Rice wine vinegar is not intended for the intensely acidic, almost throat-burning sensation of tangy salad dressing or lemon-laced fish. Instead, it is a gentle acid that improves dishes when needed. Using vinegar doesn’t have to be limited to Asian-inspired recipes; It’s a great choice for most sauces, soups, vegetables, dressings, or marinades.

When your food still tastes dull and unappealing even though it contains enough salt, it could probably use some acid to lift it up and brighten it. However, it’s easy to overdo it, which makes rice wine vinegar the perfect choice. It also has a touch of sweetness, and naturally balances its acidity so you don’t have to add any extra sugar to counteract the acidity.

To start, you can try the classic ratio of oil and vinegar used when making vinaigrette. If the dish still needs a little more acid, add a little more rice wine vinegar and taste with each addition to make sure the dish doesn’t become too acidic.

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