Rice Wine Vinegar, Rice Wine 7 Main Differences

What’s the Difference Between Rice Wine and Rice Vinegar?

Rice Wine Vinegar

Japanese cuisine is known for using unusual ingredients such as rice vinegar, for instance. This product is widely appliable in making sushi, as a dressing, and for sweetening some sorts of fries.

For sure, Europeans and other non-Asian folks are not familiar with this product so many of us probably wonder: is rice vinegar the same as rice wine vinegar?

In addition, not everyone knows what rice wine is.

So today we’re going to provide you guys with the nuances of this issue.

What Is Rice Wine Vinegar?

This product came to us from Asian countries – Japan, China, and Korea. In those lands, it is the number one ingredient in nearly all the dishes of national cuisines!

Naturally, over time, it reached Europe and America, making their dishes become enriched with its exotic flavor and specific taste.

Rice wine vinegar, as it comes from the name of the product, is produced from the cereal starch. The process includes fermentation of sugars that rice contains turning them into alcohol, and after that, converting into acid.

If we compare this product with, let’s say, an ordinary vinegar, its cereal counterpart will be less acidic, and the aroma of white rice wine vinegar will be different, milder, subtle, and even slightly sweet.

Types Of the Product

rice wine
Photo by Lucas van Oort on Unsplash

Since it is widespread in different Asian countries, this product may vary in color and other characteristics hanging upon the country of origin and production.

  • The Chinese one is stronger than other kinds.

Its color varies from clear and transparent to dark brown and almost black shades.

It is less acidic than Western and even Japanese products.

  • The product produced in Japan is distinguished by its mildness and mellowness.

Its coloring is also different ranging from transparent to very light-yellow.

In Japan, there’s also a seasoned product that is recognized by the included sake, sugar, and salt.

  • In Korea, this product is produced using either white or brown rice.

Today, it is easy to purchase any of those kinds of this condiment since online-shopping has become an irreplaceable part of our lives. Also, shops that sell Asian foodstuff often have these products.

The Product’s Areas Of Use

Photo by Luigi Pozzoli on Unsplash
Photo by Luigi Pozzoli on Unsplash

When speaking of exotic and rare products, we naturally become curious about where they are used.

As for the rice vinegar, its area of application includes culinary mostly. 

In the countries of origin, it serves as an ingredient in dressings, for making sushi to add more taste to them, and also, due to its sweetness, some fries include it, too.

It is also perfect for marinades since the condiment mitigates the strong odors of certain meat and fish products and dishes.

If you’re not knowledgeable about the specifics of Asian cuisine, it may be complicated to figure out where to make use of this comparatively seldom used liquid.

Rice Wine VS Rice Wine Vinegar
Photo by Robson Hatsukami Morgan on Unsplash

However, we can give you several handy tips!

  • Try it for doing quick pickling.  
  • Add it to rice when making sushi at home like a true chef.
  • Be brave and mix it to marinade since they say it fits meat and poultry perfectly.
  • Bored with all-the-same cocktails? Give them a touch of exotic by adding some rice vinegar! Make your drinks subtle and refreshing!
  • It is said to be mixed greatly with french fries.
  • Salad dressings and dips will also win from having this product as an ingredient.

As for more unusual areas of use, why not try it as a washer for whites or as a face toner? Yep, people claim that this condiment may avail itself even like this!

Rice Wine VS Rice Wine Vinegar

rice wine and rice vinegar

Naturally, sooner or later everyone faces a dilemma: is rice wine the same as rice wine vinegar?

Perhaps, people get confused with similar names but in fact, the distinction between them is quite significant.

  • The major difference between rice vinegar and rice wine vinegar is how each of the products is produced.

Since each of them is produced of fermented cereal, for producing wine, yeast turn sugars into alcohol.

Vinegar, on the contrary, has one more stage presented by turning alcohol to acid.

  •  Another rice wine and rice vinegar distinction is their use.

Latter is known as a cooking ingredient whereas an alcoholic counterpart is meant for intaking mostly (even though it’s often added to dishes).

  • Finally, rice wine does contain alcohol and its counterpart has no trace of it.

Is it true that rice vinegar and rice wine vinegar can be interchanged? Unfortunately, it’s not. The optimal substitutes for the first one will be dry sherry or white wine whereas for the latter apple vinegar fits best of all.

What is rice wine?


To make the distinction clear, let’s take a closer look at such a product as rice wine.

White rice wine is an alcoholic drink, and its alcohol content is surprisingly high compared to some Western beverages.

A bottle of this drink contains between eighteen to twenty-five percent of alcohol (compare it with 3-9% in beer and 9-16% in wines).

If anyone ever wondered “What is rice wine called?”, its real name is sake.

Is rice wine and rice vinegar the same for culinary purposes?

What is rice wine

When it comes to culinary, people start wondering: is there a difference between how we make use of rice vinegar and rice wine vinegar?

Well, certain peculiarities do exist.

Rice wine and rice vinegar have different structures since sake is an alcoholic drink and its counterpart is not.

For this reason, rice vinegar is good for preparing marinades and dips, for dressings, and for all sorts of flavoring in general. On the other hand, rice wine would be better for highlighting the dish’s taste and enriching its flavor but that’s all.

Now we hope that you’re more knowledgeable about the peculiarities of these two products than before.

Both of them are quite easy to find and use, and the result will be enjoyable since they will enhance the original taste of dishes adding special notes to them.

Feel free to experiment and take care!

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