I love dousing my food in things, mostly salt. So, when my eyes got wind of this bottle of brown liquid claiming it would “change my life” I immediately bought it as a gift (knowing very well I have joint custody of the cupboard it would reside in 🙂).

It’s dried bonito rice vinegar, folks. Made by Tobaya Suten, a very long-standing vinegar producer (‘twas established in 1710) in Japan’s Fukui prefecture, and apple of your pantry’s eye. Katsuobushi is mixed with rice vinegar, premium soy and mirin to distill a very uniquely delicious, slightly smoky, delicately sweet liquid you simply must have in your repertoire. 

How to use it? Like you would any other vinegar! Use it on its own as a salad dressing, to dip dumplings in, as a pasta-finishing flourish, for pan deglazing or seafood lifting. Frankly it’s umami.com and will elevate just about anything. One of my personal favourite uses of this brown gold is mixing with some browned butter and brushing over some hibachied fish, it’s nice. Scott McComas-Williams, executive chef and co-founder of Ragazzi and Fabbrica reveals all:

"We use a lot of different vinegars, but this is one of our faves at Ragazzi. We love it for finishing any of our seafood pastas, especially anything with crab in it. It’s super savoury, a little sweet with still a touch of acid."


Now, at Fabbrica it’s $38 a bottle which I will happily admit is a bit gah. However! One mustn’t slosh this about like you would olive oil!!!! Pour carefully, I mean that too. The pourer is dangerously wide and lends itself to an accidental heavy-handed flow. It’s also made from ingredients that are costly in their own right – premium soy, bonito, mirin – plus!, it’s stirred by hand with a wooden oar. 

In conclusion, while some among our team were suss on the sound (taste) of it, I rate it, and if you use it properly you would too. It has changed my pantry’s life. Shop at Fabbrica

For more of our team's favourite finds, see Here, Try This Thing

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