Rice Vinegar vs. Apple Cider Vinegar: What Is the Difference?

Rice vinegar and apple cider vinegar are two of the most common vinegar types available in typical kitchens. Due to having many uses, people often get these types of vinegar from grocery stores and local supermarkets. However, you may wonder about their difference, especially if you have one but need the other. So, you may ask: What is the difference between rice vinegar and apple cider vinegar?

The main difference between rice vinegar and apple cider vinegar is their base or central ingredient. While the former comes from rice, the latter comes from apples. Rice vinegar is much sweeter, while apple cider vinegar is more potent. Despite the differences, you can use one to replace another.

Rice vinegar and apple cider vinegar offers different benefits, taste, and flavor. However, you can still use one to replace or substitute the other if you don’t have it with you. Still, there are other things you need to understand before doing so.

In this article, we’ll walk you through all the things you need to know about apple cider vinegar and rice vinegar. This way, you can understand both kinds of vinegar and see how you can deal with these two if you need to interchange them.

Without further ado, let’s get into it!

Rice Vinegar vs. Apple Cider Vinegar

Is rice vinegar the same as apple cider vinegar?

Rice vinegar is not the same as apple cider vinegar. Although both kinds of vinegar have a mild flavor, they are not the same. However, you can use one to replace or substitute the other.

In general, rice vinegar has a touch of sweetness, while apple cider vinegar has a rich and potent taste. Despite the differences, though, both rice and apple cider kinds of vinegar can work as replacements for the other.

What is rice vinegar?

Rice vinegar is made by fermenting rice starches with an acetic acid bacteria known as Mother of Vinegar and small amounts of rice wine to change the sugars into alcohol then transform into acetic acid.

To further complicate matters, people frequently refer to rice vinegar as “rice wine vinegar,” even though it is not an alcoholic drink even though it has the word “wine” in its name. Still, you should be aware that it is not the same as rice wine.

What is apple cider vinegar?

You can think of apple cider vinegar mainly as apple juice. However, the addition of yeast converts the juice’s sugar into alcohol. This process is referred to as fermentation. Bacteria convert alcohol to acetic acid. That is what provides vinegar with its sour flavor and pungent odor.

Apple cider vinegar has a strong tradition as a home treatment, having been used to cure conditions such as sore throats and varicose veins. Unfortunately, there isn’t a lot of science to back up the assertions. However, some academics have begun looking at apple cider vinegar and its potential advantages in the past few years.

Most people believe that the “mother,” the cloud of bacteria and yeast found in a container of apple cider vinegar, is what makes it healthful. These are probiotics, which means they may help your digestive system, but there’s not enough study to support the other statements.

What is the difference between rice vinegar and apple cider vinegar?

Although they have similar properties, rice vinegar and apple cider vinegar also have differences apart. Thus, you need to know these things whether you’re plain curious or planning to substitute one for the other. 

Let’s check on each of these differences. 

Rice vinegar vs. apple cider vinegar taste and flavor

In general, rice vinegar and apple cider vinegar doesn’t have much difference in taste and flavor. The only noticeable thing is that rice vinegar is a bit sweeter while apple cider vinegar is more potent and sour.

The flavor of unseasoned rice vinegar is similar to that of apple cider vinegar. It has a crisp flavor similar to tart apples and the characteristic pungent taste found in all vinegar. There’s a sweet element in both the aroma and the flavor, albeit it’s pretty subtle.

Rice vinegar vs. apple cider vinegar uses

Rice vinegar and apple cider vinegar share the same uses. However, apple cider vinegar is more prevalent in cooking and in other household needs and purposes.

Rice vinegar is a popular alcoholic beverage as well as a culinary component. As a seasoning, it is usually applied directly to dishes or mixed into marinades or sauces. Most Asian countries make their wine.

Apple cider vinegar is a very flexible domestic item with several applications. It may be an inexpensive and straightforward solution to solve a range of problems around the house.

Rice vinegar vs. apple cider vinegar health benefits

Rice vinegar and apple cider vinegar both have health benefits to their consumers. Here’s a list of some of their health benefits.

In general, rice vinegar helps in:

  • Improving digestion
  • Disinfecting as antiseptic
  • Working as a liver tonic
  • Beating fatigue
  • Improving immune system
  • Improving cardiac system
  • Maintaining proper weight
  • Maintaining a glowing skin

On the other hand, apple cider vinegar helps in:

  • Weight loss
  • Cutting cholesterol intake
  • Reducing blood sugar levels
  • Solving the symptoms of diabetes

Further, it helps in other purposes. For example, apple cider vinegar is used in many household tasks and necessities. Thus, you can find this type of vinegar used for a variety of purposes.

Rice vinegar vs. apple cider vinegar calories and nutrition

Both rice vinegar and apple cider vinegar have tiny amounts of calories. Rice vinegar contains zero calories per tablespoon, while apple cider vinegar only has three calories per tablespoon.

Both kinds of vinegar have health benefits, though small amounts of food won’t give nutrition. Thus, you can think of it more as a condiment rather than a source of nutrients.

Can I use apple cider vinegar instead of rice vinegar?

Yes, you can use apple cider vinegar instead of rice vinegar. Apple cider vinegar works as a great alternative if you don’t have rice vinegar. The only thing you need to know is that apple cider vinegar can have a more potent flavor than rice vinegar. Thus, you can compensate for it by adding only a little.

Still, if you’re using apple cider vinegar instead of rice vinegar for cooking, you can enjoy it with not much of a difference by replacing it even with a 1:1 ratio.

Can I use rice vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar?

Yes, you can use rice vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar. Rice vinegar is an ideal substitute if you run out of apple cider vinegar. Such a replacement won’t have a noticeable difference when added to food.

Now, the only thing you need to know is that apple cider vinegar has a more potent taste. Thus, if you don’t want that, you can alter the ratio, although it works best with 1:1. 

If you only need a small amount of apple cider vinegar, your food won’t get much difference if you substitute rice vinegar for the supposed apple cider vinegar.

How is rice vinegar made compared to apple cider vinegar?

Rice vinegar is made in almost the similar way apple cider vinegar is made. The only difference is that the former uses rice while the latter uses apple. Thus, you can tell which is which upon getting the outcome.

Rice vinegar is produced by fermenting the starches in rice with an acetic acid bacterium and tiny amounts of rice wine to change the sugars into alcohol, which is subsequently converted into acetic acid.

Slicing apples, soaking them with water, and letting them at room temperature until the sugars develop and generate alcohol is how apple cider vinegar is manufactured. Bacteria then use this alcohol to produce acetic acid. In the cider, strands of a “mother” will develop.

Summary

In a nutshell, rice vinegar and apple cider vinegar are different despite sharing many similarities. Rice vinegar has a sweeter taste, while apple cider vinegar has a richer and more potent taste.

Still, you can use both kinds of vinegar to replace another. When used for cooking, you can add some sugar to apple cider to compensate for the sweetness of rice vinegar. 

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Image credits – Canva

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