Iio Jozo Pure Rice Vinegar
Bright, clear-tasting rice vinegar is the primary vinegar in Japanese cooking and this is one of the best we’ve tasted. We like its neutral, clean flavor and how well it pairs with delicate flavors that might otherwise be overwhelmed by stronger vinegars. Try blending it with lemon or lime juice in vinaigrettes, where it boosts the citrus acidity without calling attention to itself.
Togo-Su Kurozu Rice Wine Vinegar w/ Hijiki Seaweed
Kurozu is a type of artisanal rice vinegar that is aged for several years until its flavors soften, a subtle caramelization develops, and the vinegar darkens to a deep amber color. Togo-Su’s Kurozu Vinegar with Hijiki is made with mountain spring water and naturally aged in century-old clay pots, with a mother vinegar that imbues the kurozu with the complex flavors of each batch that came before it. The company’s addition of earthy, mineral-rich hijiki seaweed results in more depth and roundness, as well as a bold, briny element to balance the rice sugars in the vinegar. In Japan, kurozu is consumed culturally as a drinking vinegar, but we prefer its briny quality paired with dressings or sauces for seafoods, like poached or roasted salmon. We like to mix equal parts softened butter with white miso and add the Togo-Su’s Kurozu Vinegar with hijiki to taste. Smear on roasted salmon or halibut, or melt on sautéed shrimp or scallops. This vinegar is also great in simple olive-oil vinaigrettes; try it for the dressing in our Eventide Salad with Nori Vinaigrette.
Togo-Su Apple Rice Wine Vinegar
Togo-Su Kurozu is an aged artisan amber rice vinegar that is brewed following a tradition dating back to the Edo period 200 years ago. Made with just four ingredients (organic brown rice, apples, brown rice koji and mountain spring water), production takes more than a year, and each pot has its own schedule and unique color and taste. The addition of apples mellows the vinegar’s bitterness and gives it more depth of flavor, and the aging process, which takes 3 to 5 years, produces a darker color and subtle caramelization. Our tasters felt that the apple flavor popped out front right away with a sharp vinegar bite and a short finish.