Marrying rice and seafood together in a perfect harmony of flavors, Akazu vinegar is loved by sushi chefs around the world for the excellent flavor it adds to their creations. The acidity intrinsic to Akazu enhances the real flavors of raw seafood and introduces that fifth basic taste: umami. A critical component to so many great dishes, Akazu provides rich flavor with slightly sweet undertones. Its deep reddish-black color flavors as well as tints the rice creating a beautiful contrast on the plate. Created by Kisaichi Jozo this Akazu vinegar is renowned around the world as one of the best and is likely the secret ingredient behind many of your favorite sushi preparations.
The sushi chefs' crucible, their rice is judged first and foremost. Even more particularly than the seafood that graces the tops of their nigiri or stuffs the interiors of their uramaki, the rice is scrutinized. Judged on the quality of the grain, the consistency, and of course, the taste. What makes the taste of sushi rice great and what separates it, is the vinegar used to season it. Rice vinegar, red vinegar, or a blend of the two, each sushi chef has their own particular ‘secret sauce’ carefully concocted to produce their best rice. While both have their place in the sushi kitchen, Akazu is preferred when created traditional Edomae-sushi.
Akazu means "Red Vinegar", and this wonderful product from Kisaichi Jozo is made from 3-year aged sake Kasu. Kasu is the Japanese term for sake lees, which is the yeast slurry left behind after a batch of sake. This by-product is fermented for three to five years to achieve the deeply flavorful red vinegar known as Akazu. Similar in flavor to an aged sherry vinegar it goes very well with Oh-toro (Supreme fatty tuna), Anago (Conger eel), Ni-hamaguri (Stewed Asian hard clam), Kuruma prawn, Grilled salmon. But the options don’t end with fish. We also love to use Akazu vinegar when making pickles, vinaigrettes, and so much more!