What Does Rice Vinegar Taste Like?

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It’s time to talk rice vinegar. We’re going to get into the details about what it tastes like, what makes it different from other vinegar and how to season your meals with it.

Rice vinegar in a glas bowl, isolated on white backgroundSave

Let’s dive right in…

What Does Rice Vinegar Taste Like? 

The taste of unseasoned rice vinegar is not too far from apple cider vinegar. It has a crisp flavor like tart apples with that famous pungent taste in all types of vinegar.

In both the scent and the taste, there’s also a sweet note, though it’s very mild. Seasoned rice vinegars with added sugar also exist, which makes them taste both tangy and sweet.

Does Rice Vinegar Taste Different? 

Each kind of vinegar has its own special kind of flavor, and rice vinegar is no different. That being said, it’s not quite as distinctive as balsamic vinegar, but it’s more flavorful than white vinegar.

Rice vinegar is a milder kind that you might like better than white or apple cider vinegar if you don’t enjoy the potent pucker. Seasoned rice vinegar is more unique because of its added ingredients.

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What Can I Do with Rice Vinegar? 

Pickling vegetables is one way you can utilize rice vinegar. Other common uses for it are in salad dressings as well as in stir-fry sauces with tamari or soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil and a touch of sugar.

You may also be interested in trying some on your homemade fries or potato chips and in vegan barbecue sauces. Anywhere you’d use a light vinegar is where rice vinegar comes in handy.

Read Also: What Does Risotto Taste Like?

Does Rice Vinegar Go Bad? 

This is a tricky question. If you look on the bottle, you should see an expiration date stamped somewhere on it. However, many people use their rice vinegar after this date.

You might want to use the expiration date more as a guide for best taste than for when to throw it out. The fresher the vinegar, the cleaner the flavor, but even older rice vinegars will work in your recipes.

Of course, if a rice vinegar turns dark and cloudy, you may consider tossing it. At the end of the day, the choice is yours, but they do say that rice vinegar is the like the Energizer Bunny in terms of shelf life.

Rice Vinegar Seasoning Tips 

A bottle of unseasoned rice vinegar is more versatile than the sugared version. If you have some hanging around in your kitchen, watch these videos to see what you can do with it.

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This is a recipe for an Asian pickled cucumber salad. It’s tart, sweet, spicy and crunchy. You can eat it as soon as you make it salad-style, or you can let it marinade in the fridge to let the cucumbers soak up all the vinegary goodness.

Here are the ingredients:

  • Cucumbers
  • Rice vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Salt

Further Reading: What Does Rye Bread Taste Like?

Let’s check out a vegan hot and sour soup with rice vinegar. It’s easy to make and super satisfying. 

These are the ingredients:

  • Veggie stock
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Dried and fresh mushrooms
  • Tofu
  • Cornstarch 
  • Rice noodles
  • Pepper
  • Chili pepper flakes
  • Sugar
  • Soy sauce or tamari
  • Rice vinegar

Wrap Up

Rice vinegar can be considered a gentler cousin of apple cider vinegar, light and subtly sweet with a tart apple bite. Vegetables like carrots, daikon radish and cucumbers pickled in rice vinegar are delicious without a harsh bite. Keep this milder vinegar in mind for salads, soups and side dishes like oven fries and sauteed veggies.

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