Page 142 - The Secrets Of Vinegar
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 Asian and Rice Vinegars
Japanese vinegar is made from fermented sake (rice wine) and is known for its low acidity. The methods for producing sake and rice vinegar are almost identical. Rice vinegar is widely used in Japanese cuisine, and its refined flavor is indispensable to many dishes, including sushi. There are three types of white rice vinegar:
• Kome-zu is a light rice-based vinegar with a subtle flavor.
• Genmaï-zu is made from unpolished brown rice.
• Kuro-zu is a black vinegar. Its distinctive color is obtained by combining steamed rice, koji,9 water, and seed vinegar, and then placing the mixture in jars and allowing it to ferment in the sun for one year.
The Chinese have been fermenting rice and yangmei fruit for 6,000 years. Soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil are the three main seasonings that have been used in China since ancient times. Chinese cuisine, much like the philosophy behind it, ultimately aspires to create perfect balance through precise combinations of colors, flavors, and textures. All Chinese vinegars — white, red, or black, depending on the type of rice used — have strong undertones.
 9 Koji is an ingredient used to prepare miso, rice vinegar, sake, and amasake.

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