Healthy Black Vinegar Sauce for Meat

black vinegar sauce meat
Black vinegar or ‘kurozu’ in Japanese is used in China and Japan as both condiment and as a health tonic to combat high cholesterol, hypertension and reduce blood glucose (sugar).The full, rich flavor of black vinegar makes it a tasty choice for dipping sauces, salad dressings, stews and braised dishes.

You can use the sauce recipe below for meats such as pork, chicken, fish or other exotic meats that are firm and can be seared yet do not disintegrate easily when braised.



• 500 grams meat, cut into bite-size pieces
• 1 tablespoon mirin (a rice wine)
• ½ tablespoon soy sauce
• ½ tablespoon ginger juice, squeezed from grated ginger
• ¼ cup starch of tapioca / corn / potato


• 1 tablespoons mirin
• 3 tablespoons black vinegar
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• 1/3 cup water
• 2 tablespoons unrefined sugar or to taste
• 1 shallot (thinly sliced)
• ¾ inch ginger (thinly sliced)


Sliced cucumber or zucchini

1. Marinate the meat with 1 tablespoon of mirin, soy sauce and ginger juice for 1 hour. Mix ingredients to ensure the meat is evenly coated with seasoning.
2. After marinate is done, add 1bowl of oil to a heavy bottomed pot or wok and preheat over medium high heat. Prepare a wire rack by lining it with several layers of paper towels.
3. Put the starch in a small bowl, and roll each piece of meat in it to give each piece an even coating of starch.
4. Fry the meat in batches using medium heat (depending on how big your pot is) until lightly browned and cooked through. Do not overcrowd the pot with meat. Transfer the fried meat to the paper towel lined rack.
5. Oil a pan or wok and heat it up. Sauté shallot and ginger slices until fragrant.
6. Add the remaining mirin along with black vinegar, soy sauce and sugar. Turn the burner to medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
7. Add the meat into the black vinegar sauce, and simmer until the sauce is very thick and syrupy and coats each piece of meat, rather than the pan.
8. Transfer meat to a plate. Line edge of plate with slices of raw cucumber or zucchini.


The raw, cool, crunchy vegetable complements the tangy meat well. In energetic terms, the cooling ‘yin’ vegetable counterbalances the warming nature of the ‘yang’ meat and hot method of cooking.

Benefits of Black Vinegar

• In the Far East, people drink Black vinegar to prevent cardiovascular diseases, including high blood pressure, blood vessel disease, heart disease and stroke.

• Black vinegar is high in antioxidants, which can protect the body from oxidative damage due to free radicals. Damage wreaked by free radicals can lead to premature aging and cancer.

• A study found vinegar lowers blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity in Type 2 Diabetes.

• Aid weight loss by inducing a sense of fullness (satiety).

• Being acidic, it dissolves minerals and help in their absorption.

• Its antimicrobial property is due to acetic and other acids.
Citric acid cycle:
Black vinegar is high in acetic acid. Acetic acid is part of the citric acid cycle, a process that involves the cellular metabolism of carbohydrates, fats and proteins to produce energy through a series of biochemical reactions. The energy is used to fuel many bodily processes, including digestion, muscle contraction of the stomach, intestines, heart, lungs etc.

The citric acid cycle is called a ‘cycle’ because what is broken down eventually is rebuilt and so comes full cycle. So let’s see black vinegar in action in this recipe:

Black vinegar breaks down protein and fats in meat into amino acids and fatty acids. In the citric acid cycle, starch and sugar become glucose and are used as energy by cells. Excess are stored as fats (gasp!). Amino acids are transformed into protein to make tissues, collagen, hormones and enzymes…etc. fatty acids become fats again, including cholesterol (gasp!). Hold on, don’t freak out yet! Your cell membrane needs cholesterol for strength and integrity.

A Japanese study found that dietary acetic acid in vinegar reduced serum total cholesterol and triacylglycerol in rats fed a cholesterol-rich diet. No wonder the Chinese and Japanese use black vinegar as a tonic against cardiovascular disease.

Recipes using Black Vinegar

Want collagen for beautiful skin and strong, healthy joints? Try this ‘Black vinegar trotter stew’:-
Black vinegar trotter stew – (New window)

The Black Sesame Dressing in the ‘Sesame-seaweed Roll’ recipe also uses black vinegar:-
Sesame-seaweed Roll – (New window)

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