What can I use instead of black rice vinegar? The best substitutes for black rice vinegar are balsamic vinegar, red rice vinegar, date vinegar, malt vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, or sherry vinegar. It helps to mix a few substitute ingredients to mimic black rice vinegar’s mellow, complex taste.
Black rice vinegar is made from black glutinous rice, but it is also sometimes made from sorghum, millet, or wheat. This dark color, complex-flavored vinegar has a mellow, savory, well-rounded taste. It is an aged product that is less sharp and tangy than regular vinegar. Black rice vinegar is used as an ingredient in Chinese cooking or as a dipping sauce or condiment.
The Best Black Rice Vinegar Substitutes
Balsamic vinegar is a standard grocery in many pantries. It is a dark color, concentrated grape vinegar that originates from Italy.
Although black rice vinegar and balsamic vinegar have a similar appearance, the latter is slightly sweeter.
When using balsamic vinegar as a substitute for black rice vinegar, it can help to add a dash of something savory like Worcestershire sauce to tone down the sweet edge.
It can be used as a 1-to-1 substitute for black rice vinegar.
Red Rice Vinegar
Red rice vinegar is a Chinese vinegar with a slightly acidic, salty taste. It is made from red yeast rice or another grain, like barley or sorghum.
When using red rice vinegar as a substitute for black rice vinegar, you will have to add some sweetener, like a pinch of fine sugar or a teaspoon of honey, to create a similar taste.
It is a lighter color and lacks the characteristic mellow sweetness of black rice vinegar.
If you have another black wine vinegar replacement ingredient, like sherry vinegar or Worcestershire sauce, make a mixture with red wine vinegar to create a more complex flavor.
It doesn’t work well as a replacement on its own as a dipping sauce but can be an excellent taste ingredient.
Sweetened red rice vinegar is a good substitute for black rice vinegar in many applications and can be used in equal amounts.
Date vinegar is made from syrup extracted from pressed dates or palm sap. The dark, fruity-tasting vinegar has been a hallmark of Middle Eastern cooking for centuries.
When using date vinegar as a substitute for black rice vinegar, remember that although the color is similar, it is slightly sweeter. To keep a balance, reduce any additional sugar called for in a dish.
Date vinegar can be used in the same ratio required in recipes, although it is a slightly sweeter substitute for black rice vinegar.
Malt vinegar, made from barley grain, is usually associated with British fare. It has a dark color and tangy taste with nutty undertones reminiscent of malted beer.
Unlike black rice vinegar, malt vinegar is not aged for a prolonged period. It does not have the mellow, full-body taste that may be required in many recipes where black rice vinegar is called for.
When using malt vinegar as a substitute for black rice vinegar, be sure to stir in a small amount of fine sugar to sweeten it. That will give it a less sharp taste and make it a more convincing stand-in for black rice vinegar.
Worcestershire sauce is a condiment made from various ingredients, including malt vinegar, spirit vinegar, molasses, sugar, spices, and anchovies. It is a dark, thick liquid that is readily available in most grocery stores.
Because it contains multiple ingredients, Worcestershire sauce has a complex array of tastes. This, and the fact that it is also visually very similar to black rice vinegar, makes it an excellent substitute in some applications.
When using Worcester sauce as a substitute for black rice vinegar, some sources suggest only adding a dash to sweeter kinds of vinegar like balsamic or date to tone down their sweetness.
However, when used as a dipping sauce to replace black rice vinegar, Worcester sauce can work well on its own.
Sherry vinegar is a grape vinegar variety that originates in Spain. It is an aged, dark color liquid with a characteristically sweet taste with nutty undertones.
It is not the same as sherry wine which is an alcoholic drink with a high alcohol content.
The bold sweetness of sherry vinegar, combined with the complex caramel flavor, makes it an excellent substitute for black rice vinegar. It provides a similar mature sweetness, especially in cooked recipes.
Sherry vinegar can work well as a substitute for black rice vinegar and can be used in a 1-to-1 ratio when required.