Sambai vinegar: the Japanese condiment

05-12-2019 in Ingredients
Sambai vinegar: the Japanese condiment

Have you ever heard of sambai vinegar? Today we'll tell you more about this very popular Japanese condiment.

Sambai vinegar (sambaizu) is a Japanese rice-based vinegar made from a broth such as oxtail broth. There are also variants of sambai that are made from bonito broth or dashi. Sambai has a strong, tart, savoury ‘umami’ flavour. 

The sambai is kept in clay pots during the fermentation process and stirred once every three to six months. During these months, the fermentable sugars are converted into ethanol.

Using sambai in cooking

In cooking, sambai can be used as an acidic component in dressings, as a seasoning for sushi rice, or as a dip sauce with dumplings or gyozas and raw fish. You could also use sambai when preparing boiled vegetables or a whole roasted celeriac. Sambai is also used in the preparation of these baozi (steamed buns) filled with goat.

Looking for more inspiration? You'll find other types of gyozas here which you can serve with sambai!