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These 9 Substitutes For Mirin Can Fit In Your Recipes

If you’re trying your hands around Japanese cuisine, you must have come across mirin. And chances are you have pondered upon the fact that what if you run out of it some time or what can you use as a substitute for mirin? Well, if that’s the case, then this article is surely going to help you.

Just like soy sauce for Chinese recipes, mirin, typically a rice wine, is a condiment that is imperative for Japanese food and with a very meager percentage of alcohol. And if the cuisine you’re trying to say Hola (or hello) happens to originate from Japan, or you’re scratching your head around what you can incorporate as a substitute for mirin, then the below-listed 9 options can be an ideal replacement.

Mirin is incorporated into a plethora of Japanese dishes, including side dishes, salad dressings, and dips, among other things. If the odds aren’t in your favor, you might have lost track of it from the grocery list, and if you just realized it while making a dish, then it’s even worse. But there is nothing to fret about as you are just about to discover 9 substitutes for mirin.

Substitutes For Mirin

Mirin is often put to use in broiling or grilling seafood, more precisely, fish. Teriyaki sauce can’t be left out while talking about Mirin. Its flavor gets the tinge of sweetness from nothing but mirin.

Not every condiment works for every dish. You’ll have to be considerate about the composition of ingredients used in the particular substitute. The quantity swap for mirin substitutes remains just intact to that of the mirin you need to add to a recipe. These condiments can replace mirin, depending upon the recipe.

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1. Aji-Mirin

Firstly, don’t get perplexed by the name as Aji-Mirin is something similar to mirin (that’s the actual meaning of its name), but it is not exactly mirin or a specific kind of it, such as shin mirin. The reason behind such a pronounced use of Aji-Mirin as a substitute for mirin is that it is a dime a dozen in Asian markets without any hefts; the case is contrary for mirin.

It generally contains water, glucose syrup, corn syrup, rice, alcohol, and salt and is oft-times used in the preparation of teriyaki sauce and sukiyaki, among several other dishes. It is quite often incorporated in place of mirin, though it doesn’t completely stand on the same page with true mirin in texture, aroma, and of course, taste.

2. Dry Sherry

These 9 Substitutes For Mirin Can Fit In Your Recipes

Bearing all the characteristics of mirin, dry sherry is another condiment that can elevate the taste of several dishes. It has salt, potassium metabisulfite and is made by reducing one of the following grapes:- Moscatel, Pedro, and Palomino Ximenez, though the last one is commonly used. You can put in 1 tbsp of dry sherry in a recipe for substituting 1 tbsp of mirin.

3. Rice Vinegar

Rice vinegar constitutes water and rice. You’ll find it in supermarkets by the label of Rice Wine Vinegar as well. Japanese rice vinegar is specifically made with either rice or dead yeast. On the other hand, seasoned rice vinegar constitutes sake, mirin, sugar, and salt. Not just for Japanese food, but this is also used in making western salad dressings.

Also, the sourness of rice wine vinegar can subdue the sweet flavor, but there’s nothing to fret about as you can always balance it by mixing in a little sugar, given that there isn’t any other acidic addition to your dish. Since we’re talking of sourness, do you want to discover a few lemon zest substitutes? It’s such a pleasure to cook and eat, isn’t it?

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4. Dry White Wine

Dry white wine is a mirin substitute that is pale yellow or greenish-yellow or golden in color. Apart from adding a zing to the dishes, it is also very much adored for adding a shiny glaze to seafood. Contrastingly to mirin, dry white wine doesn’t have sugar content. Nonetheless, it can be balanced by incorporating sugar into it.

5. Sweet Vermouth

With almost the same composition of alcohol content, sweet vermouth is another one of the mirin substitutes that is the next better option. If you’re wondering whether vermouth and sweet vermouth are one and the same thing, then the answer is NO. They both are distinctive in the very aspects, be it texture, color, or ingredient composition. Sweet vermouth, as suggested by the name, comes with sugar concentration and has been fermented to give an 

alcoholic composition.

6. Sake

These 9 Substitutes For Mirin Can Fit In Your Recipes

It won’t be wrong to say that sake is a cousin-substitute of mirin. It is sweeter, though less than mirin’s, and has alcohol composition, that too, less than that of mirin’s. By now, you already know that you can add sugar to almost every other mirin substitute, and you can do the same here as well. Typically, sake contains water content altogether with corn syrup, koji, rice, and alcohol. Some may also contain preservatives and flavor enhancers.

7. Sweet Marsala Wine

Sweet marsala wine is another ideal substitute for mirin, with 15 to 20 percent of alcohol percentage. It also comes in dry form, but since sweet marsala wine has texture and flavor analogous to mirin’s, the former might not be a good pick. In fact, sweet marsala wine is also used in desserts. You can substitute the same quantity of mirin with the same quantity of sweet marsala wine. It also adds a caramelized nutty flavor to your dish. However, if you are opting for the dry version of marsala wine, forget not to add sugar to it.

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8. White Wine Vinegar

White wine vinegar overtakes several regular spoonfuls of vinegar and has been oxidized and fermented just like most of the other substitutes for mirin. It also demands adding in sugar or a tbsp of honey into it as white grapes lack sugar content.

9. Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is another one on this list and possesses a tangy flavor generated from the mixture of grape must (cooked) and wine vinegar; however, some may also contain added colors and sulphites.

Coming straight from Italian origination, balsamic vinegar is rich in flavors. This one comes in a plethora of varieties, but the good news is that any variety of balsamic vinegar would do for you. Consider adding sugar for that extra feel of mirin, and you can use it for salads and in sauces as well.

These 9 Substitutes For Mirin Can Fit In Your Recipes

It is not necessary that you have all the ingredients with you while making a dish. Especially when you try to get the hang of different cuisines, chances are one, or another thing just skips off the mind. If you can’t forget the taste of Japanese cuisine and wish to bring it to your table, mirin happens to be the hardest thing to find. Nevertheless, the above-stated 9 condiments can come in quite handy.

Gurleen Kaur
• Content Writer at Mind Mingles• Has presented her work in International Conference On Guru Nanak Dev Ji: Life, Philosophy and Legacy held at Mata Sundri College For Women and was awarded the title of "Best Paper Presenter" under College Student Category for the same (Dated: 27th and 28th September, 2019)• Has a strong grip over creating interesting, unique and informative content pieces for a wide range of niches.• A firm believer that words have an impact.
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