8 Best Rice Vinegar Substitutes You Can Try!

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Hey, are you looking for a good rice vinegar substitute? It is undoubtedly one of the best vinegar we have to add to all our favorite dishes. If you are into making Asian and Chinese cuisines, then you need rice vinegar!

Rice Vinegar

You are halfway through making your favorite sushi, only to realize that you are out of rice vinegar. What should you do? Think no more and try a good rice vinegar substitute and give an excellent finish to your favorite dish.

Rice vinegar isn’t something we use all the time. Thus, finding a suitable substitute for this ingredient is challenging. If you are wondering what could be used as a rice vinegar substitute, I have the answer. Apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, and sherry vinegar are some of the best rice vinegar substitutes.

If you ever had rice vinegar, I’m sure you must have made it one of the staples in your pantry. However, many of my readers are new to the recipe. If you are one of them, you must need clarification regarding this ingredient.

Quick Peek: Rice Vinegar

Rice Vinegar

If you are new to rice vinegar, this section is for you. In this section, let’s learn more about rice vinegar. We will also look into its taste, nutritional value, and uses.

What Is Rice Vinegar?

Rice vinegar, as its name suggests, is a vinegar obtained from fermented rice. It is widely made in Asian countries and used in pickles, salad dressings, and sales.

Making rice vinegar involves a double fermentation process. First, rice is fermented into wine, and then the wine is again fermented into vinegar. Often rice wine is misunderstood as rice vinegar. However, rice wine is much sweeter than rice vinegar and is used for different processes.

Depending upon the place it is made, rice vinegar is often classified into five – 

  • White Rice Vinegar – This is one of the most commonly available forms of rice vinegar.
  • Seasoned Rice Vinegar – This rice vinegar is widely used to flavor sushi rice. It often comes with sugar flavoring. It is made by combining white vinegar with sugar.
  • Brown Rice Vinegar – Brown rice vinegar, as its name suggests, is made from brown rice. It has a deep color to it and has more nutrients than that white vinegar. It is milder than white rice vinegar and has a light flavor.
  • Red Rice Vinegar – Red rice vinegar comes with a lot of flavors. Similar to brown rice vinegar, it has so many flavors to it. It is sweet and sour and is an excellent flavor enhancer.

Describing Rice Vinegar: Flavor And Extract.

Rice vinegar has a liquidy texture to it. It is colorless and looks similar to white wine. It can be used as a flavor enhancer and is often used in South Asian dishes.

Rice vinegar has a mellow flavor to it. It is slightly sweet and brings a sweet acidic flavor to the dishes. It brings a vinegary flavor to the recipe without so much tartness. However, wide varieties of rice vinegar are available, and some of them are seasoned and may have a flavor difference.

Uses Of Rice Vinegar

Rice vinegar is one such ingredient that has multiple uses. The first and most common use of rice vinegar is that it is used as a flavoring ingredient and a preservative in the food industry. It is slightly sweet and tart and adds the right flavor to all our favorite bowls of salads.

Secondly, it has many health benefits. It also has many beauty benefits. The use of rice vinegar varies from one culture to the other. There are many variants of rice vinegar, and each variant has its own kind of use.

The following section is all about the health benefits of rice vinegar. If you are looking for a reason to buy rice vinegar, the following section is compelling enough to make you buy a bottle of rice vinegar.

Rice Vinegar On The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope

  • Improve Gut Health: Rice vinegar has a good amount of acetic acid. Acetic acid is said to be beneficial for our digestive system. It helps digestion and better absorption of nutrients like calcium, potassium, and vitamins. 
  • Has antiseptic Properties: Rice vinegar has antiseptic properties and is widely used in antiseptic medicines. In many cultures, cleaning bacterial infections using rice vinegar is a practice.
  • Helps To Overcome Fatigue: Rice vinegar has a high amount of amino acids. Amino acid helps to reduce the lactic acid concentration in our bodies. Accumulation of lactic acid in our body causes fatigue and stiffness. Hence reducing lactic acid will help you to be fresh throughout the day.
  • Improves Immunity: Rice vinegar contains essential amino acids, which help fight the unwanted free radicals in our body, thereby improving the body’s immunity.
  • Helps To Control Weight Loss: Rice vinegar is said to aid in weight loss. People in Japan have been using it for ages to keep their weight in check. For weight loss purposes, brown rice vinegar is the best.
  • Act As A Toner: Rice is the newfound love of the beauty industry, and we cannot unsee the benefits rice vinegar brings to our skin. Mix some rice vinegar, water, and facial oil and spray it as a toner. It will fight against blemishes that unlock the beautiful, radiant skin you always wanted.

Why Should We Substitute Rice Vinegar?

After reading so much about rice vinegar, you might not feel like replacing it with anything else. As a big rice vinegar fan, I can totally relate to that. However, there are many situations where we are forced to find a good rice vinegar substitute.

Rice vinegar is used by people all across the world. However, the main production of rice vinegar is still restricted to Asia, and thus it might only be available some of the time. Even if it is available, it could be a little more expensive than normal white vinegar.

Rice vinegar is something we only sometimes use. Thus if your recipe only needs a teaspoon or two of rice vinegar, it can be easily substituted by a good rice vinegar substitute. A good rice vinegar substitute could save you a lot of time and money.

These two are the main reasons we may think about using a good rice vinegar substitute. Now that we have talked in length about rice vinegar let’s go to the core of this article which is the best rice vinegar substitute.

Best Rice Vinegar Substitutes 

1. White Wine Vinegar

White WIne vinegar

White wine vinegar has a mild taste and is slightly acidic. It is made by fermentation of white wine into vinegar. The flavor profile of white wine is similar to that of rice vinegar and can be used in almost all dishes as a rice vinegar substitute.

White wine vinegar has a more tart flavor than that rice vinegar. Thus if you are planning to swap the two, always make sure to add a little bit of any sweeteners into your recipe to manage the tartness. You can skip the sweetener part if you are fine with the tartness.

While using white wine vinegar as a rice vinegar substitute, follow the 1:1 ratio.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

The fermentation makes Apple cider vinegar of apples. It has a mild flavor with a hint of sweetness. It has in its store the flavor of apples and thus making it an excellent rice vinegar substitute.

Even if you are making sushi rice or any marinades, apple cider vinegar can easily take the spot of rice vinegar in all your recipes. However, in certain recipes like pickling, the flavor of apple cider vinegar can become more pronounced. 

While using apple cider vinegar as a rice vinegar substitute, follow the 1:1 ratio. However, rice vinegar is sweeter than apple cider vinegar. Thus to balance the flavor, add ¼ teaspoon of sugar to the recipe.

3. Lime Juice

Lemon Juice
Woman squeezing lemon juice into glass on table

If you are adding rice vinegar to get a zing of tartness in your recipe, then lime juice can easily get that flavor. Lime juice or lemon juice has a tart flavor and can be added to any recipe to bring an acidic flavor.

Lemon or lime is one of our most easily available rice vinegar substitutes. However, lemon juice has a very intense acidic taste. Thus if you want a dash of sweetness in your recipe, add a teaspoon of sugar.

4. Champagne Vinegar

Champagne vinegar

Champagne vinegar is produced during the fermentation of champagne wine. It has a very mild and delicate flavor making it one of the best rice vinegar substitutes. 

Champagne vinegar has a very mild flavor and wouldn’t be overpowering. Thus you can safely swap it for rice vinegar. Moreover, it works excellently with different kinds of seafood and marinades. Thus, give champagne vinegar a try next time you run out of rice vinegar!

5. Seasoned Rice Vinegar

Seasoned Rice vinegar

Just as its name suggests, seasoned rice vinegar is made by adding sugar to regular rice vinegar. This will work as a perfect rice vinegar substitute in almost all your recipes. If you make little adjustments in your recipe, you can tell the difference between the rice vinegar and the seasoned one.

Seasoned rice vinegar is suitable for those recipes where sugar and salt are used in a good proportion. If you are adding seasoned rice vinegar to a fairly neutral recipe, it could affect the end taste. 

6. Sherry Vinegar

Sherry Vinegar

Sherry vinegar is produced from the sherry. It has a subtle sweetness and nutty fragrance to it. If you have sherry vinegar at home, you can use it as a rice vinegar substitute. It works in all recipes that need rice vinegar.

7. Mirin 


Rice wine, commonly known as mirin, has a sweet and tangy flavor. It brings sweetness to the recipe along with a little acidic taste and thus can be used as a rice vinegar substitute

However, mirin is a lot sweeter and thicker than regular rice vinegar. Thus it may make your recipe a lot sweeter. It is not a perfect substitute. However, if you make a salad bowl, mirin will work well.

8. White Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic Vinegar

White balsamic vinegar has a lighter flavor and color than the usual balsamic vinegar. Thus, it can be used as an excellent substitute for rice vinegar.

White balsamic vinegar has a very clean taste. This is due to the fact that grape sugar is not caramelized in the making process. This mellow taste of white balsamic vinegar makes it a perfect rice vinegar substitute, especially when using it for salad dressings and fruit bowls.

A Short Recap Of Rice Vinegar Substitutes

That was an extensive read on rice vinegar. The following points will make things a bit easier for you to remember about Cointreau and its substitutes:

Most Suitable Rice Vinegar Substitute:

  1. White Wine Vinegar

Most Suitable Rice Vinegar Substitute For Making Sushi

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Least Suited Rice Vinegar Substitute

  1. Mirin
  2. Sherry Vinegar.

How To Use Rice Vinegar Substitutes In A Recipe

Rice Vinegar

8 Best Rice Vinegar Substitutes You Can Try!

You are halfway through making your favorite sushi, only to realize that you are out of rice vinegar. What should you do? Think no more and try a good rice vinegar substitute and give an excellent finish to your favorite dish.
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  • White Wine Vinegar
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Lime Juice
  • Champagne Vinegar
  • Seasoned Rice Vinegar
  • Sherry Vinegar
  • Mirin
  • White Balsamic Vinegar


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Final Thoughts

As we are nearing the end of this article, I hope you get an answer to the question you were searching for. All of the above-mentioned options are ideal rice vinegar substitutes.

 However, we both know that practically nothing can match rice vinegar’s tangy sweet mellow flavor. If you are using any of the above rice vinegar substitutes, please let us know how it turned out. Hope to see you with some more good articles. Cheers!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What can be substituted for rice vinegar?

White wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, sherry vinegar, and mirin are some of the best rice vinegar substitutes.

Can I use normal vinegar instead of rice vinegar?

No. Normal vinegar is way more acidic than rice vinegar and hence won’t be an idle substitute.

What does rice vinegar taste like?

Rice vinegar has a mild, mellow flavor to it. It is sweet and tangy and enhances the flavor of all dishes.

What is the closest to rice vinegar?

White wine vinegar has the closest taste to rice vinegar.

Is rice vinegar the same as cider vinegar?

No. Cider vinegar is obtained from apples, whereas rice vinegar is made from rice fermentation.

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