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Rice Wines

rice wine  Notes:    Technically, this should be called "rice beer," since it's fermented from a grain rather than a fruit.   The Japanese produce two kinds of rice wines:  sake, a dry wine that is used for drinking and cooking, and mirin, a sweet wine which is used just for cooking.   Chinese cooks use a product similar to sake, called Shaoxing wine.   Substitutes:   vermouth (dry) OR Scotch OR white wine (dry) OR sherry (dry)



mirin  = sweet rice wine = sweet sake   Pronunciation:   MEE-reen   Notes:   This is a very sweet Japanese rice wine that's used to flavor rice and sauces.  It's not usually consumed as a beverage.   Aji mirin is salted, so adjust the recipe accordingly.  Substitutes: 1 tablespoon dry sherry + ˝ teaspoon sugar OR sherry OR heat two parts sake and one part sugar OR white wine + sugar to taste OR white wine 

sake = saké = saki = rice wine   Pronunciation:  SAH-kee  Notes:  This is a Japanese rice wine, or more correctly, beer.  It's usually served warm in tiny porcelain cups, but some trendy American restaurants served it chilled like white wine.  Sake doesn't age well in the bottle and should be consumed within a year of bottling.   Substitutes:   Shaoxing wine (not as smooth and sweet) OR vermouth (dry) OR white wine OR sherry (dry)

Shaoxing wine = Shaohsing wine = Shao hsing wine = Hsao Shing wine = Chinese rice wine    Notes:     Chinese rice wine varies in quality, so cookbooks often specify Shaoxing rice wine, which is quite good.  The Chinese drink it from small porcelain cups, in the same way that the Japanese drink their sake.   Shaoxing cooking wine may be salted.  Substitutes:   sake (smoother and sweeter) OR sherry (dry)

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