18 Best Rice Wine Substitutes

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Here is the one-stop list of all possible alternatives to rice wine or Shao Xing cooking wine in your cooking, whether you have run out of it or want to experiment with the flavors. 

So, let’s get started right away. 

18 Best Rice Wine Substitutes

1. Dry Sherry 

Dry sherry is the most recommended alternative to rice wine in your cooking. It offers more or less the same flavors and cooks the same way.

Dry sherry might be easier to get your hands on than rice wine and is often used interchangeably in many recipes.

How to Substitute? 

Because of their similar texture and taste, you can substitute dry sherry for rice wine in a 1:1 ratio and the recipe should taste the same. 

Check out this dry sherry chicken recipe that you can easily make at home – 

2. Dry Vermouth 

Dry vermouth is another great option to use in your cooking instead of rice wine.

Though not as great a fit as dry sherry, it does the job just as well. You can use it in almost any recipe that you like, and it should turn out great.

How to Substitute? 

You can use more or less the same measure of dry vermouth as rice wine in your recipe. 

Here is a chicken and herb in vermouth recipe that you can try when you have run out of rice wine – 

3. Sake 

If you are replacing rice wine in Asian recipes, there is no better alternative than sake.

You can find it in Asian stores near you, and they work wonderfully well in marinades and sauces. But keep in mind that the flavors will be quite different.

How to Substitute? 

You can substitute rice wine with sake in more or less the same measure although there will be flavor differences. 

Here is a unique sake pasta recipe that you can try when you feel like experimenting – 

4. Gin 

Gin also offers the same flavors as rice wine and works well in most recipes. It is also easier to find gin than rice wine.

But keep in mind that gin has a higher alcohol content, and it might not work well in all recipes.

How to Substitute? 

Because of the higher alcohol content in gin, you might want to start with a smaller measure and add more as you see fit later. 

For a gin pasta recipe that you can easily make at home, take a look at this video 

5. Dry White Wine

If you have dry white wine in your pantry, it might do the trick, even if it may not be as fancy as rice wine.

It will give you the hint of alcohol you are looking for, along with some acidity. But make sure to pick up dry white wine and not sweet white wine. 

How to Substitute? 

You can use more or less the same measure of dry white wine in your recipe and it should turn out just as great. 

Check out this video for a simple white wine sauce that can work with chicken and more – 

6. White Grape Juice 

If you are looking for non-alcoholic alternatives to rice wine, then grape juice is a great fit.

It is acidic and tangy and is perfect for sauces, marinades, dressings, and more. Keep in mind that it may not be as zingy as rice wine.

How to Substitute? 

You can use the same measure or white grape juice as rice wine is called for in the recipe, but you might want to experiment with the ratio to get the balance you prefer. 

7. Apple Juice 

Another equally great non-alcoholic alternative to rice wine is apple juice. It is a great quick fix and offers the acidic element you want.

But remember that the apple juice has a fruity flavor that might not go well with all recipes. 

How to Substitute? 

Although you can use the same measure of apple juice as rice wine when substituting, you might want to play around with the measure to get the flavors you are looking for. 

8. White Wine Vinegar

White wine vinegar is a more acidic alternative that is a better fit for recipes where you need smaller portions of rice wine.

They offer the same kick you are looking for in half the measure.

So, you might want to use it when the consistency of the recipe is not an issue. 

How to Substitute? 

You will need half the measure or less of white wine vinegar to replace rice wine in your cooking. 

9. Rice Vinegar

Just like white wine vinegar, you can also find rice vinegar.

If you can get your hands on them then they work just as well to add acidity and some kick to your dishes.

But since it is stronger in acidity, you will need to consider the consistency of the recipe. 

How to Substitute? 

You will need half the measure of rice vinegar as rice wine or maybe less. You could also dilute it with water to get the same measure for cooking. 

Here is a lovely chicken recipe with white wine vinegar sauce – 

10. Mirin 

Mirin is another Japanese cooking wine that you might be able to find in Asian stores near you. It offers the same acidity but with sweeter flavors.

It is great for sauces and marinades and is especially great in ramen recipes. 

How to Substitute? 

You can use more or less the same measure of mirin as rice wine is called for in your recipe although the flavors might be different. 

Here is a cod with mirin sauce recipe that you can try at home – 

11. Balsamic Vinegar

Another easy find and a quick fix is balsamic vinegar.

Although the flavors are quite different from rice wine, you can use balsamic vinegar to replace rice wine in dressings or sauces and dips.

It is rich in umami and is a perfect balance of sweet and savory. 

How to Substitute? 

You can use half the measure of balsamic vinegar as rice wine in your cooking. You can add water to fix the consistency. 

Check out this video for a balsamic vinegar dressing sauce – 

12. Lemon Juice or White Vinegar

If all you need is the kick acidity and want a non-alcoholic alternative that is super easily available, you cannot get a better fit than lemon juice or white vinegar.

These are pantry staples that do the trick when in a pinch. 

How to Substitute? 

You will need half as much or less lemon juice or white vinegar to replace rice wine and the consistency of the recipe can be fixed with water. You can add some sugar to avoid a strong tart taste. 

13. Vegetable or Chicken Stock 

Leftover vegetable or chicken stock is a great non-alcoholic alternative to rice wine in your cooking.

Though the flavors will differ, they are just as great to add to your sauces, marinades, and more. 

How to Substitute? 

You can add more or less the same measure of vegetable or chicken stock but take care not to make the recipe too watery. 

14. Apple Cider Vinegar

Another great quick-fix pantry staple. You can add it for the acidity you are looking for, although the flavors will not turn out quite the same.

Remember that it has a strong tart taste, and you might want to add something sweet like sugar to balance it out.

How to Substitute? 

A small portion of apple cider vinegar can go a long way in terms of flavor and the consistency can be fixed with some water. 

15. Light Soy Sauce

For the same brown tint and savory aroma of the rice wine or Shaoxing cooking wine, you can try using a small measure of light soy sauce instead.

It can be quite salty and overwhelming in flavor, so it might not be a great fit in all recipes. 

How to Substitute? 

You will need very small measures of light soy sauce to give the same effect as rice wine in your cooking.

Here is a chicken recipe with light sauce for when you have run out of rice wine – 

16. Mijiu 

If you can get your hands on this fermented Chinese rice wine, then you can use it instead of rice wine in your cooking.

It is especially great for meat and fish recipes and offers the same brownish hues as Shaoxing wine.

How to Substitute? 

You can use more or less the same measure of mijiu, but you might want to experiment with the ratio to get the balance of flavors you prefer. 

17. Fujian Cooking Wine 

Fujian cooking wine is a sweeter alternative to rice wine or Shaoxing wine in your cooking.

Although it is not an easy find, if you have it in stock, then it works just as well in any recipe that you can think of, with minor flavor differences. 

How to Substitute? 

You can use about the same measure of Fujian cooking wine as rice wine is called for in your recipe. 

18. Champagne Vinegar

When in a pinch and you have some champagne vinegar in your pantry, you could also try using it as an alternative to rice wine.

It offers a more delicate acidity with sweeter notes of flavor, with half as much the portion of rice wine needed. 

How to Substitute? 

You will need smaller portions of champagne vinegar than rice wine because it is more acidic and you might want to dilute it with water for the right consistency of the recipe. 

Check out this champagne vinegar dressing that you can use for your salads and more – 

Bottom Line 

I hope this article has given you an exhaustive list of choices to replace rice wine in your cooking. 

If you have any doubts or would like to share your tips and recipe solutions, it would be lovely to hear from you. 

Feel free to share this article with your family and friends who love to try out new recipes. 

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About Tammy J

Tammy is currently studying in college. While attending, she has broadened her horizons by experimenting with food from all over the world, but she has a special love for Mexican and Indian cuisine. She loves traveling with her friends, and enjoys nothing more than packing up a few backpacks and hitting the open road to explore natural beauty.

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