Rice vinegar gives a sharp flavor, and also lends sweetness to your dishes. It is considered as a constant ingredient in many recipes of Asian origin. But, what if you ran out of it? What are its substitutes?

Rice is a staple food in many Asian countries. Many of these cuisines in Asia have experimented a lot with rice, and have creative ways to consume rice. Fermented rice used for n the making of rice vinegar. This type of vinegar is known for its mild flavour and is never overpowering while being used in your dishes. For the reasons, it is widely added to a variety of dishes from the Asian cuisine such as pickles, fries, dressings for salads, marinades, etc. It is also sprinkled on top of vegetables after being sautéed.

Vinegars are available all through the year. Those made in Asia have a mild taste when compared to vinegars made in the west. While vinegar made in Japan is nearly colorless, those made in China come in three distinct colors namely- black, red and white. Each of these colors may have a unique flavour and a different taste. Beyond doubt, rice vinegar is a healthy ingredient. But in the event of running short of it, there are other substitutes to make up with. Its 10 main substitutes are listed below.

#1. Balsamic vinegar- This is extremely friendly to people with diabetes. Its usage does not increase your blood sugar levels. It is not as sweet as rice vinegar, which makes it good for dressing salads. Not stopping with these benefits, balsamic vinegar is abundantly blessed with antioxidants. This abundance works to improve your skin, help reduce body weight and can also decrease cholesterol levels in your blood.

#2. Lemon juice- This juice has sizeable proportion of vitamin C. This is also the healthier substitute for rice vinegar. It can improve the health of your skin, enhance your immunity levels, help in digestion, fight hypertension, enable loss of body weight as well as fight against infections such as cough, cold, etc. Apart from these common benefits, lemon juice has displayed curative properties to safeguard your liver – especially against damages to the liver caused by excessive consumption of alcohol.

#3. Herb vinegar- This is very simple substitute. If you have run short of rice vinegar, all you need to do is marinate herbs (based on your preferences) in vinegar. The only thing you need to be cautious about is- the possible changes in flavors. Taste of your dish may get altered based on your choice of herbs. So, ensure to avoid herbs with strong aroma.

#4. Apple cider vinegar- As the name suggests, it is gotten from apple cider. This is considered as one of the best substitutes for rice vinegar. Its mild taste is known for being subtle and is never found to alter the taste of your dish. However, while this substitute is used for pickling purposes, its inherent aroma may show up. Apart from such goodness, apple cider vinegar is also used to treat severe headaches, dizziness and nausea. It is also known for its ability to reduce your blood pressure.

#5. Sherry vinegar- This is a type of vinegar made of wine. It can be used widely in pickling vegetables, marinades, sauces, etc. Its flavor is unique and it adds a sweet flavour to your dishes. Sherry vinegar is also known for the rich aroma it brings to your cooking. This vinegar is mainly used for enhancing the taste of sauces, stews, soups, etc.


#6. White vinegar- This is the commonly available vinegar widely sold in stores. It is popular for its sharp flavor. Water is main ingredient at upto 95% while the rest (~4 – 5%) is acetic acid. You are hence advised to dilute its pungent properties. Once diluted, you are free to use it in recipes where you would have otherwise used rice vinegar. White vinegar is used mainly for salad dressing.

#7. Champagne vinegar- As its name indicates, this is derived by fermenting champagne. It does have a mild acidic taste, but is still considered as a softer substitute for rice vinegar. It has fairly high level of sweetness as it is made from champagne. It is regarded as one of the nearest substitutes for rice vinegar. It can be stored upto 6 months. Caution is needed to keep it away from direct exposure to light and heat.

#8. White wine vinegar- This is made by fermenting white wine. It is known for its mildly acidic flavour. Its acidity content is limited to 4 – 5%. However, you may not find this as sweet as rice vinegar. Instead, it is known for its fruity aroma and a unique taste. These properties make it used widely in savory cuisine. White wine vinegar is also to for dressing salad.

#9. Malt vinegar- This vinegar is made of malted barley. This is relatively mild and also has a considerable level of sweetness. It is also used in dressing salad along with herbs and olive oil. Its sweeter flavour makes it a good substitute for rice vinegar. Malt vinegar is popularly used while serving fish and chips.

#10. Red wine vinegar- This is a harsh and strong substitute for rice vinegar. It is considered to have the strongest flavour among the other substitutes. If this is prepared at home, needful care may be taken to dilute it to bring to a milder variant. While being substituted for rice vinegar, you are advised to use less of it.

Rice vinegar is an integral part of Asian cuisine. It is known for its ability to improve your digestion, boost your immunity levels and also provide you with needful energies. However, your craving for good Asian dishes need not be stopped if rice vinegar is short of supply in your kitchen. The substitutes listed above can come in handy. The added advantage is- each of the substitutes can bring unique flavors and health benefits to your dish.


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