In partnership withNakano® Rice Vinegar

The Secret Ingredient Your Summer Meals Are Missing — and Two Surprising Ways to Use It

published Aug 4, 2021
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Credit: Credit: Photographer: Christopher Broe; Food Stylist: Nora Singley

The key to making easy, flavorful meals is having a well-stocked pantry. And that pantry should definitely include a variety of vinegars. Vinegar adds acidity, cuts through rich dishes to lighten them up, preserves foods, and improves flavors. It’s a simple way to give everyday cooking a boost. The next time you want to make a delicious, flavorful dish, look for inspiration in the vinegar aisle.

Nakano® Rice Vinegar comes in a variety of versatile flavors that can be used in many ways beyond Asian dishes and sushi rice. Eight generations of the Nakano family have been making rice vinegar with traditional methods for over 200 years. Their traditional regular rice vinegar is great because of its mild, mellow, and clean flavor, but Nakano has expanded their lineup with other versatile flavors that enhance whatever you’re cooking. Use their rice vinegars for all kinds of cuisines and foods: shake them into salad dressings, stir them into a dipping sauce for fries, or even mix into marinades for meats to grill or stuff in tacos.

Here are two recipes where Nakano Rice Vinegar is the key to adding the flavors you want in a delicious, satisfying meal.

A Southern-Inspired Salad

Nakano Seasoned Rice Vinegar does double duty in this grilled Cajun shrimp salad inspired by the classic shrimp po’boy. All you need is this lightly sweetened, seasoned vinegar to quickly turn sliced carrots into zesty pickles. The vinegar also balances out the mayonnaise and spices in the creamy rémoulade, a creamy mayonnaise-based dressing. Toss the pickled carrots, butter lettuce, and diced avocado with the rémoulade and top it with juicy grilled shrimp dusted in Creole or Cajun spices for a perfect summer main course salad.

Get the recipe: Grilled Cajun Shrimp Salad

Toasted Sesame Makes This Slaw Sing

The best part of Nakano Toasted Sesame Rice Vinegar is that you get all the flavors of rice vinegar and toasty sesame seeds in one bottle. This added nutty dimension is the key to a quick, delicious vinaigrette that combines the sesame vinegar, olive oil, Dijon mustard, and honey or maple syrup. Toss the dressing with bagged coleslaw mix for convenience, thinly sliced radishes for a peppery bite, refreshing cucumbers, sliced scallions, and a handful of toasted almonds for crunch to make a light, tangy slaw. It pairs perfectly with sandwiches, grilled meats, or even hamburgers or hot dogs.

Get the recipe: Toasted Sesame Slaw