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Substitute: Chinese Rice Wines

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Chinese rice wine (also known as Shaoxing rice wine) is a kind of Chinese rice wine that is consumed and cooked with. The wine is called after the same-named winemaking city in China: Shaoxing. Rice wine originated in Southeast Asia, where it is available in a variety of colors and flavors. Rice wine is a popular ingredient in Southeast Asian cuisine.


Shaoxing rice wine is prepared from brown glutinous rice and is often aged for ten years or more. Shaoxing wine has a mellow flavor that is similar to dry sherry. Rice wine has an off-white tint, similar to white wine. It is sweeter than other varieties of wine and has less alcohol. This wine has an alcohol concentration of 17 to 18%.

A 5-ounce (147-mL) portion of Chinese rice wine has 201 calories, 7.5 grams of carbs, and no sugars or salt.

Rice Wine vs. Rice Vinegar

Rice wine and rice vinegar are not the same thing, even though they are both derived from fermented rice.

Rice wine is a popular alcoholic beverage that may be consumed as well as cooked with. It is known as sake in Japan and is the country’s national beverage. Mirin from Japan and huangjiu from China are two more culinary variants. To generate alcohol, rice starches are fermented with yeast, fungus, and lactic acid bacteria. Aspergillus oryzae, for example, turns starches into sugars, while Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a yeast, creates alcohol.

Rice vinegar, on the other hand, is prepared by fermenting the starches in rice with an acetic acid bacterium known as Mother of Vinegar (Mycodermaaceti) and tiny quantities of rice wine to convert the sugars into alcohol and ultimately into acetic acid.

There are other different rice wine variants available on the market. Some have distinctive smells and hues due to the fermenting process and additional components like as spices, herbs, or fruits.

Substitute for Chinese Rice Wine?

Even if you don’t have rice wine on hand, the following substitutions will give your cuisine a distinct flavor. To keep the sweetness of the rice wine, you may need to tweak the remainder of the ingredients, but this is entirely up to you.


If the recipe asks for Shaoxing rice wine, which is often used in Asian cooking, you may substitute pale, dry sherry. This variety of rice wine, like Chinese rice wine, is reddish-brown and originated in Shaoxing, China. Cooking sherry or cream sherry should never be substituted for Chinese rice wine. The best equivalent for Shaoxing wine is pale, dry sherry, which may also be used in lieu of other amber-colored rice wines. Look for sherry bottles that have dry or pale, dry labels.


If you require Chinese rice wine for a recipe, you may substitute gin with slightly less gin. Gin has a taste that is more comparable to Chinese rice wine than to vodka. This is an excellent replacement for both cooked meals and salads. If the recipe calls for it, dry white vermouth with a herbal taste might be utilized. This replacement works well in marinades and dipping sauces.

White Wine

White wine may be used in lieu of the Chinese rice wine. This is the closest alternative to Chinese rice wine. The two wines are similar in color, flavor, and consistency, but differ in sweetness. To complement the flavor profile of Chinese rice wine, you might consider adding sweetness to this meal.

Apple Juice

Several forms of wine, including rice wine, may be replaced with apple juice. This alternative has both an acidic and a sweet flavor, giving your cuisine a rich flavor every time you use it. Apple juice may be used in salad dressings and while cooking vegetables, such as stir-fry dishes.

Maintain the same ratio when using apple juice as when using rice wine. But don’t anticipate the same taste. Your cuisine will taste comparable, but it will not be as sweet, and it will have a fruity flavor that rice wine will not provide.

White Vinegar

White vinegar has the same hue as rice wine, which is why it works well as a replacement. It also has a greater acidity level than rice wine. As a result, if you don’t want your cuisine to be excessively acidic, use less of it. Remember that white vinegar is not sweet. As a result, to balance the tastes, you will need to add a sweetener of your choosing.

Reduce the amount of white vinegar used in place of rice wine. To begin, use half a cup of white vinegar for every cup of rice wine. You may always adjust the amount of white vinegar to your liking. This is delicious in stews, marinades, stir-fries, and salads.

Lemon Juice

Lemon juice adds the acidity of rice wine but not the sweetness of this item to your cuisine. This is why it is important to use lemon juice sparingly if you want a meal that does not taste overly sour.

You may change the taste by adding honey, sugar, or other sweeteners. In terms of proportions, you may use half a cup of lemon juice for every cup of rice wine called for in your recipe. If you need extra liquid, just add more water until you get the desired consistency. Lemon juice is ideal for cold meals like salads.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

What is a good substitute for Chinese rice wine?

White wine or even gin are the greatest substitutes for Chinese rice wine. Since they are almost the same color and taste, you may use these alternatives in any recipe. You will need to tweak the spices regardless of the rice wine alternative you select. To create a sweeter taste, you may need to add sugar or honey. This is why it is critical to taste your food as you prepare it to ensure you get the flavor you want.

Is rice wine vinegar the same as rice wine?

To begin, rice vinegar and rice wine vinegar are the same thing. It’s perplexing, but it’s true. Rice wine vinegar is not the same as wine, nor is rice wine. They turn the alcohol into acetic acid by fermenting the carbohydrates in the rice into alcohol, which is subsequently converted into acetic acid to generate vinegar.

Is quinoa healthier than rice?

It is, indeed. Quinoa is superior than rice because it has more nutrients. Quinoa has twice as much protein as white rice and around 5g more fiber. Quinoa also has less calories and carbs than white rice.

Several Asian foods benefit from the addition of Chinese rice wine, although it is also utilized in other cuisines. If you are lacking this wine, you may effectively substitute one of the alternatives listed in this guide. You will end up with a tasty meal if you pay attention to the rest of the spices in your cuisine.


What can I use instead of Chinese rice wine?

Rice wine is great for cooking as well as drinking. The most common types are huangjiu, mirin, and sake. If you’re short of dry sherry or searching for a substitute, try equal parts white wine, dry vermouth, or white grape juice.

Can I use rice vinegar instead of Chinese rice wine?

Although both are derived from rice, rice wine and rice vinegar are distinct products that should not be confused. Rice wine may be replaced with pale dry sherry or dry white wine, while rice vinegar can be replaced with apple cider vinegar.

What can I use instead of mirin Chinese rice wine?

For every tablespoon, use 2 teaspoons of sugar. You can always purchase mirin online, but if you’re in a hurry, a dry sherry or a sweet marsala wine would suffice. Dry white wine or rice vinegar can also work, however the sourness will need to be balanced with around a 1:3 ratio.

Can I use apple cider vinegar instead of Chinese rice wine?

Vinegar of Apple Cider

Apple cider vinegar, with its mild flavor and a touch of apple flavor, is an acceptable alternative for almost any sort of vinegar. In fact, you can simply substitute apple cider vinegar for rice vinegar in almost any dish, including sushi rice and marinades.

What is the closest vinegar to rice wine?

Juice of lime. Champagne Vinegar Substitutes for Rice Wine Vinegar. Champagne vinegar is the closest approximation… White Wine Vinegar. Apple Cider Vinegar is another viable option. Sherry Vinegar adds a somewhat sweeter, fruity flavor. It has a stronger flavor than rice vinegar, which may not be a bad thing! … Lemon, Red Wine Vinegar

Is Chinese rice wine similar to white wine vinegar?

White vinegar vs. rice vinegar: Although their colors are similar, their tastes are diametrically opposed. White vinegar is sour and harsh, but rice vinegar is very sweet and delicate. It is, in fact, the most potent vinegar available, and it is more typically used as a natural home cleaning.

Can I use mirin instead of rice wine?

You may also use mirin, another Japanese rice wine, for the Chinese rice wine. Since it has a strong taste, start with less than the recipe asks for.

Is mirin the same as rice wine?

It is one of the most significant condiments in Japanese cuisine, along with soy sauce. Mirin, like sake, is a sort of rice wine with a lower alcohol concentration (14% instead of 20%).

What can I use instead of Korean rice wine for cooking?

You may try cold sake from Japan or normal white wine. While it lacks the sweetness of soju, it may be used. Gin, dry white wine, or light dry sherry. If a high quality pale dry sherry is unavailable, a good quality pale dry sherry will suffice.

How is rice wine vinegar different from vinegar?

Rice vinegar, often known as rice wine vinegar (which adds to the confusion), is manufactured by fermenting rice sugars into alcohol and subsequently acid. Rice vinegar is less acidic than white distilled vinegar and has a delicate, gentle, and somewhat sweet flavor.

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