9 Best Substitutes For Black Vinegar

Black Vinegar

Black vinegar might seem difficult to replace. But at a second look, you will realize that it doesn’t have to be this way.

Regardless of the type of recipe that calls for black vinegar, you can still find a great substitute on the market. Keep in mind that black vinegar is not found easily worldwide. 

Following this guide, we will discuss the best substitutes for black vinegar that you can find on the market and how to use them. 

Black Vinegar Substitutes 

You can use any of the following black vinegar substitutes and you will not be disappointed with the taste you achieve. 

1. Balsamic vinegar

As we mentioned, balsamic vinegar is your best substitute for black vinegar and it is a lot easier to find. However, keep in mind that balsamic vinegar is sweeter than black vinegar and you will have to use less of it.

You can dilute it with water to cut its strong flavor if you need to. But if you like balsamic vinegar you might not be bothered by its stronger taste. 

Use 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar for every 2 tablespoons of black vinegar in order to keep the sweetness under control. 

2. Rice vinegar

Rice vinegar

Another alternative to black vinegar is rice vinegar. Also a Chinese type of vinegar, rice vinegar is sweeter than other kinds but not too sweet for dishes that require black vinegar.

As a matter of fact, rice is part of the black vinegar along with malt. Thus, you can replace black vinegar with rice vinegar at all times. Use 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar for 1 tablespoon of black vinegar. 

3. Malt vinegar 

Malt vinegar is another excellent alternative to black vinegar. You can use it in different dressings, salads, and even cooked meals.

Malt is a fermented type of barley and it is an ingredient in black vinegar. This makes it suitable for all the dishes that you would use black vinegar in. 

Just as with rice vinegar, use 1 tablespoon of malt vinegar to 1 tablespoon of black vinegar. 

4. Red Wine Vinegar 

Red wine vinegar still has the sweet flavor of black vinegar and red color that maintains the dark color of your food. However, it will not have the same taste or acidity.

This type of vinegar is acidic enough to replace black vinegar in any type of recipe. You can use it from salads to stir-fries and you will not regret it. 

The ratio, however, has to be lower for the red wine vinegar. Use 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar for every 2 tablespoons of black vinegar. 

5. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple juice

Apple cider vinegar is a great substitute for black vinegar as it is sweet and acidic enough to offer your food the flavor you are looking for.

You can use apple cider vinegar in salads or cooked dishes. You will discover a tasty apple flavor that you might enjoy more than the one you get by using black vinegar. 

In terms of ratio, you can maintain an equal ratio of 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar for 1 tablespoon of black vinegar. 

6. Lemon juice with honey


A less popular substitute for black vinegar would be a mix of fresh lemon juice and honey. Squeeze one lemon and add a tablespoon of honey to it. Use the mix instead of black vinegar in your recipe.

If you need a sweeter taste, just add more honey. If you don’t have honey or you don’t consume it, use sugar instead. Keep in mind that honey is a more healthy approach. Use 2 tablespoons of this lemon juice and honey mix for 1 tablespoon of black vinegar. 

7. Lime juice with honey

The same rule that applies to lemon juice and honey, applies to lime juice and honey. However, keep in mind that lime has a bitter taste. You might need to add 2 teaspoons of honey per lime.

Check the mix before adding it to your dish to see if it is sweet and acidic enough. The ratio stays the same as in lemon juice and honey case. You will have to use 2 tablespoons of this lime juice and honey mix for 1 tablespoon of black vinegar. 

8. Apple juice

Apple juice

Apple juice is acidic and sweet which makes it a great substitute for black vinegar if you use it in the right quantities. You can use apple juice plain or add sugar to it to increase its sweetness.

You might need to add 1 teaspoon of honey or sugar if you want to replace sweet black vinegar with apple juice. The ratio is 3 tablespoons of apple juice to 1 tablespoon of black vinegar. 

9. White wine vinegar

White Wine Vinegar

White wine vinegar is not close in terms of sweetness to other types of vinegar. However, it is in terms of acidity. You can use it instead of black vinegar as long as the fact that it has a different color doesn’t bother you.

You can use white wine vinegar in different stir-fry dishes, stews, soups as well as salads. If you want a sweeter taste, add honey or sugar according to your preferences. As far as the ratio goes, use 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar to 2 tablespoons of black rice vinegar. 


What is the difference between white vinegar and black vinegar?

White vinegar goes through a distillation phase instead of a fermentation phase. Black vinegar, on the other hand, goes through fermentation. Besides this process, the color of these two types of vinegar is clearly different as well. 

Black vinegar can be made of rice and malt in the Asian recipe or red grapes in the case of the balsamic recipe. Also, white vinegar is generally made of white wine and is not an Asian type of vinegar. 

What does black vinegar taste like?

There are regular black vinegar and a sweet one. The regular one has a smoky, complex flavor with just a tint of sweetness. On the other hand, the sweet black vinegar resembles the balsamic vinegar more as it is sweeter than regular black vinegar. 

Is black vinegar the same as malt vinegar?

Black vinegar is not the same as malt vinegar. However, malt vinegar is part of its recipe. Black vinegar is made of a mix of white rice and malt.

Therefore, the taste is somewhat similar to malt vinegar. But given the fact that rice is also one of the ingredients, black vinegar will have a richer flavor than malt vinegar. 

How do you make black vinegar?

Making black vinegar is not easy. However, t is definitely worth it. You will need to steam white rice until you obtain the rice mash called moromi. The steamed rice will be mixed with yeast and a koji starter before you let it ferment for up to two weeks.

The mix is then combined with malt and the black vinegar is done. For sweet black vinegar sugar or another type of sweetener needs to be added.

Last Words

Not having black vinegar doesn’t have to be a tragedy in the kitchen. As a matter of fact, it can happen quite common to run out of black vinegar and being forced to use a replacement if you still want to make a certain recipe.

You can choose either one of the black vinegar substitutes above and you will not regret it. As a matter of fact, these substitutes can enrich the flavor of your food a lot if you use them correctly.

1 comment
  1. Ok so,you saved the day for me! I was out of black vinegar so I used red wine vinegar.. my biang biang noodles still came out successfully! Thank much!

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