Rice vinegar, made from fermented rice, is popular in East Asia, as well as in Vietnam in Southeast Asia. This vinegar is incredibly sweet and delicate, unlike the white vinegar which is sour and harsh.
Some of the East Asian dishes have it as a staple ingredient. Rice vinegar is commonly used for pickling vegetables, vinaigrettes, salad dressings, sushi rice, slaws, and marinades.
Suppose, you don’t have rice vinegar at your disposal and you’re in a pinch, then you can easily replace it with a suitable substitute.
If you want to find a good rice vinegar substitute continue reading this article.
Best Substitute for Rice Vinegar – My Choice
I’ve explored almost all verities of vinegar. Hands down, the best substitute for rice vinegar I have found is apple cider vinegar.
ACV is tart, with some suggestion of apples. It tastes rather pleasant and has many health benefits.
ACV has only a mild apple flavor and usually won’t overwhelm the original flavor of your recipe. But in certain types of recipes like pickling, the ACV can become more pronounced.
Perhaps, it is the best rice vinegar substitute for just about any type of vinegar. To my findings, it’s rather easy to used ACV in place of rice vinegar in recipes such as marinades and sushi rice.
Substitute apple cider vinegar for rice vinegar in an equal amount. If you wish to have the extra sweetness of rice vinegar, you can add ¼ teaspoon of sugar per tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
What are the other substitutes you can use?
You might find a wide variety of vinegar on the hypermarket shelves. Is it possible to substitute any of those for rice vinegar? Not all of them.
All vinegar is quite the same in its chemical composition but different in its flavor profile.
I’ve sorted out a list of vinegar and other ingredients that you can use as a replacement for rice vinegar. Let us now look at those viable substitutes.
White Wine Vinegar
Today, most white vinegar is made from the fermentation of grain alcohol or white wine.
White vinegar is mild and somewhat acidic in taste. For sure, it’s a good addition to give an extra zing of flavor to marinades, salads, and sauces.
Advantageously, it has a nearly close flavor profile to rice vinegar. Thus it’s useful to swap it into recipes that have rice vinegar.
Please note, white vinegar doesn’t taste sweet. So while using it instead of rice vinegar you may want to add a little sugar if your recipe needs sweetness.
Use white vinegar in a 1:1 ratio for substituting rice vinegar.
Champagne vinegar is a mild floral vinegar typically made from Chardonnay and pinot noir grapes. Fermenting champagne is the easiest way to make it.
It’s mild, less acidic than most other commonly used vinegar; a perfect match for rice vinegar. You can use it confidently in any recipes that require rice vinegar for it won’t dominate the final product.
Chefs say that champagne vinegar is a delicious addition to marinades, dressings, dipping sauces, and seafood recipes.
Lack of rice vinegar is not a problem if you have champagne vinegar on hand. Use it in a 1:1 ratio.
Lemon or Lime Juice
Both lemons and limes are highly acidic. In an emergency, they can serve as a reliable substitute for any vinegar.
No doubt that rice vinegar adds to your slaws, sauces, and salad dressing an incredible zing. Using lemon/lime juice instead of rice vinegar can also recreate that same flavor.
Of course, lemon/lime adds a distinct citrus taste to your dishes and they don’t have the sweetness of rice vinegar. That shouldn’t discourage you from using either of them.
How much lemon juice to use as a substitute for rice vinegar depends on the level of citrus flavor you desire for the dish.
Sherry vinegar is gourmet wine vinegar made from sherry.
The blended and aged sherry vinegar is rich and nutty but only slightly sweet. The acidic properties of this vinegar do not overpower the recipes.
No rice vinegar! Don’t bother at all; sherry vinegar makes a fantastic substitute. The acidity and mild sweetness of sherry vinegar are very close to the rice vinegar.
Without a doubt, use sherry vinegar in place of rice vinegar in marinades, sauces, and vinaigrettes. It’s equally delicious and flavorful when added to vegetable pickles and dishes.
To use it rightly, it stands good in a 1:1 substitution for rice vinegar.
Seasoned Rice Vinegar
Seasoned rice vinegar is plain rice vinegar flavored with small amounts of sugar and salt.
You can very well substitute rice vinegar with seasoned rice vinegar by making a few changes to your recipe. Just take care of the sweetness and saltiness of your recipe.
This seasoned vinegar works best in recipes that demand an extra bit of sugar and salt.
In recipes that require regular rice vinegar, simply substitute it with an equal amount of seasoned rice vinegar in its place.
Importantly, every ¾ cup of seasoned rice vinegar contains about 4 tablespoons of sugar and 2 teaspoons of salt. Reduce that much salt and sugar from the original recipe.
The Bottom Line
Rice vinegar is a commonly used ingredient in some of the recipes across the globe.
In the event of rice vinegar being run out, any other suitable vinegar you can use instead. Besides, lemon or lime juice can also add enough acidity and citrus flavor to your dish like the rice vinegar.
As the last word, I would personally recommend apple cider vinegar as the best substitute for rice vinegar. Others are not less either.
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