15 Best Substitutes For Black Vinegar

Black vinegar is one of the most popular ingredients in Asian cooking. It has a distinctive, almost smoky flavor that goes well with many foods. You can use it in soups, salads, sauces, and marinades. 

You can use it to add a smoky flavor to any dish or drink. It can also be used as a finishing condiment. In this guide, we will give you a list of the best substitutes for black vinegar.

Best Substitutes For Black Vinegar

15 Best Substitutes For Black Vinegar

You can do a lot of cooking with black vinegar, but sometimes you’ll run out of it or need to find substitutes for other reasons. Here’s a list of the best alternatives for black vinegar.

1. Apple Juice

Apple juice is an excellent substitute for black vinegar. It has a similar taste and texture to black vinegar, making it a good option if you want to use black vinegar in a recipe that calls for white vinegar. You can use Apple juice in salad dressings, marinades, and other recipes like barbecue sauce.

2. White Wine Vinegar

White wine vinegar is made from fermented grapes and has a milder flavor than black or brown vinegar. It’s also less acidic, so you can use it in salad dressings and marinades without worrying about over-souring your food. White wine vinegar pairs well with tomatoes, lemon juice, and other acidic ingredients like citrus fruit juices.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apples and is a good source of potassium and calcium. It also contains vitamins A and E, which give it a somewhat sweeter taste than other vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is known for its antiseptic properties that can help prevent bad breath, colds, and sore throats, among other things. 

Apple cider vinegar may help fight plaque buildup on teeth and is generally considered safe. However, some people may experience irritation if they use it long-term on damaged skin.

4. Lime Juice with Honey

If you want to add a bit of sourness to your dish, lime juice can do the trick. It’s also quite sweet and acidic, so if you’re making something that needs a little more acidity (like an Asian-inspired dish), it’ll do the trick nicely. You can substitute lime juice with lemon juice if you want something more tart or acidic.

5. Soy Sauce

Soy sauce is a good substitute for black vinegar but not as good as rice vinegar. Soy sauce is a liquid condiment from fermented soybeans, wheat, brine, and salt. It’s commonly used in Asian cuisine and can be found in most grocery stores.

The flavor profile of soy sauce is more of a salty-sweet taste than black vinegar has. If you’re looking for something that will add more saltiness to your dish, soy sauce may be the right choice!

6. Date Vinegar

Date vinegar is made from dates and water. The dates are soaked in water for a few weeks and then blended with the liquid to create sweet vinegar.

You can use date vinegar as an alternative to black rice vinegar if you want something on the sweeter side. It also has some health benefits, such as reducing blood sugar levels, improving digestion, and boosting immunity. Date vinegar is sold at specialty stores or online sellers like Amazon (here’s one option). You can also make your own by blending soaked dates with water!

7. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is a good substitute for black vinegar. It has an acidic taste and can be used in the same way as black vinegar. It is a popular ingredient in Asian cooking. It is used to enhance the flavor of food, as well as to make dishes more flavorful. You can use lemon juice to make salad dressings, marinades, and sauces. It also adds a pleasant sour taste to some dishes.

8. Red Wine Vinegar

Red wine vinegar is made from red wine, which has a slightly sweet and acidic flavor. It’s great in salad dressings and marinades because of its mild acidity, but keep in mind if you’re using it for dark-colored recipes like beef stew or barbecue sauce. 

The red wine vinegar will turn brown when heated (like black vinegar). If you want to substitute red wine vinegar for black, use half as much red wine vinegar as you would black in your recipe.

9. Honey Vinegar

Honey vinegar is made by mixing honey with white vinegar. It is more expensive than black and traditional white vinegar, but it’s also sweeter and less acidic. Suppose you can find a good deal on honey vinegar. In that case, it will be an excellent substitute for black vinegar if you want to add sweetness to your dish without sacrificing any of the umami flavors from fermented foods.

10. White Rice Vinegar

White rice vinegar can be a good substitute for black vinegar, especially if you’re trying to replicate the tanginess of a traditional Chinese restaurant dish. It’s also great for pickling and cooking.

White rice vinegar is clear. This is your best bet if you’re looking for a pale color! White rice vinegar has less acidity than black vinegar and isn’t as bitter-tasting (though it still has some bitterness). This may be your ideal substitute if you prefer milder foods than many Asian cuisines.

It’s excellent at preserving foods without adding extra flavors or spices—if you want to protect food by pickling or marinating it using white rice vinegar and salt, that works well!

11. Malt Vinegar

Malt vinegar is a type of vinegar made from barley malt, fermented with yeast. It is a popular condiment in the United Kingdom, where it is often used in pickling and as an ingredient in sauces, chutneys, and other condiments. Malt vinegar can be used as a substitute for black vinegar when paired with soy sauce or fish sauce.

12. Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is one of the most popular vinegars in the world, but it’s also one of the most expensive. Balsamic vinegar is made from white grapes and aged in wooden barrels for years; and balsamic vinegar has a thick consistency and sweet-tart flavor. It’s used as a cooking ingredient, as well as on salads and with meats like prosciutto. 

Balsamic vinegar goes great with olive oils or other types of vinegar (like black). So if you want that flavor without spending too much money on traditional balsamic vinegar, try substituting black instead!

13. Sherry Vinegar

If you’re looking to add a touch of sweetness and acidity to your vinaigrettes, sherry vinegar is your best bet. It’s made from red wines like Bordeaux but has a distinct flavor to other vinegar made from white wine. 

It’s also slightly sweeter and richer in taste than red wine vinegar (which we’ll discuss later). Sherry vinegar has an average acidity of 5%, similar to black vinegar in terms of its tangy notes but with a little less bite.

14. Herb Vinegar

You can make herb vinegar by infusing herbs in vinegar for about a week. You can use the finished product to make salad dressings, marinades, and pickling liquids. Herb vinegar is not the same as black vinegar and cannot be used in place of it in recipes that call for black vinegar.

15. Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire sauce is a fermented liquid condiment made from various ingredients, including vinegar and molasses. It’s most often used to add savory flavor to meat dishes, but it also appears in salad dressings, marinades (and even ice cream). 

Most Worcestershire sauces are sold in bottles or jars, but there are also some cans. If you’re looking for something similar, you can use this as a substitute for black vinegar in recipes that call for Worcestershire sauce.

16. Coconut Aminos

Coconut Aminos are a delicious alternative to soy sauce, fish sauce, and tamari. It’s made from the sap of coconuts and contains rich amino acids. You can use it as you would use soy sauce in Asian-inspired dishes or marinades.

It has a milder flavor than most other types of vinegar. It’s also gluten-free and low in sodium (salt). The taste has been described as salty and sweet, with notes of citrusy pineapple or peach – but really, it’s all about the umami taste!

17. Balsamic Glaze or Reduction

Balsamic glaze and reduction are sweet, thick syrups made from balsamic vinegar. Both are pretty different in consistency, though. It is a syrup that has been boiled down until it becomes thick, like molasses or honey. 

Balsamic reduction is simply a thick, syrupy liquid with no sugar added to it at all. It’s not as sweet as a balsamic glaze but has plenty of tangy flavors! Try this one out if you want something less sweet than most other substitutions for black vinegar!

18. Steak Sauce

Steak sauce is an excellent option if you’re looking for a substitute for black vinegar. Not only is it made from the same ingredients as your standard black vinegar, but you can also use it in various ways. Steak sauce is a type of condiment made from tomatoes and other ingredients such as vinegar, sugar, salt, and spices. 

It’s commonly used to marinate the meat before grilling or cooking so that the flavors penetrate the meat’s fibers. The flavorings will also help tenderize tougher cuts of meat by breaking down some of the proteins that make them challenging when cooked over high heat (like grilling).

19. Worcestershire Sauce

If you like Worcestershire sauce, you can make your black vinegar substitute by mixing 2/3 cup of balsamic vinegar with one teaspoon of molasses, one tablespoon of soy sauce, and a pinch each of black pepper and salt.

Best Substitutes For Black Vinegar – FAQs

What Can I Use Instead of Chinkiang Black Vinegar?

Chinkiang black vinegar is a popular ingredient in Chinese cuisine, but it can be difficult to find outside Asia. If you can’t find Chinkiang black vinegar, you can substitute balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar, or apple cider vinegar. The flavor of your dish will be slightly different, but all this vinegar will work in a pinch.

Can I Replace Black Vinegar with White Vinegar?

Yes! You can replace black vinegar with white vinegar, and there are a few reasons you might want to. White vinegar has a milder taste than black vinegar and has slightly less acidity because it doesn’t contain hydrolyzable tannins. It’s also sweeter in flavor than its black counterpart; however, if you don’t want the sweetness or the acidity of white wine vinegar, go ahead and use apple cider or rice wine vinegar instead.

Is Balsamic Vinegar the Same as Chinese Black Vinegar?

Balsamic vinegar is not the best substitute if you’re looking to replace black vinegar in a recipe. While both kinds of vinegar are dark and acidic, they’re made from different ingredients: balsamic vinegar comes from grapes, while black vinegar comes from rice. This means that their flavors will be different as well.

Balsamic vinegar tends to have a sweeter taste than black vinegar due to its process (the fermentation process involved in making balsamic vinegar results in sugars). It also tends to be thicker than black vinegar because it contains less water content than its Asian counterpart.

What Is the Distinction Between White Vinegar and Black Vinegar?

  • White vinegar and black vinegar are two different types of vinegar.
  • White is made from distilled alcohol, while black is typically made from fermented rice.
  • White is clear and has a milder flavor; black is darker in color and has more intense flavor notes (like earthiness).
  • Black vinegar is used more commonly in Chinese cooking than white vinegar; they’re often added to sauces as a substitute for soy sauce or salt but can also be used as part of marinades and salad dressings.

Is Black Vinegar the Same as Rice Vinegar?

No, black vinegar is not the same as rice vinegar. Black vinegar is made from glutinous rice, whereas rice vinegar is made from fermented rice. They have different flavors, with black vinegar more pungent and rice vinegar more mellow.


We hope you’ve enjoyed our “15 Best Substitutes For Black Vinegar” list and found new ways to substitute for black vinegar.

Black vinegar is a popular ingredient in Chinese cuisine, but it can be difficult to find outside Asia. If you are looking for a substitute, you’ll need to look at the recipe and use your best judgment. Black vinegar is often used as a finishing ingredient, meaning its flavor profile is essential. 

The suitable substitution will vary depending on what you’re cooking and how much black vinegar the recipe calls for. In some cases, it may be best to just leave it out entirely or make the dish without using any substitutions!

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