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Replacement for Chinkiang Vinegar

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During cooking, several factors must be addressed. Chefs, chefs, and culinary fans must be concerned with the texture, flavor profile, fragrance, presentation, and overall taste of their meal. Cooking allows you to satisfy yourself since you are the sole judge of what you accomplish. Cooking for the family, on the other hand, or serving a big group of people in a restaurant, requires attention to detail. And improvising would need not just one’s will but also a great degree of prudence.


Chinkiang vinegar is one condiment that might assist with this problem. It is a highly sought-after Chinese staple that is a key component of the region’s cuisine. It has a deep color, a fruity flavor, and a sense of umami richness. It is also known as Chinese black vinegar or Zhenjiang vinegar.

Uses of Chinkiang Vinegar

Chinkiang vinegar is often prepared by combining sticky rice, wheat, sorghum, or millet with acetic acid and bacteria. It is most known as a side dish for Xia Long Bao, but it is also a highly versatile component. It is very acidic, with a distinct salinity and a hint of sweetness, and is used in dishes such as;

  • Chicken with Kung Pao sauce
  • Noodles that are vegan
  • Stir fried with tofu and green beans
  • Dip for pancakes
  • Sauce with mushrooms
  • Soup in Cantonese style
  • Salad with cucumbers
  • Chicken skewers and meat
  • Brussels sprouts with Kung Pao sauce, roasted
  • Grilled pork chop marinades
  • Rubs for grilling and barbecuing
  • Riffs on classic chicken salad.
  • Noodles with Chinese egg
  • Sweet-and-sour rib sauce
  • turkey adobo Chicken from the Philippines
  • Chinkiang vinegar alternatives

Substitutes for Chinkiang Vinegar

Replacing Chinkiang vinegar may be a Herculean feat, since it adds a new level of taste intensity to your dishes. It’s also quite inexpensive, which is a drawback if we’re being honest. But, it is not the only high-profile condiment available for your consumption. These are some alternatives to Chinkiang vinegar that you may try instead.

Balsamic Vinegar


If your meal requires light acidity and more sweetness, this is a perfect replacement for Chinkiang vinegar. Take note that it is much sweeter and must be used with caution to prevent your meal becoming syrupy. So how can you control the sweetness and boost the acidity if you can’t add too much to avoid a syrupy texture? It’s nothing that a little soy sauce can’t remedy.

Balsamic vinegar has a similar color profile to Chinkiang vinegar, and the texture may be modified using soy sauce. With this addition, it will have the same caramel taste as Chinkiang vinegar. For one tablespoon of Chinkiang vinegar, add 1.5 teaspoons balsamic vinegar and 1.5 tablespoons soy sauce.

White Rice Vinegar

When you can’t get Chinkiang vinegar, this is a great substitute. It is less acetic and has a lighter hue, but it may still be an excellent alternative. To compensate for the lack of color, acidity, and par flavor, combine it with soy sauce. And white rice vinegar with soy sauce is a dependable option, particularly when measured correctly. For each tablespoon of Chinkiang vinegar, combine two teaspoons of white rice vinegar and one teaspoon of soy sauce.

Apple Cider Vinegar

In most recipes, you may replace Chinkiang vinegar with equal quantities apple cider vinegar. This replacement is vinegar, which may be used in lieu of Chinkiang vinegar in certain recipes. It is very sweet and may be used to enhance the taste of your food. Also, since it is created from fermented apples, it has a delicious flavor. Also, if you can’t get Chinkiang vinegar or any of the other replacements, it adds a powerful taste to your dish.

Rice Wine Vinegar


Rice wine vinegar is the greatest replacement for Chinkiang vinegar since it is sweeter and less acidic. Unlike apple cider vinegar, its sweetness is not fruity, and it is not as black in color. It’s also rather weak, although a little soy sauce may help boost the efficiency and get it closer to Chinkiang vinegar. Adding soy sauce may help increase the acidity and get the caramel and salty tastes associated with Chinkiang vinegar. To make one tablespoon of Chinkiang vinegar, combine two teaspoons rice wine vinegar and one teaspoon soy sauce.

Lemon or Lime Juice

This option is advised if you dislike vinegar or are unable to tolerate it. But it also works if you want to but don’t have any. Lemon or lime juice is inherently sour and lemony, adding a zesty note to any dish. But, it must be used with caution to prevent making your meal overly sour. You may still address this issue by adding some soy sauce.

The soy sauce adds the caramel and salty flavor that Chinkiang vinegar is known for, and you may modify the amount of lemon or lime juice to taste. In addition, one tablespoon Chinkiang vinegar may be substituted with two teaspoons lemon or lime juice and one teaspoon soy sauce.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is Chinkiang vinegar the same as black vinegar?

Chinkiang vinegar is identical as black vinegar. It is also known as Chinese black vinegar or Zhenjiang vinegar in various textbooks and recipes. The name reflects how vibrant it is and is handy for many.

Can you substitute rice vinegar for Chinkiang vinegar?

You certainly can. Rice vinegar may be lighter in color, less acidic, and saltier. Nonetheless, it may be flavored with soy sauce to match the taste profile of Chinkiang vinegar. Chinkiang vinegar isn’t needed since soy sauce offers a richer color, saltiness, and a caramel taste.

What does Chinkiang vinegar taste like?

It’s salty with a sweet undertone. Despite not as sweet as balsamic vinegar, it has a sharper acidity and many people think it tastes similar to umami.


You’ve seen several vinegars and components that may be excellent alternatives for Chinkiang vinegar in your recipes. They are also widely accessible at nearby grocery shops and supermarkets. Some of them have taste characteristics comparable to Chinkiang vinegar, while others need some tweaking. Moreover, based on your preferences, you may create beautiful and one-of-a-kind flavors for your meals.


Is Chinkiang vinegar the same as rice vinegar?

While both Chinkiang vinegar (also known as Chinese black vinegar) and rice vinegar are used in Chinese cooking, the former is more often utilized in traditional Chinese cuisine. Chinkiang vinegar (also known as Zhenjiang vinegar) is a sort of Chinese black vinegar.

Is Chinkiang vinegar same as black vinegar?

Chinkiang vinegar (also known as “black vinegar” or “Chinese dark rice vinegar”) is a staple of Chinese cuisine and should be kept in your pantry. It comes from the eastern Chinese town of Zhenjiang.

What does Chinkiang vinegar taste like?

Chinese black vinegar, also known as Chinkiang or Zhenjiang vinegar, is richly pigmented and tastes fruity (albeit less sweet than balsamic), with a hint of umami richness.

What is Chinkiang vinegar in English?

What exactly is chinkiang vinegar? It is a sort of vinegar created from sticky rice that is widely used in Chinese cuisine. Its rich color is the result of a lengthy ageing process that lasts at least six months (and maybe many years!). Prepare to meet your new go-to condiment.

Can I substitute Chinkiang vinegar for rice vinegar?

Rice vinegar is milder than traditional Chinese Chinkiang Vinegar, thus use less rice vinegar when swapping one for the other.

Can I use apple cider vinegar instead of Chinese black vinegar?

Apple cider vinegar is an excellent replacement for black vinegar since it is sweet and acidic enough to give your cuisine the taste you need. Apple cider vinegar may be used in salads or cooked foods. You will find a pleasant apple taste that you may prefer over the one obtained by employing black vinegar.

What is the best Chinese dipping vinegar?

Many Chinese people only use black vinegar as a dipping sauce. Zhenjiang vinegar, together with Sichuan Baoning, Shanxi mature vinegar, and Fujian’s Yongchun red vinegar, is one of China’s Four Famous Vinegars, and the most well-known in the West.

Does Chinkiang vinegar go bad?

According to The Vinegar Institute, “vinegar’s shelf life is nearly limitless,” and it is also “self-preserving and does not need refrigeration” owing to its strong acidity. Phew. Its unlimited shelf life applies to both unopened and opened bottles of vinegar.

What is the best Chinese black vinegar for soup dumplings?

Gold Plum Chinkiang Vinegar is a black vinegar made from rice that is commonly used in Chinese cuisine. It is also an excellent dipping sauce for soup dumplings (XLB).

Does Chinese black vinegar taste like balsamic?

It is less sweet than balsamic vinegar but stronger than white wine vinegar. Its rich taste complements soy sauce and chili peppers well.

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