When it comes to Asian cuisine, rice wine is one of the staple ingredients. It is made from fermented glutinous rice, which has been transformed into alcohol with yeast. It is ideal for adding sweetness and depth of flavor to many dishes.
Rice wine isn’t always available. The good news is that you can achieve the same taste with a plethora of options for rice wine substitute. Read on and we’ll look at some of the best ingredients that you can use instead.
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8 Amazing Rice Wine Substitutes That Are Equally Good
1. Dry Sherry
Like rice wine, dry sherry is alcoholic, which makes it a great substitute. It is a type of fortified wine. Essentially, it is a combination of white wine and grape liquor, resulting in a sharp flavor. More so, it has a dry finish and a scent that is reminiscent of apple cider vinegar.
Looking at the overall flavor, dry sherry and rice wine share many similarities. For instance, both have the nuttiness that you can expect in dried fruits, as well as salinity at an extent. It is also mild, so the flavor won’t be overpowering.
Because of the subtle flavor of dry sherry, you can use the same quantity. For instance, if the recipe calls for one tablespoon of rice wine, then you can substitute it with one tablespoon of dry sherry if the latter is unavailable.
Take note that you will find different sherry types. If your goal is to replicate the same flavor profile of rice wine, then you should use dry sherry. Cooking sherry is sweeter, which will give your dish a different taste.
Sherry: Everything you need to know!
2. White Wine Vinegar
As the name implies, white wine vinegar is vinegar that is made from white wine. Compared to white distilled vinegar, it is milder, which makes it a great option if you do not want overwhelming flavors in your dish.
If you are looking for the same sweet and bitter flavor of rice wine with a similar acidity, it is hard to go wrong with white wine vinegar. Since it has a mellow taste, it is more approachable, which will make your dish subtle.
Like rice wine, you can use white wine vinegar in many ways. Among others, one of the most popular is for brining. From seasonal fruits to vegetables, adding white wine vinegar along with distilled vinegar will give a distinct sweetness with an apparent acidity.
Like rice wine, you can also use white wine vinegar as a vinaigrette. This is a great way to level up your usual bowl of greens, making it more flavorful. Combine one tablespoon of white wine vinegar with three tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil and toss in your salad.
Which White Wine Vinegar is the Best?
3. Rice Vinegar
With its sweet, floral, and delicate flavor, rice vinegar is another common ingredient in Asian cuisine. It is often confused with rice wine. While the two can be used to substitute each other, they are different in many ways.
Among others, one of the differences between the two that the rice wine has a milder flavor. It is something that you can drink without curling your mouth. By contrast rice vinegar has a strong sour taste that is too much for most people.
While rice wine is recommended for dishes that require a sweet flavor, rice vinegar is for those that need more acidity than sweetness.
If you are going to use rice vinegar as a substitute to rice wine, be careful with the measurements. Because rice vinegar has a stronger flavor, you will not need a lot. Most of the time, half of the amount of rice wine will be enough.
How to Make Rice Vinegar
4. Dry White Wine
If you are looking for the best rice wine substitute, you are sure to love dry white wine. They are both wines, so that itself is already a good reason to expect a similar flavor profile.
While any kind of white wine can be a great option, it is better if it is dry. It has balanced ingredients, making it a great pick for culinary applications. Aside from the complex flavors, it also adds an intricate aroma that makes any dish more mouthwatering.
There are many types of white wine, but for cooking, some of the most popular options are Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Chardonnay. They are crisp and tart, which are reminiscent of the same taste that you can expect when you use rice wine in cooking.
One of the best things about using dry white wine as rice wine substitute is that you can use the same measurement. Meaning, if the recipe needs one tablespoon of rice wine, you can use one tablespoon of dry white wine.
Why is Dry Wine Dry? – Mondays with Mary 3/13/17
5. Champagne Vinegar
Those who have not yet heard of champagne vinegar will probably be confused. How can something so elegant as champagne and ordinary as vinegar mix? Well, when you try champagne vinegar, you will see why it is great for cooking!
As it is named, champagne vinegar is a vinegar that is made of champagne. It is one of the most delicate vinegars you can find in the market. The flavor is light, which is not as tart as rice wine, although it can make a great substitute.
The key to enjoying the subtle flavors of champagne vinegar is to use it right when cooking. It is great for light dishes that do not require heavy vinegars. It will make a great dressing to light veggies, including asparagus. It is also a great marinade for chicken and fish.
HOW TO MAKE CHAMPAGNE VINAIGRETTE
If you have a well-stocked bar at home, then you probably have a bottle of gin. If rice wine is unavailable, you can use gin in culinary applications to achieve a similar flavor profile, although the taste isn’t as close to those mentioned above.
With an almost identical color as rice wine, gin won’t alter the presentation of your dish. The good thing is that you can use almost any kind of gin and expect the flavor to be exceptional.
When cooking with gin, you can use the same quantity as rice wine. Nonetheless, you might need to alter the measurements of the other ingredients, depending on the specific flavor that you would like to stand out in your dish.
How It’s Made: Gin
7. Apple Juice
One of the reasons why people do not like rice wine is because of its alcohol content. If you want something alcohol-free but with an identical taste, then it will be hard to go wrong with apple juice.
The sweet and acidic taste of apple juice will remind you of rice wine. You can use it in many dishes, including salads and stir-fries. You can use the same ratio of apple juice as you would when using rice wine.
How To Make Homemade Apple Juice
8. Lemon Juice
Like apple juice, lemon juice is a great alternative if you want the flavor profile of rice wine, but you want it to be alcohol-free. It will have the same acidity of rice wine but without sweetness.
Some people might find the taste of lemon juice to be too strong, so make sure to use it in moderation. You might also want to add sweeteners like honey or sugar if you want the flavor to be subtler.