Rice Vinegar Vs Mirin – What’s The Difference?

What’s the difference between mirin and rice vinegar?

The major distinction between mirin and rice vinegar is the fact that mirin is a more sour taste, whereas rice vinegar is tart and a little bitter. Both are made by fermenting rice with salt, and water. However, mirin is sweeter, while rice vinegar contains added sugar, while mirin does not.

We’re all well-versed in vinegar and its numerous uses. It’s used to do a myriad of items, from cleaning for cooking to picking and other duties. However, how well are you acquainted with the different types of vinegar?

You can pick from options such as balsamic vinegar, white vinegar, cleaner vinegar apple cider vinegar, as well as much more. Two products that are often evaluated are mirin and rice vinegar.

In this article, we’ll walk you through rice vinegar. mirin and talk about the various qualities and the differences.

We’re hoping that you’ll be able to distinguish between the two when you’ve finished this article and know which you’re planning to test the next time!

Differences Between Rice Vinegar and Mirin

Mirin as well as rice vinegar are commonly utilized in cooking to enhance the taste of the food.

They are both used in the same way and are thought to be alike, yet they’re also very different in their ways. They each have their uses to cook that distinguish them from one another.

As we move throughout this tutorial, we’ll discuss each product on an individual basis.

We’ll begin with rice vinegar, and proceed to mirin. Once we’ve provided you with an overview of each the guide will conclude the article with a summary of the review to provide a brief overview of the different types.

There are lots of territories to conquer, so let’s start!

Rice Vinegar

The rice vinegar variety is one of the most well-known kinds of vinegar. It is produced from fermented rice, usually from areas that are located in East as well as Southeast Asia, primarily China, Japan, South Korea, and Vietnam.

Rice vinegar is mostly utilized in Asian food, however, it can be used in other dishes as well.

Rice vinegar is typically added to other food items. It is used to make dressings such as marinades, sauces, and dressings.

Rice vinegar isn’t like regular vinegar. The way it is made makes it much less acidic. It usually has an almost sweet and mild flavor, but with the tang from traditional vinegar.

There is more than one kind of vinegar made from rice. Each type also has different flavors and colors.

These are different kinds of vinegar made from rice:

  • White rice vinegar
  • Red rice vinegar
  • Black rice vinegar

Of all these Black is the one with the most pleasant-tasting option however, it is more of a sweet-smoky flavor.

It’s not considered to have a mild flavor, as red or white is. There is vinegar made of rice wine however they are in their category as well.

Rice vinegar is completely devoid of alcohol in it. If it does contain an alcohol content of a small amount, however, it’s extremely low. Any remaining alcohol content will disappear when the dish is it is cooked.

The rice vinegar product is not gluten-free. The majority of rice vinegar products include wheat as a component of the blend. It is important to check your label to find it.

Rice vinegar has more sugar than mirin, however, the sugar does not make it sweeter. The result is mildly sweet, with a hint of tangy and sour taste.

Rice vinegar is seldom utilized as a condiment itself. It is a great ingredient to make a dipping sauce, or condiment however the tart taste isn’t ideal to use as a condiment on its own.

In Chinese sauces for dipping, you can mix it with sesame, lime juice ginger, sugar, and soy.

In terms of cooking rice vinegar is applied to meat, however, it is usually blended with other items to make marinades. Rice vinegar is typically used in soups, seafood noodles, and seafood.

The principal elements in rice vinegar comprise the rice that has been fermented, salt, water, and sugar. Certain manufacturers might use other sweeteners instead of sugar, for example, High fructose corn syrup. The levels of sodium within rice vinegar are low.

If you make use of this kind of vinegar to cook it will give you all the salty flavors but without the excessive amount of salt and sodium.

Rice Is Used For Vinegar

The best way to use rice vinegar is by cooking. It’s not something that is great on its own, just as you would not consume cider vinegar made from apples on its own.

Although it’s not as sweet as vinegar, it’s vinegar and, therefore, more effective when mixed with ingredients to give a strong flavor when combined into a recipe or sauce.

Rice vinegar is often employed in Asian recipes, but it can be used in other ways as well.

Here are some recipes that can be made when paired with vinegar from rice:

  • Stir fry
  • (lo mein) Noodles (lo mein)
  • Salad dressing
  • Fruit and veggie dishes
  • Basting sauces
  • Sushi rice
  • Fried rice
  • Sesame chicken
  • Cucumber salad
  • Glazed salmon
  • Egg roll or Dumpling Sauce
  • Soba noodles

These are only some of the items that typically include the vinegar of rice in recipes. There are alternatives as well.

In addition, you can utilize rice vinegar to tackle some cleaning tasks. It’s non-abrasive, but it can be a powerful cleaning solution. The water is mixed in with it to clean.

Rice vinegar can be used to clean sinks and countertops or for mopping floors. It is not a complete substitute for white distilled vinegar to clean.


Mirin is often referred to as an ingredient, however, it’s extremely helpful in cooking, too.

This ingredient is utilized in mostly Japanese cooking, however, it is used in a variety of other Asian recipes as well.

Mirin is more similar to rice wine. It’s like sake in a few ways, however, it is less alcohol-based and has more sugar.

The moment mirin is created, the sugar it contains can be a normal component of the process of fermentation.

It’s very sweet, yet there is no sugar in the ingredients.

There are three main kinds of mirin:

  • Hon mirin
  • Shio mirin
  • Shin mirin

If you’re searching for “true” mirin, hon mirin is the way to go Beware of vendors trying to market similar condiments to mirin such as hon mirin.

Shio mirin is similar to the real thing, but it contains significantly less alcohol. Mirin is a wine with an alcohol level of 14 percent. If you’re using it in cooking sauces or cooked dishes it cooks the alcohol and escapes from the dish.

In certain cooking methods, chefs boil the mirin prior to making use of it, even while making sauces to eliminate the alcohol content.

Mirin is used to enhance the flavor of a dish, however, it also can be utilized as a condiment or drink all by itself.

Mirin is typically used as a dipping sauce to dip sushi rolls.. It gives a sweet and natural taste that brings out the salty flavor of seaweed.

Mirin is a great ingredient to flavor seafood and meat. Mirin’s naturally-occurring sugar amount is approximately 45 percent which means that your meat will be delicious and soft too.

The mirin’s alcohol content helps to enhance the taste and texture of food. It is very well-known for its use in umami. It helps the wonderful aroma that comes from the food stand out and creates a gorgeous glaze too.

If compared with wine vinegar made from rice, mirin is sweeter, but it does not contain any sugar in it. The sugar in rice vinegar is added to its ingredient. Mirin is made of rice, water salt, as well as natural fructose/glucose that is derived from fermentation.

Mirin is generally gluten-free. It is made of fermented rice and specifically, the rice is gluten-free.

Be aware of the label as certain distributors include wheat or malt in their mirin mix which could cause it to contain gluten.

Mirin contains quite some salt and is saltier than rice vinegar almost 3x. But the sodium content remains quite low and is not something to be concerned about.

What To Use Mirin For?

When it is cooking mirin is usually used to marinate meats or make a dipping sauce or add flavor to stir-fries.

Mirin is a Japanese cooking wine that is ultimately it is among the biggest distinctions between mirin and rice vinegar.

Mirin is a great ingredient for cooking. It is a great way to add flavor to foods that might not be considered. While it’s a Japanese item, it can provide numerous benefits even when you’re creating Japanese food.

Once you’ve explored a few uses of mirin, you may discover that it’s a must-have item in cooking that you must have. Everything you cook will be soft and sweet. This is the ideal method to impart your food with an umami-rich flavor.

If you’re not aware of the term “umami,” it’s a name used to describe particular flavors. There are many things that are described as salty, sweet, sour, and bitter. Umami is a distinct class. It’s most commonly described as being savory but with a hint of sweetness.

Mirin typically has a slightly syrupy taste to it. It’s not as thick as rice vinegar. It’s utilized to make the teriyaki cuisine quite a bit.

Here are some delicious recipes using mirin.

  • Steamed seafood
  • Steamed vegetables
  • Japanese meatballs made with fusion
  • Sushi dipping sauce
  • Glazed with fish that has been grilled
  • Steak glaze
  • Teriyaki sauces
  • Soups
  • Green beans marinated in a vinaigrette
  • Braised short ribs braised
  • Stir-fry
  • Udon or Soba noodles
  • Fried chicken marinade
  • Curry
  • Many slaw mix-ups
  • Kebabs with marinade

As you will see, mirin is able to be used in a multitude of ways.

The taste is sweet and can draw out the natural savory flavor of a variety of meats. It’s great as noodles or dip sauces and can be served on its own. But, mirin really stands in a different way from meat.

You can prepare marinades and sauces to bast your meat. It is recommended to create a sauce that cooks along with the meat since the natural sugars in the sauce will create meat that is extremely delicious and tender.

You can’t really do anything wrong!

Roundup of Rice Vinegar Vs Mirin

We’ve covered quite a bit of the topic in this article. It’s clear that although mirin and rice vinegar are often used in similar dishes they’re actually quite different in the final.

They’re both liquid products that are commonly used in some form of sauce. The similarities really come and come to an end.

Rice vinegar is an alcohol-free product. Although it’s sweet, it has some tart and tangy taste to it, too.

Rice vinegar isn’t great in its own right. It is mixed with other ingredients in order to create delicious sauces. These sauces can be used as a dip and meat sauces.

The most commonly used sauce made from rice vinegar is noodles. Rice vinegar is often used in Asian meals, primarily noodles. It is also utilized for cleaning purposes that are mild.

Mirin, on the other hand, is a Japanese cooking wine made in Japan. It is a Japanese cooking wine that contains alcohol (around 14 percent) and can be either cooked or boiled from it.

Mirin is a great condiment to use as a sauce for dipping. It can be used to create umami (sweet and salty).

Mirin isn’t a great source in terms of utility outside the kitchen. It can make the meat soft and delicious and is the perfect marinade for every kind of meat.

You can make use of rice vinegar to replace mirin in case you don’t have it or are having difficulty getting hold of it. But, be aware that they’re not identical.

Interesting Facts & Questions

We hope you’ve found this article on rice vinegar and mirin is an invaluable and useful source.

Although these two products may be somewhat similar, they do have several distinct features that differentiate them from one another. The result is different depending on how they are utilized.

We encourage you to take an interest in the section of questions and answers for other information that could be helpful and also.

Does Rice Vinegar Taste Like White Vinegar?

A vinegar-based product rice vinegar will possess the familiar tang. However, aside from this, it’s a lot distinct from white vinegar. Rice vinegar is much sweeter, with the slightest note of sour taste and white vinegar is very sour.

Are Rice Vinegars The Best Effective Alternative To Mirin?

If you’re caught in a pinch it’s possible to use rice vinegar instead of mirin.

You may discover it interesting that vinegar made from rice or sweet Marsala wine is actually an excellent alternative. It is also possible to substitute dry white wine or sherry to get the same effects.

Can You Drink By Mirin?

Mirin is a popular ingredient to cook food. After it has been prepared, its alcohol content is diminished or removed. But, as we said earlier that mirin contains around 14% alcohol naturally.

It may be cooked and boiled. In some Japanese homes, mirin is actually consumed as an alcoholic drink. With its large alcohol percentage, it’s possible to be drunk after drinking mirin.

Did you find this guide helpful?
Norah Clark

Norah Clark

Norah Clark, the founder and editor of YummyTasteFood! She's a seasoned food writer and editor with over a decade of experience in the hospitality industry as a former pastry chef, sous chef, and barista. When not writing about food, she explores new recipes or travels the world for culinary inspiration.

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