How to Use Finnish Vinegar in Japanese Recipes
I substitute grain or rice vinegar with Etikka, which has a concentration of 10%. It is mainly used for pickles, and often has a cucumber on the label. It has a strong acetic acid flavor, but is sufficient for adding acidity to food.
Also, this Etikka is twice the concentration of Japanese vinegar. This means that you only need to add half the amount listed in the Japanese recipe. Naturally, if you halve the amount of vinegar, you will also halve the amount of water. In some recipes, the water content of the vinegar may be important. In that case, add half the amount of water along with half the amount of vinegar in the recipe.
How to Make the Finnish Recipe with Japanese Vinegar
If you want to make the Finnish recipe with Japanese vinegar, this can be a bit tricky.
First, you have to figure out the concentration based on the name of the vinegar.
For Viinietikka and Siiderietikka
Viinietikka and Siiderietikka, that is, wine vinegar and fruit vinegar, are mainly used for pickles with simple ingredients, and for dressings. In the case of wine vinegar and fruit vinegar, the concentration is 5%, so Japanese vinegars can be used as they are.
Can rice vinegar or grain vinegar be substituted for wine vinegar or fruit vinegar? I think it depends on the amount of ingredients you add. For example, if you are making a pickle using multiple vegetables and adding sugar, herbs and other seasonings, you can substitute. This is because it adds a variety of flavors. On the other hand, if you have fewer ingredients or use it as a dressing, it is better to use wine vinegar or fruit vinegar.
For Väkiviinaetikka and Etikka
If it is Väkiviinaetikka or just says Etikka and there are no other notes, it is likely that you are using vinegar with a concentration of 10%. If the recipe calls for adding the same amount of water as Etikka, it is almost certainly 10% one.
In Japan, vinegar with a 10% concentration is sold, so you can use that as well. Of course, if you just want to add sourness, you can just add double the amount of 5% concentration in the recipe. However, in the case of pickles, the concentration is important, and doubling the amount does not solve the problem. Acetic acid is volatile, even if you try to concentrate it by heating. Even if you concentrate it until the volume is reduced to half, it does not necessarily mean that the concentration will double.
Having said that, most recipes for pickles also add water to dilute the concentration to about 5%. So don’t worry, just double the amount and omit the water.
In the case of Väkiviinaetikka and Etikka, we want to add a simple acidity, so you can use grain or rice vinegar