6 Best Rice Vinegar Substitutes

Need a last-minute rice vinegar substitute? These best six ingredient alternatives will get you out of trouble.

rice vinegar substitute

What is Rice Vinegar?

Rice vinegar is a liquid made from fermented rice. Rice has sugar in it. The sugars are converted into rice wine and then taken through a further fermentation process. This is how you then get rice vinegar, which has an acidic and tart taste to it. Even though it is sour, it is still not on the same level as white vinegar. It is milder. 

Before rice vinegar is put through the fermentation process to make it acidic, it is alcoholic, and as such, it is sometimes known as rice wine vinegar. At this stage, it is often sweet and doesn’t have the same level of acidity or a tart taste as when it has undergone the second process to make it into rice vinegar. 

There are different types of rice wine vinegar up to 5 different varieties. White rice vinegar is cleaner and more versatile of the varieties. It doesn’t have a tang that could be off-putting. The second type is seasoned rice vinegar, which is often used to flavor sushi mixed with rice. This type usually has added MSG, and this makes the seasoning part. 

The other type is brown rice vinegar, and this is extracted from brown rice. As such, it is more nutritious than different types, just like brown rice. Also, it’s excellent in that it is mild and does not taste as strong as other types of vinegar, which makes it just as versatile and can often be interchanged with white vinegar. 

You can also get black rice vinegar. This variety is often used as a dipping sauce. It is a combination of black glutinous rice and wheat. Also, it gets mixed with a variety of other grains. Last but not least is red rice vinegar. This is a potent vinegar made from fermented rice and combined with different grains. It has a sweet and sour taste and maybe a little too pungent for some.

What do you use rice vinegar for

There are different recipes in which you can use rice vinegar. One of which is in a cocktail. Adding a bit of rice vinegar to a cocktail can also make it have a bit more flavor. You can also use it in a brining liquid. This will bump up the flavors and make them a bit tangier than without the vinegar. 

Depending on the type you use, it should be just enough to add a kick without being too overwhelming. The advantage of rice vinegar, in general, is that it is generally milder than other types of vinegar. You can also use rice vinegar as a salad dressing. There are various salad dressing recipes that you can incorporate rice vinegar in, and the vinegar will add a certain level of tang. You can also use rice vinegar as a base for pickles.

White Wine Vinegar

This is vinegar made from white wine. It’s important not to confuse it with white distilled vinegar, which is more robust and much more acidic. White wine vinegar is mild, which is one reason it makes a good substitute for rice wine vinegar. It works well as an addition to marinades, sauces as well as salad dressings. 

It makes a good substitute because it is pungent and has just the right amount of acidity. While it is mild vinegar, it is still more potent than rice vinegar, so you recommend using a little less of the rice vinegar than you would ordinarily use. 

Apple Cider Vinegar

This is vinegar made from fermented apples and water. There are different varieties available on the market, primarily because of different manufacturers putting out their versions. Apple cider vinegar works well as a substitute for rice vinegar in recipes like teriyaki. It has a sour taste which it is well known for. It tastes a lot like acidic apples.  

To replace rice vinegar with apple cider vinegar, use one tablespoon of rice vinegar along with ¼ tablespoon of sugar for every one tablespoon of rice vinegar. Apple cider vinegar has various health benefits, and this is what also makes it a good substitute.

Lemon or Lime Juice

The juice from the lemon or lime fruit is acidic and can be used in rice vinegar. However, it will not be as intense in taste. Just saying the word lemon can make your taste buds tingle, and the same taste applies to limes. They are similar, and as such, you can easily use them interchangeably. 

Rice vinegar can be replaced with lemon or lime juice using a ratio of 1 is to 2 because rice wine vinegar is more potent, so you will need more lemon juice to bump up the acidity.

Champagne Vinegar

This is a type of vinegar that is made of fermented champagne. In most cases, it is made from pinot noir or chardonnay grapes. It is light and mild. It can also be described as a delicate vinegar. Its light notes make it a good substitute for rice vinegar in salad dressings, where you don’t want an extra-strong taste to your dish. To replace rice vinegar with champagne vinegar, use a ratio of 1 is to 1.

Seasoned Rice Vinegar

Seasoned rice vinegar isn’t as fancy as it may sound. It is just simply rice vinegar seasoned, which can be done by adding flavorings, such as salt and sugar, amongst others. the layers allow you to add the tanginess of rice vinegar with the seasoning from the salt and other ingredients, which differ according to the manufacturer

To replace rice vinegar with the seasoned version, use an equal amount. However, to keep your dish balanced, for every  ¾ of a glass of seasoned rice vinegar, make sure to remove four tablespoons of sugar and two tablespoons of salt from the original recipe. 

Sherry Vinegar

Sherry vinegar, as the name suggests, is made from sherry. It has a sweet flavor to it, and it is also rich. This vinegar will easily replace rice vinegar because it’s also acidic in the same way that rice vinegar is. While it may not be as potent as red wine, it still does a great job of replacing rice vinegar. It works well, primarily when used as a marinade or as a salad dressing. 

The similarities between the two mean that you will not need to match the taste in recipes. As such, you can use a ratio of 1-to-1.


Can you use rice wine instead of rice vinegar?

Despite the fact they are both made from fermented rice, rice wine cannot be used as an ingredient alternative to rice vinegar. The fermentation processes of rice wine and vinegar are different, giving them strikingly distinct taste and aroma profiles.