10 Best Umeboshi Vinegar Substitutes

Ume Plum Vinegar

Vinegar is a staple ingredient in our cooking. You can make it in different manners from fruits or wine. And the acidity and sweetness may vary depending on what is the key ingredient. 

A Japanese vinegar that is used in many combinations in cooking is Umeboshi vinegar. It is a red vinegar which is made from fruits and is very salty.

Actually, it’s made from Umeboshi plums and sea salt is added to it. Typically, it is added over steamed veggies and of course over salads as a dressing.

However, you can also use it as a dip or for pickling. Actually, there is a paste that is also used in many ways in cooking.

It may be challenging to replace the unique taste and smell of Umeboshi vinegar. So, if you have none at home, is there a way to replace it? Can I substitute Umeboshi vinegar? Yes!

Substitutes for Umeboshi vinegar include red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, black vinegar, Umeboshi paste, balsamic vinegar, malt vinegar, date vinegar, and Hing Mui.

Read below on each substitute and find your suitable replacement. 

Substitutes For Umeboshi Vinegar

The following products can successfully replace Umeboshi vinegar and save your recipe. So, let’s take a look at each substitute, learn more about their properties, and make a pick.

1. Red wine vinegar

Red wine vinegar

Рed wine vinegar is the closest that you can get to umeboshi. It has a strong taste and the quality depends on the type of wine and of course the aging process.

This vinegar has a very specific taste that is tangy but with a touch of sweetness. And of course, fruity notes. The sourness will be something that will overcome the other ingredients. However, you can easily adjust it and use it in different recipes that require Umeboshi. 

2. White wine vinegar

White Wine Vinegar

The next best thing will be to use white wine vinegar instead of Umeboshi. It is a common type of vinegar that you can find in many recipes and ways in the kitchen.

You can add it to make different marinades or salad dressings. However, you can also use it with some types of meat. The making process includes fermenting white wine. Then, the alcohol turns into acetic acid.

It has fruity traces but a more neutral taste which works great in recipes that require Umeboshi vinegar.

3. Apple cider vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

A fruit-based vinegar that will be a suitable replacement for Umeboshi is Apple cider vinegar.

Made from crushed apples which later on leak out the juice that is fermented and turned into vinegar, this product is healthy and popular in cooking, especially for different salads and other dressings.

It has a sour taste with a very strong smell, so keep that in mind before adding it to your recipe. 

4. Rice vinegar

Rice vinegar

Another common type of vinegar that people use in their cooking is rice vinegar.

It has a sweet taste with a sourness that is typical for Asian cuisine. Actually, it is made of the rice’s alcohol which is fermented into acetic acid.

People usually add it to sushi or any other type of recipe. The mild sweetness is just perfect for Asian dishes and salad dressings.

5. Black vinegar

Balsamic vinegar

Clack vinegar is a popular Chinese vinegar that can successfully replace Umeboshi vinegar.

It is dark in color and has a malty flavor. And it is made of glutinous rice and malt, which resembles balsamic vinegar, you can combine it with many recipes and almost everything that requires Umeboshi.

6. Umeboshi paste

The closest that you can get to Umeboshi vinegar is to try the paste.

Even though it has a different texture, the Umeboshi paste is made in a similar way. It has pureed umeboshi plums which are blended and turned into a paste.

You can add it to different recipes, especially those that require vinegar. However, you have to adjust since the texture is different.

7. Balsamic vinegar

Sherry vinegar

Typically found in our kitchen, balsamic vinegar finds its place here on the list of substitutes.

The deep brown color of balsamic vinegar comes from unfermented grape juice. And it is great for many different recipes. It has a rich taste with a sweetness that continues with a mixture of cherry and fig. And the tartness and acidity are of course present.

8. Malt vinegar

malt vinegar

Another type of vinegar suitable for replacement is malt vinegar.

Made of malted grains of barley, the tart flavored vinegar is for almost every recipe that calls for Umeboshi vinegar. The nutty and caramel flavor makes this vinegar unique.

Add it to your cooking and provide richness and tastiness. 

9. Date vinegar

Very rich and complex vinegar that can replace Umeboshi vinegar is date vinegar.

This variation of vinegar is not that sweet and has a brown color. Made of Medjool dates and distilled water, this vinegar serves as a medicine. You can also clean with it. However, mainly you can add it in most of the recipes that require umeboshi.

10. Hing Mui

A suitable replacement for Umeboshi vinegar is Hing Mui.

It has a fruity acidic taste with salty traces. It is made of dried plum with a sour taste and has traces and tones of sweetness.

The taste is strong and works well in most recipes. However, be mindful when adding it since it may overpower the other ingredients. 

Related Questions

What is a good substitute for Umeboshi vinegar?

Red wine is the most suitable Umeboshi vinegar replacement. It is similar in taste and smell and you can use it in most recipes.

How do I substitute plum vinegar?

You can use equal amounts of some of the substitutes mentioned above. Or adjust the quantity based on the ingredients, recipe, and substitute.

How is umeboshi vinegar made?

Umeboshi vinegar is made of pickled fruits that are common in Japanese dishes. They are dried, preserved, and then added in salt to brine with perilla which gives the bright red color. 

What does plum vinegar taste like?

The taste of plum vinegar is mild with a salty taste and sour tones. It also has a fruity aroma and the acid is citric.

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