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Old 05-25-2007, 03:45 AM   #1
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ISO help with rice wine

Hi everyone, This is my first post here and I'm hoping some one can help me out. I've found a recipe for a Chinese dish that uses Chinese Rice Wine. Now I had a look in my local supermarket plus another store that has unusual foods occasionally and I was unable to find Rice Wine but I could find Rice Wine vinegar (which I have anyway). The recipe is quite adamant as well as other resources on the web that Chinese Rice Wine is quite different from Rice Wine Vinegar. However since I'm unable to find Rice Wine can I substitute RW Vinegar? Just to confuse me more, I watched a cooking program on TV and in a recipe displayed on the screen it said to use rice wine, yet the presenter clearly said rice wine vinegar! Can anyone help me out? Will I be OK to use the vinegar? Cheers in advance JB


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Old 05-25-2007, 07:36 AM   #2
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You might have some better luck substituting some Sake, which is Japanese Rice Wine.

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Old 05-25-2007, 07:54 AM   #3
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I agree with AllenOK, Sake- (rice wine) a dry wine for drinking or cooking.
Mirin - sweet wine just for cooking
Substitutes; Dry vermouth, Scotch, dry white wine or dry sherry.
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Old 05-25-2007, 08:05 AM   #4
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I only cook Japanese with Sake. Not a real expensive bottle but not the cheapest either.
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Old 05-25-2007, 09:06 AM   #5
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Where a recipe calls for Chinese Rice Wine, you should do just that, otherwise substitute it with Sake or Mirin as the rest have advised. You can also leave it out completely. Do not use wine vinegar as this will alter the taste greatly.
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Old 05-25-2007, 09:17 AM   #6
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DON'T use Mirin as a substitute. Mirin is SWEETENED rice wine, & will add a decidedly different - & possibly unpleasant - taste to the dish. And any vinegar is DEFINITELY out.

If I were you, I would substitute dry sherry. I use this constantly & consistently in nearly all my Asian dishes & they turn out fabulous. And you don't need to buy a pricey dry sherry - the Gallo & Taylor brands are fine & won't put you back much more than $5 per bottle.

In addition - many, many well-known Chinese chefs advise using dry sherry in place of rice wine in their dishes. So you're not really "cheating" by using it.

But by all that is holy - please don't use anything sweet!!!
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Old 05-25-2007, 09:30 AM   #7
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Good info, but it really boils down to what you are making....
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Old 05-25-2007, 11:40 AM   #8
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Rice wine can be replaced, and this comes from famous Chinese chefs other than myself as well, with a dry white wine such as Chardonay or Pinot grigio, or a dry sherry. Do not, I say again, DO NOT replace rice wine with mirin, as this is a sweet rice wine and could very well ruin your entrée.
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Old 05-25-2007, 12:27 PM   #9
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The simple answer is - use Sake or dry sherry.

Make sure your dry sherry is not "cooking" sherry, but the stuff you can actually drink. Both sake and dry sherry will last a very long time without refrigeration so you won't be wasting your money. We have plenty of uses for the left-overs for you! Neither bottle is terribly expensive either - but on the rather inexpensive side.

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Old 05-25-2007, 12:42 PM   #10
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Wow - so many replies! Where do I begin? I guess with a big thank you to all who replied! Cheers! The problem I have is that where I live I've probably tried the two places where I would be able to get hold of rice wine. To all those who suggested sake, that may be my best alternative as I'm not keen on handling the left over sherry, different story with left over sake! However this time I will try a chardonnay as I have one in the fridge and I'm not back in town to go to the shops for sake for a while. Again thanks for all the feedback and I'll let you know how I get on! Cheers JB

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