Japanese rice vinegar is mild and delicate. In fact, I suspect that once you try it you’ll be so enamored of its mellow tartness that you’ll find yourself using it for nearly every recipe in your repertoire. If you must, you could substitute ordinary distilled white vinegar, but I suggest you dilute it with a few drops of cold water for every cup since its taste is harsh. The basic formula for making seasoned vinegar is:
(Many commercial brands add monosodium glutamate to their formulas.)
Combine the ingredients in a saucepan and heat over a low flame, stirring, just until the sugar and salt melt. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, unlidded, before using. Any leftover seasoned vinegar should be stored in a covered glass or ceramic container and refrigerated if you anticipate that more than 1 or 2 days will pass by before using it again.
© 1985 Elizabeth Andoh. All rights reserved.