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Chinese Red Vinegar


liuzhou
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Chinese red vinegar (大红浙醋 - dà hóng zhè cù, literally 'Crimson Zhejiang Vinegar') is a type of rice vinegar traditionally made from rice which has been infected by a red yeast, Monascus purpureus. It is thought to have been developed first in Fujian province, but today, more is from Fujian's northern neigbour, Zhejiang province, just south of Shanghai and from Guangdong province. Today, the red colour is often augmented by using red radish skins.

 

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It is mild, slightly sweet but with a hint of tartness. It is not used very often in Chinese cuisine, but is occasionally used in congees and soups, particularly Hangzhou's famous West Lake Soup. Hangzhou is the capital of Zhejiang.

 

It is good with all seafood dishes, too. I particularly like to use it non-traditionally as a dip with sashimi.

 

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Salmon Sashimi with Red Vinegar and Soy Sauce Dips.

 

Western red wine vinegar is not a suitable substitute!

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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The vinegar above, despite being called Zhejiang vinegar, is in fact from Guangdong Province. To my eyes, the red colour is somewhat artificial looking.

So I went on a search for a real Zhejiang vinegar from er, Zhejiang. This one, to be precise, is from Ningbo, a coastal city a short way south of Shanghai and firmly in Zhejiang. It arrived by courier today.

 

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I think you can see that it is considerably darker which is more what I would expect from the Monascus purpureus yeast infected red rice. (The glass is clear in both bottles.)

It also has a much deeper, more rounded  flavour.

 

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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