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1. Rice vinegar is made from fermented rice or rice wine in several Asian countries including China, Japan, Korea, and Vietnam. Rice vinegar comes in several varieties.
2. The simplest is made from fermented rice and is often nearly colorless in appearance. When rice vinegar is made from sake it is often called seasoned rice vinegar.
3. Japanese rice vinegar is in general much milder than Chinese varieties, and is usually most likely to be colorless. Similar simple white rice vinegar exists in China, but is still slightly sharper than Japanese varieties.
4. China also features black and red rice vinegar. Black rice vinegar is usually made from sweet rice and can include millet or sorghum. The name suggests the color, which is a dark brown.
5. Its smoky flavors make it distinct from other forms. Red rice vinegar is made with fermented red yeast rice. Many prefer this vinegar above the others because of its complex flavor range that features both tart and sweet notes.
6. Rice vinegar tends to be slightly lower in calories than wine vinegars. It also is sweeter, and many prefer its light taste in salad dressings, as added flavor to stir fry, and in a variety of dishes.