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Japanese vinegar

Vinegar

Did you know that there are only 400 rice vinegar producers in Japan, and an even smaller number who still make vinegar in a traditional way? These producers make the nihonshu (saké) that is used to make the vinegar themselves. They cannot under any circumstances sell their nihonshu so as not to compete with specialist producers.
Japan produces a huge range of vinegars: apple, sushi, sakura flower, yuzu, sudachi, shiso, dried bonito, jabara vinegars….

  • Soy sauce
    <p>Soy sauce is the emblematic condiment of the Japanese cooking. In its traditional version, soy sauce is black and goes from 2 to 34 years of age. In its white version, the sauce is ideal for the cooks, and when sweetened, for all the Japanese taste lovers.</p>
  • Dashi
    <p>Dashi broth is the base, the root of the Japanese cooking. Dashi broth to infuse or concentrated is well appreciated by professionals or everyday cookers for its usefulness and for the variety of existing flavors : dashi broth with dried bonito, dashi broth with oysters, dashi with shrimps…</p>
  • Japanese sauces
  • Ponzu
  • Miso
    <p>Miso is really essential in Japanese diet and cooking. It is mainly made from rice or soy, or even barley or oat. The most made misos are the white miso and the country miso.<br /><a href="https://www.nishikidori.com/fr/content/16-nos-catalogues">MORE</a></p>
  • Japanese rice
    <p>Japanese rice is famous for its flavours and its texture to make sushis. Koshihikari and Akitakomachi varieties are very famous as much as the origins of Niigata, Toyama, and Akita. When puffed, the Japanese rice is a really a delight for pastry makers and chocolate makers.</p>
  • Noodles
    <p>Noodles are an everyday ingredient in the Japanese cooking. They can be made from buckwheat, wheat, sesame..., they can be eaten, hot or cold, with a dashi stock. All natural and traditional, eating noodles becomes a daily pleasure. Their flavourings allow to follow the seasons, and cooking is really both simple and fast.</p>
  • Seaweeds
    <p>A great range of seaweeds. Japanese chefs use them on a regular basis for their preparations and marinades. You can easily use them in your dishes and spice mix and condiments. Try a new culinary experience that will tickle your taste buds!</p>
  • Sesame
    <p>Sesame is really everywhere in the Japanese cooking, pastry and confectionary. White sesame has balanced notes, black sesame is more powerful and astringent, and golden sesame tasty fragrances. Roasted, the seeds, plain or flavoured, spice up your dishes nicely.</p>
  • Buckwheat & Soba
    <p>Buckwheat, or “soba” in Japanese, when roasted, has unbelievable buckwheat crepe notes and offers great possibilities for cooking, pastries and chocolate sweets.</p>
  • Wasabi
    <p>Wasabi is certainly the most famous Japanese condiment for the occidentals. Wasabi powder is made from horseradish. Our wasabi in tube is made from wasabia japonica, which has freshier and spicier notes.</p>
  • Powder seasonning
  • Spices - Sansho - Mustard
  • Oil
  • Salt
    <p>Rediscover the table salt and its culinary pleasures!</p>
  • Furikake & Tsukudani
    <p>Seasoning is essential in Japanese food. The most well-known is furikake, a mixture that can be sprinkled on rice, salads, meat, eggs, soups, cooked and raw vegetables. Furikake brings color, taste and makes food crispy and crunchy. There is a large choice in all combini (convenience stores open 24 hours a day), grocery stores and supermarkets. However, 99% of these furikake are full of food additives, dyes, preservatives and flavor enhancers. The flavors aren't natural but are incredibly appetising. Takusei Craftmen, located  in Aichi Prefecture, have developed, for us, a range of natural furikake, without additives, colorants or preservatives.</p>
  • Tsukemono
  • Ume & Umeboshi
    <p>Excellent for health, these little plums (fruit of the Japanese apricot tree) combine antiseptic, fortifying, mineralizing, alkalinizing properties… Their refreshing, fruity, sweet and sour taste is atypical, particular for neophytes, essential for fi ne connaisseurs. Umeboshi plums invite you to a unique and 100% natural taste experience.</p>
  • Black garlic & Black...
    <p>A whole range of black fermented garlic and black fermented shallot: whole, puree or in juice.</p>
  • Flowers & leaves
    <p>Edible dried flowers have been a fashion touch in Japan for a few years. Used as decoration for plates, tables, biscuits… And even brides use them for hairdo. Viola, Verbena, four-leaf clover dried flowers will brighten a tasty and delicate daily dish.</p>
  • Azuki-koshian-anko-kon...
  • Food aid
  • Katsuobushi
    <p>Japanese people have developped a culinary culture around fish, especially katsuobushi. Katsuobushi is the result of simmering bonito in hot water and then smoking and drying it. Reduced to fine chips using a traditional grater, Katsuobushi brings delicate, elegant and aromatic taste notes. "Umami" is naturally present.</p>
  • Yuzu
    <p>Your <a href="https://www.nishikidori.com/en/">Japanese grocery store</a> Nishikidôri proposes you the yuzu which is a citrus fruit of the Citrus Junos family. The wild Yuzu or Mishoyuzu : it is on the island of Kôchi that the only wild Yuzu trees of Japan remain. They can measure from 5 to 8 meters high, the harvest of the fruits is not very easy, they produce their first fruits after 20 years. The fruits are very hardy in appearance, non-uniform in color, and stained with woody marks. Our yuzu come from Kitagawamura, a small mountainous town, which is undoubtedly, according to the Japanese, the best in Japan. The mountains of Kitagawamura, in May, when the yuzu trees are in bloom, give off a fragrance that perfumes the air for dozens of kilometers around.</p>
  • Panko-Tempura-Breadcru...
    <p>You will find here a selection of starch, tempura and breadcrumbs made by the best Japanese producers.</p>
  • Tofu & Yuba
  • Agar-agar & Arrow root
  • Sugar
  • Essences & Aromas
  • Condiment
    <p>We have selected a surprising range of condiments used in the Japanese cooking, either in powder, dried vegetables, or else. A real treat, the spicy cooking lovers will literally love them!</p>
  • Japanese fruits
    <p>Fruit are omnipresent in Japanese cooking. Japan counts a huge number of citrus species: yuzu, sudachi, amanatsu, daidai, mikan tangerine, pomelo hassaku… <br />In Japan, people are very fond of fruit syrups. The citrus fruit ones are the most famous. Yuzu, sudachi, mikan tangerine, are very popular. They drink the syrups at home, in bars, cafeterias, izakaya restaurants. Just add some plain or sparkling water and you will have a very nice refreshment.<br />Numerous elaborated Japanese fruits are remarkable in Japanese gastronomy: ume plum marmelade, yuzu marmelade, yuzu powder, candied yuzu… <br />These fruits offer either savoury or sweet mixing combinations.</p>
  • Tea
    <p>Japanese tea is very famous: green tea, roasted tea, matcha tea, organic tea, tea powder, tea paste. More than just a drink, Japanese tea is everywhere in the cooking and in pastries.</p>
  • To infuse
    <p>Originally, wild herbs and plants were used medicinally. Today, those we offer are still widely used in herbal medicine and to infuse</p>
  • Mushrooms
    <p>The Japanese shiitake mushroom is well known for its powerful and aromatics notes and its texture. The dried shiitake mushrooms are available all year round, in whole, in chips… They will be ideal in your salads, pan fried vegetables, pot-au-feu (stew), pasta….</p>
  • Amazake
    <p>Amazake</p> <p>A traditional Japanese drink, without alcohol, made from fermented rice, for everybody, to be enjoyed without moderation  </p>
  • Bamboo charcoal
    <p>High quality bamboo charcoal, direct from Japan. Active charcoal for filtering and purifying water. Edible Bamboo charcoal powder for food, colouring, detoxifying, deodorising, very active for intestinal comfort. 100% pure bamboo charcoal</p>

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MORE ABOUT VINEGAR

Your Japanese grocery store Nishikidôri tells you everything

 

Exceptional vinegars

Did you know that Japan has only 400 manufacturers of rice vinegars, a small number of which are still at the artisanal stage? These manufacturers produce their own nihonshu in order not to compete with the specialized manufacturers. In view of the decline in sake consumption in Japan by the younger generation, this fact is taken very seriously. One-third of the largest vinegar manufacturers use only 40g of rice per liter of vinegar. Productivity remains the keyword. These vinegars are tasteless and correspond to the demand of industries and mass distribution.

The remaining two-thirds use 120 to 160g of rice maximum to produce a liter of rice vinegar. Of all the craftsmen, one of them stands out and, for four generations, has produced, without any doubt, the best rice vinegar in the world. It is LIO JYOZO, established in Miyazu, Kyoto Prefecture, manufacturer of sake and vinegar since 1893.

 

The LIO JYOZO house

Renowned for its rice vinegars and sakes, it uses rice that it cultivates itself, in terraces (Tanada method), at an altitude of more than 500 meters, without the use of pesticides, within the districts of Tango and Kyoto, and more precisely at the top of the mountains overhanging Miyazu. It is the only vinegar brewery in Japan that manages the entire process from rice cultivation to sake brewing to vinegar making.

This pesticide-free cultivation has been going on for more than 50 years and has been under its own cultivation since 2001. The farmers, under contract, are aging and the young generations are not very involved in this type of culture which is concerned with the preservation of the landscape and the environment. The complexity of paddy terraces is an additional difficulty.

LIO JYOZO makes its own rice malt. Its master brewers create their own sumoto-moromi, the source of vinegar. They handcraft the rice malt, an essential ingredient in brewing’s sake. While many manufacturers make rice malt mechanically, LIO JYOZO preserves the ancestral methods that guarantee impeccable quality and unparalleled flavor and aroma.

These vinegars are made exclusively from new rice (rice harvested the same year) using a traditional method called static fermentation. Acetic bacteria are grown on the surface of the tanks and left to ferment slowly for 80 to 120 days. This tedious method requires a lot of work and intuition on the part of the brewmasters but creates both a sweet and richly flavored vinegar. Fermentation is followed by a minimum of 8 months of maturation to perfectly refine the vinegar. During this period, the vinegar is continuously transferred from one tank to another in order to soften its taste.

 

Discover various products of the house LIO JYOZO

 

Tobaya Suten, Fukui

Founded in 1710, Tobaya Suten is a small vinegar manufacturer with a long history.

Nakano-san, President of Tobaya Suten: "I am the 12th president and I work hard every day, which makes me believe that it is not so easy to maintain a family business throughout one's life and pass it on to the next generation. I think of my predecessors who worked the same way for over 300 years, repeating the same process.

Of course, some things have changed over the past 300 years, such as machines, buildings, and people, but some essential processes have not changed and are strictly adhered to. One of them is called "Kaiire". It is the way the vinegar pulp is mixed by hand with an oar. During this process, people naturally begin to think that the vinegar pulp they mix will become good vinegar one day. Since the beginning, this process has been repeated tens of thousands of times. I believe that the repetition of the same process is not just repetition but also the accumulation of past generations' love for vinegar.

I believe that vinegar is only a condiment. Its role is to bring taste to food which is essential to human life.

The main role of vinegar is to enhance the taste of the dishes. Vinegar is never in the foreground but it is essential for certain dishes. The importance of its secondary role is that it can bring a touch of brilliance to the dish... I believe that is what vinegar should do. Fermentation can be reduced to a chemical theory, but every time I look at the vinegar right after the amazing fermentation process, I can't help but believe that it is God's work.

All we do is put sake in steamed rice, add a mother of vinegar, and wait until it is fermented. What happens in a jug cannot be considered as a simple chemical reaction. Just as water and air are gifts of nature, so is the fermentation of vinegar a work of nature. We only help this work.

The sensational vinegar made in our jugs always makes me think that no man can do the same thing, even using the most advanced technology.

 

Discover the different products of Tobaya Suten

 

What is the vinegar for sushi?

The vinegar used in making sushi or maki is rice vinegar, it is this particular vinegar that will give the rice the stickiness and shine, while adding a slightly sweet note.

 

Why use rice vinegar?

Rice vinegar is used in several preparations, the most famous is the realization of a vinegar rice for sushi or maki, but it can also be used in other recipes such as marinades, soups, the realization of a sweet and sour sauce, in addition to the soy sauce or to season vegetables or a salad.

If you want to go further, the Rice Vinegar and Cherry Blossom Condiment will have an even wider use.

 

What does rice vinegar taste like?

Rice vinegar is mild and fragrant, with balanced acidity and rich umami. Its flavors and sweetness may vary depending on the rice used and the time of fermentation.

 

Which rice vinegar to choose?

For sushi rice preparation, we recommend Temaki sushi Premium vinegar from 10 years old sake lees, an exceptional vinegar made from black rice in limited quantities. This vinegar will also be appreciated for the preparation of temaki, the preparation of sauce for pork or sweet and sour duck, and finally mackerel or marinated sardines.

For the preparation of vinaigrette, vinegar dishes, and sauces, we recommend the two rice vinegars from LIO JYOZO. These are Fujisu Premium Rice Vinegar and Junmai Fujisu Superior Rice Vinegar. These vinegars can also be used for the preparation of sushi rice.