What Can I Use Instead Of Mirin? – 5 Best Substitutes

Last Updated on July 13, 2022 by

The Japanese rice wine known as mirin is often used in Japanese cooking. Steamed glutinous rice is combined with distilled alcohol to create it. The mixture is blended and then allowed to ferment. The duration of the procedure might range from two months to several years. As mirin ages, its hue grows deeper and its taste more potent. Ramen and teriyaki sauce go well together because mirin has a sweet flavor. Because of its high sugar content, it balances the salt in soy sauce. Because of its syrup-like consistency, it may be used as a glaze. So, what can I use instead of mirin?

Sake, an alcoholic beverage created from fermented rice, can be used instead of mirin. Sake is also known as rice wine. You may either serve it warm or cold. Cooler temperatures tend to bring forth a fuller taste.

What Can I Use Instead Of Mirin – 5 Substitutes


Sake is a popular mirin alternative because of how closely it resembles mirin in composition. Both wines are produced by fermenting ingredients generated from rice to produce a sweet, dry wine. While mirin may be used in cooking and drinking, sake is also generally used in both.

Although the two are comparable, mirin has a lot more sugar than sake. When employing a direct 1:1 substitution of sake for mirin, the finished dish will often be more sour or bitter than planned. In addition, sake has more alcohol than mirin. Alcohol will boil off and evaporate more rapidly when cooked at high temperatures, possibly impacting the final taste and texture.

For every one teaspoon of sake you choose to use in your recipe in place of mirin, you should add around two teaspoons of sugar. Doing this will ensure that none of the sweetness that gives your food its proper balance is lost. Thanks to the extra sweetness, you’ll be able to handle the greater alcohol level of sake while cooking and eating. 

A meal where the alcoholic component of sake doesn’t completely cook-off is safer to consume since sugar helps inhibit the bloodstream’s absorption of alcohol. Sake may be used instead of mirin in both baking and cooking. Your meal should have the flavor and texture you want if you choose a mild type and add sugar as necessary.

Rice Vinegar

If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic alternative to mirin, rice vinegar provides a similar taste profile without alcohol. This component, sometimes referred to as rice wine vinegar, is often sold in the international area of most supermarkets.

Finding rice vinegar may require a trip to a specialized Japanese or Asian store. Rice starches must be fermented using the Mother of Vinegar bacteria and rice wine to produce rice vinegar. This process will eventually turn carbohydrates and alcohol into acid, giving the food a unique vinegar taste.

Typically, rice vinegar is available in both seasoned and unseasoned varieties. Rice vinegar with seasoning added has more sugar than unseasoned rice vinegar, which is pure. For this reason, the best mirin alternative is often seasoned rice vinegar. For the majority of recipes, you may swap in a 1:1 ratio.

But even seasoned vinegar has a little sour edge over genuine mirin. A reasonable rule of thumb is to add around half a teaspoon of sugar for every tablespoon of rice wine vinegar. Adding sweetness to the meal while reducing the acidity of the vinegar may help.

Rice vinegar works well with savory meals, especially ones that require a little acidity. As a mirin substitute, rice vinegar often works well in sauces and salad dressings. Always use seasoned rice vinegar and more sugar when making sweeter foods and desserts.

3. Sherries

Sherries are a popular fortified sweet, dry wine in American and European cuisine. Sherry may be consumed, although most people like to cook and bake with it. Sherry often tastes delicate and sweet, much like mirin. Most recipes allow for a 1:1 substitution of sherry for mirin. Japanese foods will taste real since the flavor profiles are comparable enough.

Sherry is a little drier than mirin, so if you’re substituting it, you may want to add a bit of additional sugar. Mix one teaspoon of sugar with each tablespoon of sherry for optimal results. Sherry is significantly more alcoholic than mirin, much like sake. In addition to enhancing taste, sugar guarantees that you will safely and gradually digest the alcohol in sherry while eating.

Recommended Sherry To Buy

Gonzalez Byass Del Duque Amontillado Sherry

This bright amontillado is produced from wine at least 30 years old. It is very complex and scorched, with rich layers of flavors of spices and dried fruits and a finish to savor that continues forever. It goes well with old cheddar or hard manchego cheeses, fruit puddings, and holiday treats.

4. White Wine

Most home cooks have white wine on hand, which may be used as a temporary replacement for mirin. Remember that choosing wine wisely is essential for achieving the most genuine taste. Using the sweetest wine you can find can seem natural, but dessert wines like Moscato or ice wine can enhance sugars and ruin the taste profile of foods. Choose a medium-dry wine instead, and then add some sugar separately.

You should add around two tablespoons of sugar to your meal for every tablespoon of white wine. The sugar amount may need to be adjusted depending on the wine you choose. For instance, a dry chardonnay may need less sugar than a sweet riesling to provide the same effects.

White wine is sourer than other substitutes for mirin. Thus it’s better to avoid using it in sweet foods. You could produce a more sour or acidic meal than you anticipated, even with slightly more sugar. White wine is simple to obtain at practically any grocery shop or liquor store if you don’t already have some on hand. Additionally, there are variants designed for cooking that are alcohol-free.

5. White grape

White grape juice is a great replacement for mirin if you’re seeking a kid- and wallet-friendly option. Additionally, it is commonly accessible in supermarkets and big-box retailers. White grape juice tastes like mirin because it is sweet and acidic. Since it doesn’t contain alcohol, you may wish to add grape juice at a ratio slightly below 1:1 to compensate for the alcohol in mirin cooking off your food.

Because of the inherent sweetness of grapes and the additional sugars, grape juice is often sweeter than mirin. To properly replicate the zesty flavor of mirin in your dish, you may need to add a small amount of acidity. On average, a tablespoon of lemon juice should be added to your meal for every cup of grape juice. You can get the same sophisticated effect as you would with mirin for a lot less money.

Recommended White Wine To Buy

Surely Non Alcoholic Rose 

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Surely Non Alcoholic Rosewine is best used as a substitute for mirin. Fresh grapes can be detected in this delicate taste, and floral undertones create an effervescent scent. Instead of fermenting grape juice, a delicate & balanced non-alcoholic sparkling wine is produced utilizing a unique proprietary technique from freshly pressed 100% natural ingridents. 

Can You Cook With Drinking Sherry?

Many individuals purchase sherry for cooking purposes rather than just drinking it. Depending on your meal, you can cook with just about any sherry. When cooking with dry sherry, consider removing the salt since the flavor tends to be rather saline. On the other hand, desserts or appetizers made with sweet sherry won’t need much sugar.

Since utilizing a high-end wine won’t always provide significant benefits, cooking with a less expensive sherry is often preferable. It’s also terrific to finish any left open a little too long.

Last but not least, sherry need not necessarily be served alongside food that has been prepared with it. You may use a standard white table wine instead. However, think about serving sherry with your dinner if you want to experiment with a fresh sensory impression!

Can Mirin Be Substituted For White Vinegar?

Although mirin has a minor quantity of alcohol in it, you may always use vinegar in its place. Although white wine may be substituted for white vinegar, rice wine vinegar has a comparable flavor. Although they may not taste like rice vinegar, they are near enough to work. Use one tablespoon of vinegar and one-half teaspoon of granulated sugar for every tablespoon of mirin you’re replacing.

However, the finished product’s flavor will vary depending on the kind of vinegar you use. When compared to vinegar prepared from rice wine or white wine, white vinegar may have a richer flavor.

How To Make Homemade Mirin?

Mirin gives any Japanese meal flavor. Asian ingredients should be present in your kitchen if you like cooking with them. The pantry of a Japanese person may not always include all they need. We sometimes overlook adding something to our shopping list. You should attempt to produce your mirin since you can always buy it.

You need three components to make mirin at home: sake, sugar, and water. It’s really simple! You may create enough in only 10 minutes to avoid visiting the shop for more. The sugar and water should be heated in a small pan over medium heat. After the sugar has dissolved, bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat. When the sake is completely dissolved, add it and stir. The mixture should be well stirred before cooling in a container or mason jar in the fridge. You’re done now!

Conclusion On What Can I Use Instead Of Mirin

Mirin has several substitutes available. We suggest sake, white wine vinegar, and rice wine vinegar as alcohol-free substitutes. Despite their names, they are not wines. You may also choose any alternative to mirin from the ones we’ve offered. We hope we have answered your question of “What Can I Use Instead Of Mirin.”