, to make sushi vinegar (to flavor your sushi rice) or in various (chili) sauces and dressings. Rice vinegar is a true everyone’s friend. Also ideal: outside the refrigerator, the vinegar has an almost unlimited shelf life.
So what is sushi vinegar?
Where with rice and rice wine vinegar you sometimes still have to make the mixture with salt, pepper or other spices, that has already been done with sushi vinegar . Before you want to garnish your sushi or poké bowl rice, you don’t have to mess with rice vinegar and salt and pepper. Sushi vinegar is ready-made, foolproof vinegar that really makes your life a bit easier. Because while you are stressing whether your sushi rolls will turn out well, you don’t feel like thinking about the “rice marinade.”
Pro tip: do you want to enjoy sweet and sour vegetables quickly? Then use sushi vinegar. Because the mixture has already been prepared, and ‘so’ is more concentrated, your vegetables are provided with a delicious taste faster.
And then you also have mirin
Last but not on the list, mirin . Because Japanese cuisine is not complete without rice vinegar and mirin. The typical flavors of these two Japanese seasonings are often confused with each other. Rice vinegar is really sour while rice wine (mirin in this case) can sometimes have a sweet taste.
Note that mirin is not vinegar but a rice wine. A sweet taste Japanese alcohol made from a distillate of sake . Do not confuse sake and mirin and do not pour yourself a glass either. Because it is not to be chewed. Where the stuff does steal the show is in ponzu , unagi sauce , taré and teriyaki sauce .