Rice vinegar is a type of vinegar made from fermented rice. It has a mild, slightly sweet flavor.
It’s a staple ingredient in many Asian dishes, including pickled vegetables, sushi rice, salad dressings, and slaws.
However, if you’re in a pinch and don’t have any rice vinegar on hand, there are several simple substitutes you can use instead.
This article will explore six of the best substitutes for rice vinegar.
1. White wine vinegar
White wine vinegar is made through the fermentation of white wine into vinegar.
It has a mild, slightly acidic taste that makes it an excellent addition to salad dressings and sauces. It also shares a similar flavor profile to rice vinegar, so you can easily swap it into most recipes in a pinch.
However, because white wine vinegar is not quite as sweet as rice vinegar, you may want to add a bit of sugar to help match the flavor.
Try substituting white wine vinegar for rice vinegar in a 1:1 ratio. To add just a hint of sweetness, add 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) of sugar per tablespoon (15 ml) of the white wine vinegar.
Summary: White wine vinegar has an acidic taste that is slightly less sweet than rice vinegar. Use an equal amount of white wine vinegar in place of rice vinegar, adding 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) of sugar per tablespoon (15 ml) of vinegar.
2. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a type of vinegar made from apple cider that has undergone fermentation.
With its mild taste and just a hint of apple flavor, apple cider vinegar makes a good substitute for just about any type of vinegar.
You can easily use apple cider vinegar in place of rice vinegar in just about any recipe, such as sushi rice and marinades.
Although the apple flavor is fairly weak in apple cider vinegar, note that it may become more pronounced if used for certain types of recipes, like pickling.
Substitute an equal amount of apple cider vinegar for rice vinegar in your recipes. To account for the extra sweetness of rice vinegar, you can add 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) of sugar per tablespoon (15 ml) of apple cider vinegar.
Summary: Apple cider vinegar has a mild flavor that is similar to rice vinegar. You can substitute apple cider vinegar for rice vinegar in a 1:1 ratio, and add 1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) of sugar per tablespoon (15 ml) of vinegar to add sweetness.
3. Lemon juice
If you’re using rice vinegar to add a bit of zing to recipes like salad dressings, slaws, or sauces, you can easily swap it out for a bit of lemon or lime juice.
This is because lemons and limes are both highly acidic and can easily mimic the acidity of rice vinegar in most recipes.
While you can use lemon or lime juice in any recipe that calls for rice vinegar, note that it will change the flavor of the final product and may leave it with a distinct citrus taste.
To add extra acidity to your recipe, substitute double the amount of lemon or lime juice for rice vinegar.
Summary: Lemon or lime juice can add acidity and flavor to sauces, slaws and dressings. You can swap them for rice vinegar in your recipes in a 2:1 ratio. Note that these citrus juices will add a distinctive flavor.
4. Champagne vinegar
Champagne vinegar is made by fermenting champagne to produce vinegar with a light and delicate flavor.
Because it has a very mild taste, it can be used in place of rice vinegar in any recipe and provides a subtle flavor that won’t overpower the final product.
It makes an especially delicious addition to seafood dishes, dipping sauces, marinades, and dressings.
Next time you run out of rice vinegar for your favorite recipes, try replacing it with champagne vinegar using a 1:1 ratio.
Summary: Champagne vinegar has a mild taste and can be used to replace rice vinegar in practically any recipe. Substitute it into your recipes using a 1:1 ratio.
5. Seasoned rice vinegar
Seasoned rice vinegar is made by adding sugar and salt to regular rice vinegar.
By making a few simple adjustments to your recipe, you can easily substitute seasoned rice vinegar for regular rice vinegar in your favorite recipes.
Suggested read: Rice vinegar vs. rice wine: What’s the difference?
This works especially well in recipes that call for additional salt or sugar. Seasoned rice vinegar can also be used for other recipes, but the flavor of the final product will be affected.
Next time you’re out of regular rice vinegar, simply substitute an equal amount of seasoned rice vinegar instead.
For each 3/4 cup (177 ml) of seasoned vinegar you use, be sure to remove 4 tablespoons (50 grams) of sugar and 2 teaspoons (12 grams) of salt from the original recipe to match the flavor.
Summary: Substitute an equal amount of seasoned rice vinegar for regular rice vinegar, but remove 4 tablespoons (50 grams) of sugar plus 2 teaspoons (12 grams) of salt from the original recipe.
6. Sherry vinegar
Sherry vinegar is a type of wine vinegar made from sherry. It has a distinct flavor often described as rich, nutty, and slightly sweet.
If you don’t have any rice vinegar on hand, sherry vinegar makes a great substitute thanks to its similar taste and acidity.
Sherry vinegar works very well in place of rice vinegar for sauces, vinaigrettes, and marinades. It can also be used to pickle vegetables or add a pop of flavor to your main course.
For best results, substitute sherry vinegar for rice vinegar using a 1:1 ratio in any recipe.
Summary: Sherry vinegar is made using sherry and has a flavor profile and acidity similar to rice vinegar. Substitute using a 1:1 ratio in any recipe that calls for rice vinegar.
Rice vinegar is used in a wide variety of dishes.
But if you’re fresh out, there are many other types of vinegar you can use instead. Alternatively, you can use lemon or lime juice to add extra flavor and acidity.
Even if you don’t have any rice vinegar on hand, you can make many kinds of recipes, including pickled vegetables, slaws, and dressings, by simply replacing it with one of these options.