Skip to Content

Gourmet Hacks: 5 BEST Substitutes for Chinkiang Vinegar

Ever found yourself deep in a recipe, only to realize you’re out of Chinkiang vinegar?

It’s the secret zing in many Asian dishes and not having it might seem like a deal breaker.

Been there, done that. Lucky for you, your kitchen’s about to turn into a flavor rescue zone.

I’ve got five genius swaps for Chinkiang vinegar that’ll save your dish without a hitch.

No need to dash to the store or ditch your dinner plans.

With these substitutes, you’re all set to whip up magic, keeping your meal on track and as delicious as ever.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Chinkiang Vinegar

If you’re looking for vinegar to add a kick of flavor to your food, Chinkiang vinegar is a great option.

However, if you can’t find it in your local store or simply don’t have time to get it, there are several excellent substitutes that will work just as well.

Here are the five best substitutes for Chinkiang vinegar:

1 – Rice Vinegar

Rice vinegar is a type of vinegar made from fermented rice in China, Japan, and other Asian countries.

It has a light, pleasant flavor, slightly acidic and sweet, making it ideal for use in salads, sauces, or as seasoning.

Rice vinegar has a milder type than traditional Chinese Chinkiang Vinegar, so when substituting one for another, use less amount of rice vinegar.

You may also need to adjust the sugar or salt slightly.

Rice vinegar is also great for marinades due to its delicate taste – the light sweetness brings out the best flavors of your ingredients without overwhelming them.

2 – Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has become a popular health ingredient of late, and for a good reason.

Its tangy flavor is familiar yet distinctive; many use it to add height and complexity to dishes.

The deep aroma of apple cider vinegar lends itself to being an excellent replacement for Chinese black vinegar in recipes.

It will deepen the flavors and lend a slight sweetness when added in smaller portions, balancing saltiness and acidity.

Unlike white vinegar or distilled vinegar, its taste is unique enough that it can be substituted wherever a recipe calls for Chinkiang black vinegar.

Try drizzling some on steamed vegetables or roasted potatoes; you’ll find the flavor can’t be matched.

3 – Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is a unique kind of Italian vinegar that, while similar to other varieties, has its own distinct flavor.

It is made from unfermented grape juice and milk, which are slowly cooked and aged in wooden barrels.

This process gives the vinegar a strong aroma of sweet grape syrup and a tart taste.

Balsamic can be enjoyed on salads and makes an excellent substitute for Chinkiang vinegar in many dishes.

Unlike Chinkiang, balsamic has a more intense flavor, so only small amounts should be used when substituting.

As balsamic ages, it mellows out, leaving behind notes of cherry, dried figs, plums, and even raisins – making it an ideal topping for steak or cheese.

4 – Red Wine Vinegar

Red wine vinegar is a deep, dark brown-red liquid made from red wine.

This vinegar dates back to the Romans, who used it both as a condiment and medicinally.

It has a tart, tangy taste that comes from the natural process of fermentation using naturally occurring wild bacteria.

Red wine vinegar evokes a robust, full-bodied flavor and makes for an excellent substitute for another popular variety: Chinkiang vinegar.

When substituting these, you can use equal parts red wine vinegar with an equal amount of Dijon mustard or honey to make it match Chinkiang’s unique sweetness.

Whether you’re making salad dressings or marinades, this potent ingredient will give your cooking depth and flavor that is sure to please.

5 – White Wine Vinegar

White wine vinegar is beloved for its unique flavor, which adds a subtle complexity to salads and other recipes.

Its taste varies depending on the wine used to make it – most white wines produce a mild and slightly tart flavor that pairs well with light foods like greens or fresh fruits.

White wine vinegar is an excellent substitute for Chinkiang vinegar, which has a darker, more robust taste.

Unlike Chinkiang vinegar, white wine vinegar retains some of the sweetness of the original wine while still providing zesty notes.

To easily recreate the flavor of Chinkiang in a recipe, use 1 part white wine and 1 part apple cider vinegar instead.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Chinkiang Vinegar

Need a substitute for Chinkiang vinegar in your Asian-inspired recipes? Look no further! Check out our list of the 5 best alternatives that will impart a similar depth of flavor and complexity to your dishes.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Rice Vinegar
  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • White Wine Vinegar


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword Substitutes for Chinkiang Vinegar
Did you make this recipe?Mention @AmericasRestaurant or tag #americasrestaurant!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating