Vinegar

Vinegar (su) draws out the flavor of fish and rice with its fresh acidic taste. It also has superlative antibacterial and disinfecting properties that help preserve the freshness of food, making it an indispensable condiment for the safe consumption of raw fish. Sushi vinegar (sushi-zu) is brewed from fermented rice and sake lees (kasu). When preparing sushi rice (shari), enough sushi-zu is added to coat every grain of rice with its anti-bacterial properties. Sushi-zu is used in sujime fish curing and to make the diluted vinegar (tezu) that chefs dip their hands in during the sushi making process. Tezu keeps the hands clean and hygienic, while also helping to prevent rice from sticking to them when shaping sushi.

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