When a Japanese recipe calls for vinegar, it’s referring either rice vinegar or mixed grain vinegar. Rice vinegar is made from rice, and used for sushi or sunomono. Mixed grain vinegar is made from corn, wheat and other grains, and used for other general purposes. Rice vinegar has slightly darker color and more expensive than mixed grain vinegar.
You can make vinegar mixture for sushi rice at home easily, using rice vinegar, sugar, and salt, but already mixed sushi vinegar is readily available on the market as well. The advantage of making the sushi vinegar mixture at home is that you can save money, adjust the flavor to suit your own preference, and get less additives.
For instance, if you like slightly less sugary flavor, or vinegary flavor, you can do so easily. The basic recipe for sushi vinegar is below. Just mix them and dissolve completely. It may help to mix the sushi vinegar a day ahead and keep in a fridge, to dissolve sugar and salt completely. You can also make sushi vinegar mix in larger quantities at once and keep in a jar or bottle. It keeps in a refrigerator for about 6 months.
Basic Sushi Vinegar Mix for Uncooked 1-1/2 cup of Rice
- 4-1/2 tablespoon Rice vinegar
- 3 teaspoon sugar
- 1-1/2 teaspoon salt
I always keep both sushi vinegar bottle and rice vinegar bottle at home. Sushi vinegar mixture is very convenient when mixing sushi rice, and can be used for quick Japanese style dressing by mixing with noodle soup base and vegetable oil.
Japanese vinegar can be found at Japanese grocery stores, and Asian grocery stores. “Seasoned vinegar” is sushi vinegar and sugar and salt is included in the bottle. To be sure, read ingredients before you buy. If you would like to order online, here are the links;