Black vinegar is an inky-black vinegar aged for a malty woody, and smoky flavor. It was first popularised in East Asia, particularly southern China, where in the city of Zhenjiang it became known as Chinkiang vinegar. It is made from rice (usually glutinous), sorghum, or in some combination of those, perhaps including wheat and millet.
A very different black vinegar is made on the central plains of China and is most associated with Shanxi province. Called specifically Mature Vinegar(陈醋 chencu), it is made from sorghum, peas, barley, bran and chaff has a much stronger smoky flavor than rice-based black vinegar. It is popular in the north of China as a dipping sauce, particularly for dumplings.
Some claim that black vinegar has numerous medicinal properties, such as a tonic which may lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In Japan, kurozu is a somewhat lighter form of black vinegar, made just from rice. It has been marketed as a healthful drink.
Black vinegar has been used as a full-flavoured but less expensive alternative to traditional balsamic vinegar.
Bean sprouts in Black Vinegar
1 pack bean sprouts
1 medium carrot, cut into matchstick sizes
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 thin slice ginger, julienne
3 tbsp Chinese black vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp chilli garlic sauce (optional)
1 tbsp sugar
sesame seed for garnish (optional)
- Bring some water to boil, add the bean sprouts to cook for 1 minute, then add the carrot to cook for another 30 second. Drain, and leave it to cool down.
- Add the rest of the ingredients into a large bowl. Mix well and taste. You can adjust the taste to suit your family. Enjoy!