Of all the vinegars, rice vinegar (aka rice wine vinegar) is the one I use the most. I love it because the flavour is neutral and it adds a gentle acidity which brightens the overall flavour of a dish.
I get mine from the Asian section of my supermarket. Depending on where you live, you may need to go to a specialist Asian grocery store to track it down.
If you don’t have time for a special shopping trip, here are my favourite substitutes…
Best Rice Wine Vinegar Substitutes
(in order of preference)
1. Champagne Vinegar
The closest match is champagne vinegar. Like rice wine vinegar it tends to be less harsh than other wine vinegars.
2. White Wine Vinegar
Another good substitute. I find most brands are harsher and stronger than rice vinegar so I would use slightly less if substituting.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Adds a slightly sweeter, fruity flavour. Excellent match from an acidity perspective.
4. Sherry Vinegar
Adds more flavour than rice vinegar which may not be a bad thing! Similar acidity profile.
5. Red Wine Vinegar
Unless its home made, red wine vinegar is usually has the strongest and harshest flavour. If using it as a substitute for rice vinegar, start by using less and add more as needed.
6. Lemon / Lime Juice
Citrus juices rely on citric acid whereas all the wine vinegars mentioned above are acetic acid based. This means citrus juice has a completely different flavour profile.
But if you don’t have any vinegar in the house, a squeeze of lemon or lime will provide freshness and bring the other flavours of your dish to life in a similar way to vinegar. You may even enjoy the flavour differences!
Whats the difference between Rice Vinegar and Rice Wine Vinegar?
Rice Vinegar and Rice Wine Vinegar are the same thing… Vinegar made from fermented rice. Some manufacturers like to make it sound more fancy by adding ‘wine’ to the label.
More Tips for Cooking with Vinegar
- The Best Vinegar to Use in Cooking
- How to Make Wine Vinegar
- A Beginners Guide to the Art of Seasoning
- Best Substitutes for Sherry Vinegar
More Ingredient Substitutes
- The Ultimate Guide to Vegetable Substitutes
- Collard Greens
- Miso Paste
- Oyster Sauce
Also see see the Simple Ingredients Substitutes Index.
Have fun in the kitchen!
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