What can I use instead of black vinegar? Balsamic vinegar is the best replacement for black vinegar, offering a similar color and rich complexity. However, Worcestershire sauce and rice, malt, and red wine vinegar are excellent substitutes. Lastly, sherry, date, and apple cider vinegar add delicious fruity notes.
Black vinegar is made from fermented rice, wheat, and millet. It boasts rich, tangy, and slightly sweet flavors with a molasses and apple cider vinegar aroma. These complex flavors are perfect for Chinese dishes like stir-fries, noodles, soups, marinades, and dips. Here are the best substitutes for black vinegar when you’re down to the last drop.
The Best Black Vinegar Substitutes
Balsamic vinegar is a dark, rich vinegar made from cooked down and barrel-aged grape juice. The piquant, earthy, tart, and slightly sweet flavors perfectly replace black vinegar.
Balsamic and black vinegar are similar in color and consistency. However, the latter is typically sweeter.
You can drizzle spoonfuls of balsamic vinegar over noodles, salads, braised meat, glazing, or grilled vegetables.
Our favorite way to use balsamic vinegar is by reducing it into a sweet, sticky glaze for grilled veggies.
Balsamic vinegar is substantially sweeter than black vinegar. So, replace 1 tablespoon black vinegar with ½ tablespoon balsamic vinegar.
Rice Vinegar (Unseasoned)
Rice vinegar is the base of black vinegar, without the malt. Rice vinegar is made from fermented rice, offering a milder, less acidic, and sweeter flavor than most kinds of vinegar.
Although not as rich and complex, rice vinegar is an ideal substitute for black vinegar thanks to its sweet acidic profile.
You can substitute black vinegar with rice vinegar in stir-fries, noodles, sushi rice, soups, vegetables, marinades, dips, and salad dressings.
You can use black vinegar and rice vinegar interchangeably. Substitute 1 tablespoon black vinegar with 1 tablespoon rice vinegar.
Malt vinegar is made from malted barley grains. The barley is turned into beer and then aged into vinegar.
As a result, malt vinegar is milder and sweeter than most kinds of vinegar. It offers complex tart and nutty flavors that enhance the flavor of other foods, making it an ideal substitute for black vinegar.
Malt vinegar is classically paired with fish and chips. However, you can use it to replace black vinegar in Asian dishes, salads, marinades, BBQ sauces, and dressings.
You can use black vinegar and malt vinegar interchangeably. Substitute 1 tablespoon black vinegar with 1 tablespoon malt vinegar.
Sherry Vinegar (Preferably Aged)
Sherry vinegar is the product of sherry wine fermented with bacteria that converts the alcohol into acetic acid. It is packed with complex flavors. It lends a crisp acidity balanced with sweet caramel notes.
Sherry vinegar is a fantastic all-purpose vinegar that can replace black vinegar in a pinch.
You can add a splash of sherry vinegar to brighten salads, stir-fries, and veggies and deepen the flavor of vinaigrettes, marinades, and soups.
Substitute 1 tablespoon black vinegar with 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar. Although more expensive, we recommend using aged sherry for more complex flavors.
Worcestershire sauce is an umami vehicle packed with immense depth and flavor. It is made with a vinegar base fermented with fermented garlic and onions, molasses, cured anchovies, tamarind paste, and seasoning.
You can use Worcestershire sauce to replace black vinegar.
Worcestershire sauce is the perfect addition to recipes lacking depth and an umami flavor. You can use it as a black vinegar substitute in salads, marinades, dips, and sauces.
You can use black vinegar and Worcestershire sauce interchangeably. Substitute 1 tablespoon black vinegar with 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a product of fermenting apple cider with bacteria. I. It is a light-yellow vinegar with a sharp, sour tang and subtle apple notes.
Apple cider vinegar is sweet and acidic enough to replace black vinegar in a pinch.
You can replace black vinegar with apple cider vinegar in vinaigrettes, marinades, slaw, and warm vegetables.
Substitute 1 tablespoon black vinegar with 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar.
Consider adding ¼ teaspoon sugar for every tablespoon apple cider vinegar to add sweetness to your dish.
Date vinegar is made from fermenting dates. Although not easy to your hands on, it remains an ideal substitute for black vinegar.
Date vinegar boasts intensely sweet and mild acidic flavors. In addition, date vinegar will offer similar dark colors to black vinegar, ensuring your recipe’s color remains unchanged.
You can use date vinegar to replace black vinegar in stews, salads, marinades, glazes, and sauces.
Substitute 1 tablespoon black vinegar with 1 tablespoon date vinegar.
Consider adding ½ teaspoon soya sauce for every tablespoon date vinegar to break sweetness.
Red Wine Vinegar
Red wine vinegar is the final product of fermenting red wine with bacteria that converts the alcohol into acetic acid – the compound responsible for the distinct acidic flavor.
In most recipes, you can use red wine vinegar as a black vinegar substitute.
Use red wine vinegar to replace black vinegar in soup, vegetable dishes, stir-fries, and salads. Red wine vinegar also adds depth to meat marinades and salad dressings.
Substitute 1 tablespoon black vinegar with 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar. You can also add a teaspoon of soy sauce with your red wine vinegar for a closer flavor to black vinegar.
Avoid purchasing red wine vinegar that’s cloudy or has sediments; it’s generally a sign of poor-quality ingredients and production methods.