What is Mirin in Japanese cooking, where it is used and how it can be replaced.

There will be no recipes in this article. But we will tell you about one rice wine that is included in many sauces – mirin. We know that finding it is not easy, but we will tell you how to do it. And if you couldn’t find it, we’ll teach you how to replace it.

Origin story

Mirin rice wine was invented in Japan. Where else if not in the country of rice and fish. If in Russia moonshine is made from everything possible, then the Japanese make it from rice. Just like vinegar and wine.
This is why many believe that mirin is vinegar, while others say that it is rice wine. Roughly speaking, vinegar and wine have similar fermentation processes, which is where all the confusion comes from.
But still, mirin is a wine with a small amount of vinegar, which was previously consumed mainly by ladies. Later, in Japanese cuisine they began to use it as an additive to dishes. By giving them that same umami taste, mirin can be said to enhance the taste of dishes.

How and from what it is made

This is how rice ferments

First, let’s look at the composition:

  • Fig
  • Koji
  • Acid
  • Vinegar
  • Sugar

From rice, starch is fermented into sugar. Koji is a substance in which fungus forms. Which subsequently imparts flavors and aromas to the products to which it is added.

It is also obtained as a result of the fermentation of rice. The acid can be citric or acetic, but sugar forms itself and is added as needed.

As you can see, there are solid fermentation products. The process takes a couple of months. Then the wine is filtered and the mirin is ready.

What does it smell and taste like?

This is what Mirin looks like

Mirin rice wine is similar in color to dry white wine. The taste is sweet, the aroma is pleasant, subtle with sourness. We have already written about umami, the so-called fifth taste.

It is mirin that has this taste and aroma that is difficult to describe. And in combination with salty soy sauce, great masterpieces of Japanese cuisine are obtained. After all, salt and sugar are natural flavor enhancers.

Benefits and harms

Wine, like any aperitif, whets your appetite. Well, as we found out, mirin is a wine, and accordingly, the benefits of mirin are to improve appetite. Drinking wine also improves your mood.

And the amino acids, vitamins and microelements it contains give it even more benefits. The enzymes contained in it help with the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract.

But be careful with it, as with any alcohol, about the dangers of which much has already been said. In addition, acid can have a negative impact on people with kidney disease. Cystitis, diseases of the digestive system, ulcers, diabetes and pancreatitis. If you have such diseases, you should not abuse mirin.

Main types

Mirin, like any wine, has several varieties. Since it is used more as a seasoning, you can even drink only one type of it.


Khan is dead

Hon mirin, considered classic or also called “real mirin”. To make it, two types of rice and alcohol distillate are used.

Its strength percentage is about 14 degrees. It is precisely this that can be consumed if the production conditions have been met.


Mirin Fu wine


Sio mirin or mirin with salt, this is its main difference from other types. In addition, its strength is very low. Which makes it a great addition to sauces. And most importantly, do not spoil the taste of the characteristic mirin. It is also calledmirin fu.

You are 

A blue soldier

Sin mirin, translated means “new mirin”, the lowest alcohol of all. It contains no more than one percent alcohol. But it is also used asmirin seasoning.

What is it eaten with and where is it added?

Teriyaki sauce

Japanese sauce can be added almost anywhere. From fish to meat, marinate chicken in it, sprinkle on tofu cheese to add flavor. Use as a dressing for salads and vegetables.

And of course the sauces:

  • Teriyaki is perhaps the most famous sauce with mirin.
  • Unagi, due to its composition, has an umami taste.
  • Ponzu, another popular Japanese sauce made from seaweed and fish.
  • Tentsuyu, used as dipping sauce or tempura dipping sauce.

What to replace

Views of Jerez

And now about what to do if you don’t have mirin at hand and you can’t get it. Of course, you won’t be able to make original wine at home, but you can bring the taste closer.

White sweet sherry diluted with water and mixed with a small amount of rice vinegar. It is not much stronger than mirin, which is why it is diluted with water. You can also take a dry type of wine, but then you need to add sugar.

If you get some sake, sweeten it and here’s another option for replacing mirin. After all, this is the same rice wine, and also similar in strength.

The third option is not very unusual. But the Japanese themselves use it when not mirin. This is cola, and it is its sweet taste that makes it resemble rice wine. But it is used only in chicken or pork marinades. Of course, it is not added to sauces.

Where to buy and how to choose

You need to look for mirin sauce in hypermarkets in your city. In the oriental cuisine or alcoholic beverages department. But the most proven option is the Internet. Now there are many websites selling this wine in all its diversity.

How and how much to store

It is better to store mirin wine on the refrigerator door. This is the case if the bottle has been opened and the period of such storage can be up to six months.

When sealed at the factory, it can be stored in a dark place; a closet or pantry is sufficient. Here it is worth knowing the expiration date of the wine and starting from this.

And lastly, the recipe for ponzu sauce.

Ссылка на основную публикацию