What Can I Substitute for Rice Vinegar?
Rice vinegar is a well-loved condiment the world over because it makes food taste more complex and deep, with a touch of sweetness that you can’t get simply from adding sugar and other sweeteners to the recipe.
However, there will be times when you can’t find rice vinegar nearby. There will also be times when you need to cook now, and there isn’t enough time to buy. What can you use instead of rice vinegar so you can get good results?
A good sub for rice vinegar is white wine vinegar. White wine vinegar is only mildly acidic so that it won’t mess with your flavors too much. This wine is commonly swapped for rice vinegar when the latter isn’t available. The downside is that white wine vinegar is not as sweet as rice vinegar. The ratio for the substitution is 1:1. You can add about a teaspoon of regular sugar for every 15 ml or one tablespoon of white wine vinegar for the missing sweetness.
Another substitute is apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is created from cider, which is the unfiltered juice of apples.
Comparatively speaking, apple cider is much closer to rice wine than white wine vinegar. You can swap this for nearly all recipes, and you can also perform pickling easily with apple cider vinegar. Again, if you need additional sweetness, use sugar. ¼ teaspoon will do for every tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
Add lemon or lime in place of rice vinegar; this works too. Citrus fruits have a unique zing that’s different from the sourness of vinegar. Therefore, if you are feeling a bit experimental, use these fruits instead of rice vinegar. Remember that you must only use these fruits if you’re up for added acidity and no sweetness.
Picture from Sotaque, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons