Showing posts from September 22, 2017

Survey of Vinegar Recipes

Scroll 8 in Qimin Yaoshu has twenty-three vinegar recipes in it.  I've now translated them all, and rather than posting them fully, I thought I'd offer a summary, and a few of them in particular.

I haven't (successfully, ahem) made any of these yet, and when I do I'll post separately about them, with the full recipe included.

Science and Civilisation in China notes that vinegar was a relatively late addition to Chinese cooking, replacing the use of Prunus mume (a kind of apricot) as a souring agent in the Spring and Autumn period (771-476 BCE).
Ingredients Most of these are millet vinegars, produced like a millet wine.  But they also don't all use yeast cakes.  Most are using what I'm translating as "wheat grains" (麥䴷), which are also called "yellow steam" (黃蒸).  To make this: 作黃蒸法:To Make Yellow Steam〈六、七月中,取生小麥,細磨之。 In the middle of the sixth or seventh months, take fresh wheat, and finely grind it. 以水溲而蒸之,氣餾好熟,便下之,攤令冷。 Soak it in water, and th…