The 7 Best Substitutes for Rice Vinegar in Teriyaki Sauce

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting a delicious teriyaki sauce, then you know why it’s so popular.

The sweet and savory flavor is hard to resist!

But what happens when you don’t have access to rice vinegar?

Don’t worry – there are plenty of other ingredients that can be used as substitutes for rice vinegar in teriyaki sauce.

In this article, I’ll share with you the 7 best substitutes for rice vinegar in teriyaki sauce so that your dishes still taste just as good.

Why is Rice Vinegar used in Teriyaki Sauce?

Rice vinegar is often used in teriyaki sauce to balance out the sweet and salty flavors of the dish.

The mild acidity of rice vinegar helps to reduce some of the sweetness, while also providing a flavorful contrast that complements other ingredients like soy sauce, mirin, garlic, and ginger.

Rice vinegar also provides a subtle umami flavor that lends complexity to this classic Japanese condiment.

It has a light and gentle taste profile which allows it to blend in with other ingredients without overwhelming them.

For these reasons, rice vinegar is an essential part of any good teriyaki sauce recipe as it adds depth and nuance to the overall flavor profile.

The 7 Best Substitutes for Rice Vinegar in Teriyaki Sauce

Rice vinegar is an important ingredient in teriyaki sauce, but it can be hard to find.

Fortunately, there are a few good substitutes that can be used in its place.

If you’re looking for alternatives to traditional rice vinegar in your teriyaki sauce recipe, here are seven of the best substitutes:

1. Apple cider vinegar

If you find yourself without access to rice wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar is an excellent substitute.

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I often use it in place of rice wine vinegar when making teriyaki sauce and the results are always delicious.

The tartness of the apple cider vinegar adds a unique flavor profile to your dishes that compliments teriyaki sauce’s sweetness very nicely.

Plus, its low acidity makes it a great alternative for those who don’t have access to regular vinegars like white or balsamic.

However, just make sure not to overdo it – remember that adding too much will overpower the original flavor and ruin your dish!

When substituting with apple cider vinegar, start by only using about half as much as what the recipe calls for before adjusting according to taste.

2. White wine vinegar

If you don’t have access to rice vinegar, White Wine Vinegar is an excellent option!

It has a mild flavor that complements the sweetness of the teriyaki sauce perfectly.

In terms of acidity, White Wine Vinegar has a slightly higher acidity than Rice Vinegar which adds a nice tangy contrast for making teriyaki sauces and marinades.

I generally like to use it with neutral cooking oils like sunflower oil or canola oil as well as garlic, ginger and onion in order to create the perfect balance between flavors.

And because of its low sodium content it won’t overpower other seasonings like soy sauce or sesame seeds that are often used in teriyaki sauces too.

In my opinion, using white wine vinegar instead of rice vinegar gives your teriyaki sauce an exquisite taste – you’ll really be able to tell the difference!

3. Mirin

A great substitute is Mirin; a sweet cooking rice wine from Japan.

While it tastes similar to sake, mirin has much less alcohol content than its counterpart and cooking regularly takes away the remaining alcohol content.

Because of its natural sweetness, you won’t have to worry about additional sugar being added in as a flavor enhancer – like you would with many store-bought varieties of teriyaki sauce.

Also known as “rice syrup,” mirin adds a richness and depth that your teriyaki recipe might lack without the vinegar.

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It’s not just found in Asian dishes either – recipes from all around the world call for mirin due to its unique sweet and savory taste!

Using it will create an umami flavor profile that will bring your dish to the next level.

4. Balsamic vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is a great substitute for rice vinegar when you don’t have access to it.

Balsamic is considered an aged Italian wine vinegar that requires at least 12 years of aging, but if labeled ‘tradizionale’, then it has been aged up to 25 years.

It gives off deeper malty and sweet flavors with a thick shiny brown viscous liquid.

When swapping for teriyaki sauce recipes, replace the rice vinegar with balsamic using equal measurements.

The subtle sweetness will bring out the other ingredients in your dish-making it hard to resist!

5. Dry Sherry

Dry Sherry is a type of fortified wine that’s used as an excellent alternative to rice vinegar in teriyaki sauces.

It’s dry, with low acidity and a slightly salty taste.

It’s very similar in flavor to other soy-based seasonings like Mirin or sake, but it doesn’t have quite the same sweetness because there isn’t any sugar added.

It works great when making teriyaki sauce because it adds a wonderful depth of flavor while minimizing some of the tartness that can come from other more acidic products such as red or white wine vinegars.

Dry Sherry has also become popular for its health benefits; it’s full of antioxidants and anti-microbial compounds which help your body fight off chronic illness.

6. Lemon juice

Lemon juice

When making a substitution for rice vinegar, an even amount of lemon juice should be used in place of the vinegar.

In addition to having a tart taste like rice vinegar, it contains vitamin C and antioxidants. Lemon juice offers distinct citric notes that stand out against all flavors so adding this will give your dish an extra kick!

For those who watch their diets closely, some people prefer to avoid rice vinegar because although it adds bold flavors with zero calories one disadvantage is that it usually contains sulfates.

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Lemon has no calories but has a much cleaner ingredient list than any store-bought varieties which are commonly packed with artificial colors and additives.

7. Red wine vinegar

Red wine vinegar

Red wine vinegar is a great option to substitute rice vinegar with when making teriyaki sauce.

It has a bold flavor that’s both sweet and tart, plus the acidity helps bring out all the other flavors in recipes.

Red wine vinegars range from mild to sharp, so you can select one that will match well with your recipe or dish.

Red wine vinegar also has some nutritional benefits!

It contains valuable antioxidants like polyphenols which help protect our cells from damage, decrease inflammation and even lower cholesterol.

It’s also naturally low in sodium and calories.

It’s important to note that red wine vinegar will affect the color of a dish more than rice vinegar would, but if you’re looking for an easy way to get those delicious teriyaki flavors without having access to rice vinegar, it’s definitely worth a try.


7 Substitutes for Rice Vinegar in Teriyaki Sauce

If you're out of rice vinegar but still want to make your favorite teriyaki sauce, don't worry – I've got you covered! In this article, I'm sharing my top 7 substitutes for rice vinegar that you can use in your teriyaki sauce. From wine to apple cider vinegar, each of these substitutes will give your teriyaki sauce a delicious flavor without compromising on quality. So if you're looking for a delicious way to make your teriyaki sauce without rice vinegar, you've come to the right place!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Course Sauce, Substitutes
Cuisine Asian
Servings 4 people
Calories 71 kcal


  • Apple cider vinegar
  • White wine vinegar
  • Mirin
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Dry Sherry
  • Lemon juice
  • Red wine vinegar


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.