Mirin Substitutes To Have In Your Pantry
Kitchen Mirin Substitutes

Cook Your Favorite Rice, Noodle, Soup and Meat Dishes With These Mirin Substitutes

May 22, 2024 at 8:53 PM PST
Kitchen Mirin Substitutes

Cook Your Favorite Rice, Noodle, Soup and Meat Dishes With These Mirin Substitutes

May 22, 2024 at 8:53 PM PST

Have you ever scrolled through TikTok or Instagram and seen a delicious recipe for sushi or fried rice or chicken teriyaki? Soy sauce, rice and ginger are the main ingredients used in some of these recipes, but there are also ingredients like mirin, oyster sauce, sesame oil and butter used. While all of these ingredients seem pretty standard, some might already be in your pantry while others require a trip to the store. One ingredient that isn’t always readily available is mirin.

What exactly is mirin and what’s in it? Mirin is a rice wine, used in all sorts of Japanese recipes. It’s similar to sake, with a higher sugar content and lower alcohol content. Mirin is fermented, so it’s made of steamed mochi rice, koji and shochu, a sweet potato alcohol. The mixture is fermented for 40 to 60 days to let the flavors combine well together. Mirin has a slightly sweet taste, with a tangy and salty balance, making it the perfect ingredient for multiple dishes.

If you don’t have mirin in your pantry, there are a few alternatives similar in taste to it. Here are mirin substitutes to have in your pantry.


For a mirin substitute, try using sake for a similar taste and texture. Pictured: bottles of sake

For one of the best mirin substitutes, use sake. Close in taste and texture, sake is perfect because it’s already a rice wine. Even though this ingredient is a rice wine, to fully mimic the taste of sake, it requires adding a pinch or two of sugar. You can also use maple syrup, honey or apple juice as a sweetener.

Rice Vinegar

Rice Vinegar is a great mirin substitute and can mimic the taste of mirin with just a bit of sugar. Pictured: Rice vinegar with sushi

For a sharp taste, rice vinegar is another great mirin substitute. Because this ingredient used to be a rice wine, it is similar in texture and taste to mirin, but also requires a bit of sugar to fully mimic mirin. Temper the sharp taste of rice vinegar with juice, sugar or honey. You can also purchase seasoned rice vinegar in the Asian foods section of your grocery store, requiring you to not have to season it with sugar.

White Wine

If you're looking for a mirin substitute, you probably already have white wine in your kitchen to use. Pictured: white wine

If you have some dry white wine in your pantry or fridge, use it for your pasta, soup, rice and meat dishes. Try to avoid super sweet wines like Moscato to avoid your dish becoming too sweet. When using a dry white wine, you can add a pinch or two of sugar to replicate that mirin taste that we all know and love.


If you have a bottle of sherry wine in your pantry or fridge, use ut as a mirin substitute. Pictured: sherry wine in the background of a steak and potatoes meal

One of the most well-known ingredients for dishes like she crab soup, mushroom soup or tomato soup is sherry wine. This ingredient makes for the perfect mirin substitute and is probably already in your pantry! While it’s not exactly like sherry in taste, it has a rich flavor and is already sweet, so you don’t need to add any sugar to it.



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