There are so many different kinds of vinegar you can choose from — in my cupboard right now I have organic raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar, premium rice vinegar from Japan, umeboshi plum vinegar, aged red wine vinegar, orange muscat champagne vinegar, chilies and balsamic vinegar, organic balsamic vinegar, organic distilled white vinegar and red red chili vinegar (yes, two reds). At least. And that doesn't include the Marukan rice vinegar and seasoned rice vinegar I received for review, or the gallons of cheap white vinegar I keep in the bathroom and laundry area for cleaning and fabric softener/deodorizer, or to put down the sink with baking soda to keep the drain clear. Seriously.
|Miso soup with rice noodles.|
Even with all those choices, when seasoning foods or making sauces or a marinade, the vinegar I turn to most often is rice vinegar. It seems more mellow and naturally sweet than other vinegars, and lends itself well to Asian style stir-fries, soups and bowls, which we cook often. Japanese food especially, requires a subtle, delicate hand with seasoning, as most of the flavor comes from careful preparation of the food, itself, and a touch of mellow rice vinegar can add just the right amount of brightness without overpowering the dish.
A little rice vinegar can really bring out the flavor in miso soup, for example, and Marukan rice vinegar is a favorite of ours, so I was delighted when I was offered samples to try.
|Stir-frywith mung threads.|
I received two varieties of naturally brewed rice vinegar and one bottle of ponzu sauce. Because the ponzu sauce contains wheat-based soy sauce and I have problems digesting wheat, I gave it to my son to try. He used some to marinate tofu and was very pleased with the result.
I've been mainly using the plain rice vinegar. The seasoned vinegar tastes really delicious, but it contains 530 milligrams of sodium and six grams of sugar per tablespoon. I prefer to add my own sugar and salt to food so I can control both the kind of salt and sugar I use as well as the amount. Marukan also makes a Seasoned Gourmet Rice Vinegar Lite with reduced salt and sugar if you are interested in using a seasoned variety, but I'd rather season it myself.
|Old, boring, leftover lentil soup brightened with a splash of rice vinegar.|
I love Marukan vinegar, and recommend it. The company sells organic versions of the plain rice vinegar as well as the gourmet seasoned rice vinegar, and that is what I would buy. It's worth noting, though, that even the regular rice vinegar is made with non-GMO rice.
According to the Marukan Web site, "Marukan Rice Vinegar is made by the cultivation of a slow and delicate process including fermentation, refining and aging — a special technique handed down over 360 years. It is a quality "jun-mai"(pure non-GMO rice) vinegar, brewed from only the finest selection of short-grained rice grown in California and naturally gluten free."You can find out more about Marukan products here.
How do you use vinegar in your cooking or in general? Or do you prefer to use lemon juice? In addition to the uses I've already mentioned, I once used vinegar to remove a wart! And, I know someone who says that taking apple cider vinegar in water after eating has cured his acid reflux.
update: I forgot to add to the list that I've used white vinegar to kill weeds. Here is a link to a recipe for homemade weed killer. I haven't tried it yet, but if plain vinegar worked, maybe the jazzed up version works even better.
Disclaimer: I was sent three free bottles of Marukan products for the purpose of review. I was not paid. I was not told what to write.