Rice vinegar is made from fermented rice. The sugars in rice are converted to alcohol and then, through a bacteria-laden second fermentation process, into the acid we know as vinegar. The result is typically far less acidic and milder than pure distilled white vinegar or those made from grape-based wine or malt, making it a subtle addition to salad dressings, stir-fries, pickles, marinades, or splashed lightly over sautéed vegetables.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
If rice vinegar is on the milder end when it comes to vinegar, apple cider vinegar is right next door. The two are both tart condiments, yet share a subtle sweetness. You can easily substitute apple cider for rice vinegars for any recipe, fruity apple flavor, so keep that in mind when seasoning simple dishes like sushi rice or pickles.
2. Champagne vinegar
Light, crisp champagne vinegar is a fermentation product of sparkling wine. Its delicate flavor means it makes a suitable substitute for rice vinegar. People can use champagne vinegar to replace rice vinegar in salad dressings. But it is usually more expensive. As a fruit vinegar made from grapes, champagne vinegar has the potential health benefits of white wine vinegar, discussed in the next section.
3. Lime Juice
The bright acidity of lemon and lime juice makes a trusty alternative for rice vinegar in dressings and sauces. Keep in mind that the citrus leaves a distinct floral flavor, but will provide the mildly tart zing needed when replacing rice wine vinegar. Again, taste as you go: You may need up to double the amount of citrus juice when substituting vinegar in a recipe.
4. White Wine Vinegar
White wine vinegar is made through the fermentation of white wine into vinegar. It has a mild, slightly acidic taste that makes it an excellent addition to salad dressings and sauces. It also shares a similar flavor profile to rice vinegar, so you can easily swap it into most recipes in a pinch.
5. Sherry Vinegar