Mirin (味醂  or みりん in Japanese) is a Japanese cooking rice wine with subtle sweet accents that make many dishes such as teriyaki chicken, ramen and udon. It’s a common ingredient in Japanese cooking and works very well when mixed with soy sauce.

This quick 3-ingredient homemade mirin works perfectly as a substitute for teriyaki and other recipes calling for mirin. All you need is sake, sugar and water to make it. This quick 3-ingredient homemade mirin works perfectly as a substitute for teriyaki and other recipes calling for mirin. All you need is sake, sugar and water to make it.

What does Mirin taste like

Mirin tastes a little like sake, but it’s sweeter and has a lower alcohol content (about 14%), a bit like dessert wine but more subtle. Don’t worry about the alcohol, as it burns off during cooking.

Mirin can transform bland sauces into something very flavorful. For example, the classic teriyaki sauce is essentially made with mirin, sake, soy sauce and sugar.This quick 3-ingredient homemade mirin works perfectly as a substitute for teriyaki and other recipes calling for mirin. All you need is sake, sugar and water to make it.

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Mirin brands

There are a number of brands of mirin available in the U.S., although authentic Japanese hon-mirin is difficult to track down. Here are some of the most commonly available brands:

BrandIngredientsSugar per tbsp
KikkomanGlucose syrup, water, alcohol, rice, corn syrup, salt7-8 grams
Sushi ChefFructose, water, rice, distilled sake, and rice koji (enzyme modified).5 grams
EdenWater, organic rice, koji (aspergillus oryzae), sea salt4 grams

Kikkoman is probably the most the common mirin brand, with both its original Aji-Mirin and its newer Kotteri Mirin. The flavor is delicious, although it’s also the sweetest at 7-8 grams of sugar per tablespoon. It also contains corn syrup, which some people dislike.

Eden Mirin is the only major brand of mirin with no refined sugar added, and it’s made with organic rice too. Eden Mirin is likely the best option for diabetic or sugar-reduced diets.This photo shows a bottle of Eden Mirin made with organic rice with no added sugar

Where to buy mirin

You can find it in many grocery stores and supermarkets, usually in the Asian sauces section. If that doesn’t work try ordering it online.

It costs about $5-10 per bottle depending on the brand, and it will quickly become a staple in your kitchen.

What are substitutes for mirin

Dry white wine or rice vinegar mixed with some sugar make an easy mirin substitute. For every tablespoon of wine or rice vinegar, you’ll need to add a half teaspoon of sugar.This quick 3-ingredient homemade mirin works perfectly as a substitute for teriyaki and other recipes calling for mirin. All you need is sake, sugar and water to make it.

This quick 3-ingredient homemade mirin works perfectly as a substitute for teriyaki and other recipes calling for mirin. All you need is sake, sugar and water to make it.
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Homemade Mirin

This quick 3-ingredient homemade mirin works perfectly as a substitute for teriyaki and other recipes calling for mirin. All you need is sake, sugar and water to make it.

Cuisine Japanese
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 36 kcal
Author TipBuzz

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 3/4 cup sake wine

Instructions

  1. Add sugar and water to a small saucepan and place over medium heat.

  2. Bring to a boil, and allow to boil gently for 2-3 minutes. Then remove from heat.

  3. Dribble in the sake slowly until you reach the desired level of sweetness.

  4. Stir to mix and set aside to cool completely. Store in a mason jar in the fridge.

Recipe Tips

If you're unable to find sake, you can use a dry white wine such as vermouth.

Nutrition Facts
Homemade Mirin
Amount Per Serving
Calories 36
% Daily Value*
Potassium 3mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 4g 1%
Sugars 4g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Looking for recipes using mirin?

Editor note: Published Nov. 30, 2017 and updated June 15, 2018


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