This Japanese rice wine has a subtle salty-sweet flavor prized in Asian marinades and glazes. The most traditional method for making mirin uses glutinous rice, malted rice, and distilled alcohol and requires more than a year to mature. Many supermarket brands, however, combine sake or another type of alcohol with salt, corn syrup (which helps mimic the traditional syrupy consistency), other sweeteners, and sometimes caramel coloring and flavoring. We use mirin to brighten the flavor of stir-fries and various Asian dishes. If you cannot find mirin, substitute 1 tablespoon dry white wine and 1/2 teaspoon sugar for every 1 tablespoon of mirin.
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