A rice vinegar substitute couldn’t be more convenient than this hack! Apple cider vinegar is the best substitute for rice vinegar and it’s been proven so many times that I’ve officially converted to it every time I make Sushi now! 


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Vinegar is the flavoring we all need in pickles, fresh slaws, and basic vinaigrettes! It adds that extra zing that perfectly flavors anything from sushi rice to a basic salad. 

Rice Vinegar Substitute

This rice vinegar substitute all started from making my usual Sushi Rice recipe, only I was running low on rice vinegar and was not about to run to the grocery store. I then decided to fill in the amount needed by using some apple cider vinegar that I had in my cupboard. From what seemed to be a quick vinegar fix to get through the sushi rice making turned out to be a complete conversion!

As of a result, I eventually started using apple cider vinegar for all my Sushi needs in full force only to realize it works just like rice vinegar with no distinctions. Turns out both kinds of vinegar have that similar acidic smell and if your sushi rice comes turns out as good as using the rice vinegar why not use apple cider vinegar? Besides apple cider vinegar has many health benefits. If you have some apple cider vinegar around, making sushi is a great way to start using up that vinegar and perhaps it can be a grocery trip saver?  Share your sushi making experience by leaving a comment below if you ever ran low or out of rice vinegar when making sushi.



What Can I Substitute for Rice Vinegar?

4.20 from 5 votes

Rice Vinegar Substitute

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1 serving
Author: Alyona Demyanchuk
rice vinegar substitute couldn't be more convenient than this hack! Apple cider vinegar is the best substitute for rice vinegar and it's been proven so many times that  I've officially converted to it every time I make Sushi now! 
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  • 1/3 cup Apple cider vinegar


  • Use Apple cider vinegar for the amount of rice vinegar called for in the recipe.


NOTE: The difference between sushi vinegar and rice vinegar is that sushi vinegar is already seasoned for making sushi and rice vinegar you would need to season with salt and sugar for sushi making.
Let us know when you make this recipe!Leave a comment, rate it, and tag #alyonascooking!



What is Rice Vinegar?

Rice vinegar is known to be made from rice. This Asian vinegar is fermented from rice and flavors dressings and dishes like sushi rice. Most Sushi recipes call for rice vinegar and its sweet acidic flavor is what gives Asain cuisines it’s signature rice flavor.

Can I use White Wine Vinegar or Sherry for making Sushi?

Wine vinegars are fermented from different types of wine to develop different flavored vinegars with some that are sweeter than others. To substitute white wine vinegar for rice vinegar add 1 teaspoon of sugar per every 1/4 cup of wine vinegar. Sherry is said to have a sweeter taste.

I personally don’t recommend a wine type of vinegar as a one to one ratio with rice vinegar. Apple cider has worked great in Sushi recipes for me.

Will Lemon or Lime Juice Substitute for Rice Vinegar?

Although Lemon or lime juice can add that extra zing in salad dressings or more, it will not substitute for rice vinegar. Citric juices add lots of fresh flavors that come with a slight citric flavor so go easy on the citric fruits.

What is Champagne Vinegar?

Fermented Champagne will give you champagne vinegar. It is said you can substitute champagne vinegar with rice vinegar using a 1:1 ratio. However, apple cider vinegar has worked so well for me and is less fancy vinegar to buy.

What is the Difference between seasoned Rice Vinegar and Rice Vinegar?

The difference between Seasoned Rice vinegar (sushi vinegar) and rice vinegar is that its already seasoned for making sushi rice. When using plain rice vinegar you will need to season with salt and sugar for making Sushi.

What is the Best Substitute for Rice Vinegar?

The Best substitute for Rice Vinegar is Apple Cider Vinegar. Its acidic levels are so similar they are hard to distinguish from each other in recipes like Sushi Rice. Use an equal amount of apple cider vinegar for rice vinegar in recipes.



  1. Use an equal amount of apple cider vinegar for rice vinegar in recipes.
  2. If using a white wine vinegar add sugar to sweeten the acidic level.
  3. Sherry vinegar is sweeter than White Wine vinegar so it can be used as a 1:1 ratio.
  4. Seasoned rice vinegar already has sugar and salt added.

Recipes with Apple Cider Vinegar: 

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    • Steph

    Ooooh great idea!!!! I just used up the last of my rice vinegar and was debating what to do!! 🙂

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Happy to help with ideas.

    • L.H.

    Thank you so much for sharing, I live in the rural area in Ireland, had to travel into the city to Asian shop & not always able to get rice vinegar, definitely will try the apple vinegar.

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Wonderful, L.H! I’m glad it was a helpful substitute. I actually converted to rice vinegar when making sushi now! you can’t even tell!

    • Sarah

    I just tried this, was scared it was not going to work out at first- as the smell of apple cider vinegar is very strong but it worked out wonderfully at the end.

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Hi Sarah, I’m glad you gave it a try!

    • Al

    What a great idea! Thank you!

      • Alyona Demyanchuk

      Your welcome!

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