The 5 Greatest Mirin Substitutes

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Japanese food is becoming one of the most popular in the world.

Several cuisines and culinary methods originated in Japan, such as sushi and tempura, but there is also a sort of low-alcohol rice wine known as mirin.

Mirin has been widely utilized in Japanese cuisine for millennia.

Because of its distinct taste and cooking wine capabilities, it has become an essential component of many recipes.

It’s prepared by fermenting boiling glutinous rice until the sugars turn into alcohol, then adding additional steamed glutinous rice and sugar.

The end product is a sweet, low-alcohol rice wine that may be used to add rich flavor to marinades or sauces.

It is vital to emphasize that mirin is a culinary ingredient rather than a standalone product.

It may be used in lieu of sugar to lend a sweet and mild taste as well as a particular glossy sheen to any traditional cuisine.

Although mirin is often used in traditional Japanese recipes, it may be difficult to acquire outside of Asia.

This article will go over five various mirin substitutes that may be used to replace the taste of mirin in recipes, as well as how to utilize each one.

Continue reading to find out more.

What is Mirin?

The 5 Best Substitutes for Mirin

If you like Japanese food, you’ve certainly seen mirin mentioned as an ingredient at some point.

But what exactly is it?

Although though the term mirin means “sweet sake,” and most of us know that sake can be delicious, we’re not talking about the rice wine found in every hotel mini-bar.

Mirin is a condiment used mostly as a taste enhancer in modest doses.

Mirin is often manufactured with sticky rice and koji, the same mold used to create miso and sake.

Mirin has an alcohol concentration of around 15%.

Mirin has a sugar content that fluctuates between 13% and 16%.

It’s like putting a few tablespoons to your food, rather than the bottle of sweet sake you have at home.

You may vary its usage depending on how much flavor you want, and it’s a highly versatile component.

Mirin is used in cooking to lend a sweet taste to sauces.

For example, if you were preparing grilled chicken, you would top it with mirin before serving.

Cook sliced meat in a skillet after marinating it in mirin and soy sauce for a fast teriyaki.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Mirin

While mirin is difficult to locate (and may be fairly costly) outside of an Asian grocery shop, here are some good substitutes:

1 – Rice Vinegar

Rice vinegar is a condiment that is not fermented.

Rice and water or rice, salt, yeast, and koji mold are often used to make it.

It has a stronger acidity than other vinegars and is also known as white vinegar.

Rice vinegar may be found in the foreign area of your local store.

Look for sake if you don’t find it there.

It is important to notice that rice vinegar is really weak.

It may not be strong enough to taste like mirin.

As a result, you will need to use more of it than you would if you were using sake (rice wine).

2 – Rice Cooking Wine (or Sake)

Sake is the most often used mirin replacement.

It’s common knowledge that sake may be used in recipes, and it may have even been utilized to manufacture mirin at one point (not today).

But, you should be aware that cooking with sake may introduce alcohol into your food, which is why many people avoid it.

But, the alcohol in sake cooks off.

It’s important to note that if you use sake instead of mirin in your recipe, you should leave out the other miso paste since the sake will leave an alcoholic aftertaste.

3 – White Wine

White wine is a common option among those seeking for mirin substitutes.

White wine is utilized as a substitute for mirin since it is mild and will not lend much flavor to your dish.

This alternative, however, may lack the sweetness you anticipate from mirin.

It will also give your meal a sour taste.

When you add white wine to a meal, be sure it has been reduced or boiled until half of the liquid has evaporated.

This will enhance the taste of the white wine.

4 – Sherry

Sherry is a style of wine made in Spain.

It may be prepared with white, red, or even Pedro Ximenez grapes.

Sherry may be dry or sweet.

Sherry is a typical alternative for mirin in cooking, particularly in the United States.

This is due to its modest sweetness and taste.

Sherry, like white wine, is typically cooked until half of the liquid evaporates.

It’s important to mention that sherry is an excellent substitute if you can’t locate mirin or sake in your local supermarket.

It may not, however, have the same taste punch as mirin.

5 – Vermouth

Vermouth is a kind of wine that is made by fortifying and seasoning it.

It may be created from white grapes, red grapes, or alternative fermentation methods.

Vermouth may also be dry or sweet.

Vermouth, like sherry and white wine, is occasionally used in place of mirin in cooking.

It may be cooked until half of the liquid evaporates, much like sherry.

The trick is to find a vermouth that is not too dry; it should be medium to sweet.

Dry vermouth may not combine well with your cuisine since it lacks the sweetness of mirin.


Mirin is a sort of rice wine that is used in a variety of Japanese recipes.

It has a pleasant flavor and a low alcohol concentration that complements the other flavors in your cuisine.

If you can’t locate mirin anywhere other than an Asian grocery shop, these are the top five replacements you should try: Rice vinegar, sake (rice wine), sake (cooking sake), white wine, or sherry are all acceptable options.

But keep in mind that these replacements may not have the same flavor punch as mirin, so use more of it than the recipe calls for.


What can I use if I don’t have mirin?

For every tablespoon, use 2 teaspoons of sugar. And what happens after that? Congratulations. You can always purchase mirin online, but if you’re in a hurry, a dry sherry or a sweet marsala wine would suffice. Dry white wine or rice vinegar can also work, however the sourness will need to be balanced with around a 1:3 ratio.

What is the best non alcoholic substitute for mirin?

Rice vinegar is another suitable substitute for mirin. It is non-alcoholic and is also known as rice wine vinegar. To get this product, rice wine is fermented, which converts the alcohol to acetic acid. It works particularly well as a mirin alternative in dipping sauces and salads.

Is vinegar a good substitute for mirin?

No worries. White wine vinegar or rice vinegar are the greatest mirin substitutes. Since both are quite acidic, you must account for the sweetness of the mirin by adding 12 teaspoon of sugar per tablespoon of vinegar.

What flavor does mirin add?

It has a strong umami taste, which makes it a common component in Asian sauces and marinades such as teriyaki sauce. Mirin’s sugar concentration makes it shine in sauces, glazes, and dressings.

How do you recreate mirin?

A mixture of one tablespoon rice wine vinegar and one teaspoon sugar produces an excellent mirin alternative, but it may not be the greatest option if the recipe asks for another acidic ingredient. Sake with sugar or honey is probably the closest thing to mirin.

Can I make my own mirin?

It’s simple to make: simply combine koji, cooked rice, and a neutral-tasting spirit. After that, keep it at room temperature for 2 to 3 months. 300ml vodka, 100g koji, and 100g cooled, cooked rice were combined. After three months, the mirin becomes a deep golden color.

Can I use honey instead of mirin?

Honey is an excellent choice, but ordinary sugar may also be used. This is an excellent option for recipes that call for a higher level of sweetness (like teriyaki sauce). 1 tablespoon sake, 12 teaspoon honey (or sugar). Use as a 1:1 substitute for 1 tablespoon mirin.

What can I replace sake and mirin in cooking?

Sake + sugar or honey are the best Mirin substitutes. The closest equivalent is to add sugar to sake whether drinking or cooking it. If you wish to limit your sugar consumption, just replace sake on its own.
Shao Xing Cooking Wine, Sweet Sherry, Water, and Kombucha.

How much apple cider vinegar to substitute mirin?

Vinegar of Apple Cider

Since it has a moderate flavor and a somewhat sweet taste, apple cider vinegar is another acceptable replacement for mirin. To get the sweetness level of traditional mirin, use one tablespoon apple cider vinegar with 12 teaspoon granulated white sugar per recipe or dish.

What is the difference between mirin and vinegar?

Alcohol content: Mirin is a Japanese cooking wine that may be enjoyed as a mild alcoholic beverage on its own, but rice vinegar has little to no alcohol content remaining after fermentation. As a consequence, mirin tastes more like a sweet marsala wine while rice vinegar tastes more like a dry sherry.

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