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Substitutes for Vinegar

Vinegar is an acidic liquid used in many recipes. It is called for in many types of recipes, such as marinades and dressings, and it also comes in many types. There may come a time when you're cooking a recipe, and you don't have any vinegar or the right kind of vinegar and need a substitute. Here is a short guide on substitutes for vinegar.

Types of Vinegar

Vinegar comes in many types, depending on how it was made. White wine vinegar comes from the fermentation of white wine. Red wine vinegar comes from red wine. Cider vinegar is processed from apples. Rice or rice wine vinegar is processed from rice wines or fermented rice and comes in three types:  black rice vinegar, white rice vinegar and red rice vinegar. They differ by which type of rice they are processed from. Finally, there is white vinegar, processed from distilled alcohol. White vinegar should not be confused with white wine vinegar, and it is the least suitable for cooking.

Substitutes for Asian and Rice Vinegar

Rice vinegars tend to have a milder taste, especially white rice vinegar. The best substitute for rice and other Asian vinegars is balsamic vinegar.

Substitutes for Red Wine Vinegar

Red wine vinegar also has a mild taste and shouldn't be substituted with vinegar that is too strong. For red wine vinegars used for a dressing, a good substitute is 3 tbsp of cider vinegar and 1 tbsp of red wine for every 4 tbsp of red wine vinegar.

Although red wine vinegar has a slightly stronger taste than white wine vinegar, they can often be used interchangeably on a 1 to 1 basis.

Since red wine vinegar comes from red wine, it has a similar taste. Red wine can often be used in place of red wine vinegar if used for flavor only. If you require the acidic properties as well, mix equal parts red wine and white vinegar equal to the red wine vinegar you need. The red wine will provide the flavor and the white vinegar will provide the acid.

Substitutes for White Wine Vinegar

As stated above, white wine vinegar and red wine vinegar can be used interchangeably. However, cider vinegar and rice vinegar also make excellent choices for substitutes for white wine vinegar. If you dilute it with water, you can even use the stronger white vinegar as a substitute.

Substitute for Sherry Vinegar

Used frequently in Spanish dishes, sherry wine can be substituted with balsamic vinegar. Alternatively, you can substitute with an equal amount of red or white wine.

White Vinegar

If a recipe calls for white vinegar, both cider and malt vinegar make strong choices to substitute on a 1 to 1 basis.

Non-Vinegar Substitutes

If your recipe calls for vinegar and you have none in the house, lemon or lime juice can be used in a pinch. They provide a strong citrus flavor, so make sure your recipe can handle it before using this substitution.

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