Difference between Black Vinegar and Rice Vinegar

Vinegar is a very important part of Chinese cuisine. However, there is a wide variety of vinegar, each used in recipes to produce a different result from the others. Two of the most popular types of vinegar include black vinegar and rice vinegar.

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Is rice vinegar the same as black vinegar? It can indeed be confusing and you might not know which to use for what purpose.

Fortunately, we have prepared a post that will tell you everything you need to know about black vinegar vs. rice vinegar. Let’s dive right in!

Black Vinegar

Black Vinegar

Black vinegar is mainly used in Chinese recipes, mostly for plush, fatty dumplings. It is made with a simple mix of fermented rice, wheat, and millet. The flavor is somewhat smoky and earthy, which is what most people like about it.

But that’s not all. Black vinegar needs to be aged to give you the best. Because of the complex flavors of black vinegar, it does well when mixed with chile peppers and soy sauce. It is widely available and is affordable compared to something like Balsamic vinegar.

Rice Vinegar

rice vinegar with rice

Rice vinegar is very popular in Asian cuisine. It is made by fermentation of rice. Mostly, this vinegar is used in meat dishes, soups, as well as salads. It features a subtle flavor and has a wide range of benefits.

When you compare it to white vinegar, you will find it features a mild acidity that will work for a range of recipes. You will find a variety of options to choose from.

Difference between Black Vinegar and Rice Vinegar

The first difference you will notice is the color. Black vinegar has a deeper color compared to rice vinegar’s pale to yellowish color.

Additionally, black vinegar has a smoky taste, which is different from rice vinegar.


The final difference is the ingredients used. While rice vinegar is made by fermenting rice, black vinegar is made using glutinous rice coupled with certain grains like millet, wheat, as well as sorghum.

Substitute black vinegar for rice vinegar

Rice Vinegar

Well, if you cannot find some black vinegar, you can choose some rice vinegar. Rice vinegar is more available compared to black vinegar, which is an advantage.


As you can see, there is a notable difference between rice and black vinegar. However, they are great substitutes for each other. So, whenever you cannot find one, you can use the other. You should, however, expect some difference in the food flavor.

Also, read: Difference Between Balsamic and Malt Vinegar

Feel free to share your observations with me in the comments section!

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