Rice Wine is a golden-coloured version of rice wine (sake) for cooking. It is called “Mirin” in Japanese.
It adds a sheen to foods.
It is made from short-grain rice and glutinous rice, sweetened, and sold in bottles.
The traditional method of making it would take up to a year, and involved two fermentations, then distilling. It produced a thick wine. The yeast used for the fermentation is koji yeast, which converts starch into sugar.
To make it industrially, cooked sticky rice is let infuse in distilled alcohol, rather than fermenting the alcohol from the rice.
The alcohol content about 1 to 17%. Most are in the range of 8 to 14%.
- Hon mirin: a term used to describe ones with higher alcohol content;
- Shin mirin: the term used to describe those with lower alcohol contents, usually around 1 %.
Brands made in the US are likely to be made starting from sake.
Traditional Rice Wines are almost good enough to drink.
There are two basic ways of using Mirin in Japanese cooking: Kansai style boils it first to evaporate the alcohol; Kanto style uses it straight up.
A bit of sake plus water sweetened with a bit of sugar. Dry sherry.
Will be about 40% sugar, 80% of which is glucose.
Store indefinitely in a cool, dark place.
Rice Wine has been made since at least the 1500s.
US alcohol laws required higher-alcohol brands of Rice Wine to be sold at liquor stores until December 1997.