As soon as you enter my venue, you'll notice the floor-to-ceiling glass jars lining the walls. Many of my guests are quite curious and often ask me about the contents of these jars. I tell them that these are persimmon vinegars. Persimmon vinegar is one of the essential ingredients in my kitchen. It's incredibly versatile, used to elevate various banchans (side dishes), create simple salad dressings, or even diluted in water for a daily health routine. Persimmon vinegar is associated with numerous health benefits, including support for heart, liver, skin, and digestive health. It's rich in antioxidants, which protect your cells from free-radical damage and contribute to healthy aging.
How do you make persimmon vinegar?
Making persimmon vinegar is a straightforward process, but it requires patience due to the time involved. Here's a step-by-step guide:
1. Thoroughly wash the persimmons and allow them to completely dry.
2. Fill a sterilized glass jar with the persimmons. I use a 12L jar to fill approximately 50-60 persimmons, but a general rule is to fill the jar to about 70%-80% capacity. Ensure the jar is airtight at this stage. You can use cling wrap and secure it with multiple rubber bands to tightly seal the jar opening.
3. Let nature take its course. Over time, the persimmons will break down and release juice.
4. After 4-5 months, the jar should be filled with enough juice. Pour the contents through a colander to separate the solids from the liquid. Let it sit overnight to naturally drain the juice. Discard the solids and transfer only the liquid back into a sterilized jar. Cover the jar with plastic wrap and secure it tightly with a rubber band to create an airtight seal. Leave it to age in a cool, dry place. You can enjoy the vinegar after about 6 months but the longer you allow it to age, the richer the flavor will become. Over time, the liquid will visibly separate into two layers: a clear, upper layer and a cloudy bottom layer with sediments.
For premium quality and visual appeal, carefully scoop out the clear liquid and store it in a glass bottle for use. Making persimmon vinegar does require patience due to the lengthy preparation time and the relatively small yields (50-60 persimmons produce approximately 5 liters of vinegar). However, the end result is very rewarding, as it adds a unique and flavorful touch to your dishes and comes with a host of health benefits.