What Can You Substitute for MIRIN in Cooking| 10 Choices

Always choose the replacement that will give your recipes the same delicious flavor as Mirin. 

Whether you’re looking for a vegan option or just want to try something new, coconut aminos included along with rice wine vinegar. 

All have their own unique way to add to the recipe so note them out. 

So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best substitutes for Mirin! Before that, I want to introduce what is Mirin.

What is Mirin? What is Mirin used for? 

Mirin is a type of rice wine used frequently in Japanese cooking. It is a sweet rice wine similar to sake. It’s also called “sweet sake”, but with lower alcohol content and higher sugar content. 

Mirin is used in many ways, from adding sweetness and flavor to sauces and marinades to being used as a cooking wine in foods such as teriyaki.

Mirin is a sweetened sake used as a condiment or marinade. There are mainly two types of Mirin: hon mirin (literally meaning, real Mirin) and sho-mirin (Mirin sold for household use).

It is often served with seafood and sashimi (raw fish). Mirin can also be combined with soy sauce and sugar to make a tasty teriyaki sauce.

Name of the SubstitutesAmount to Use
1. Sake1/4 cup for 1/2 tbsp Mirin
2. Shaoxing Wine1:1
3. White wine 1:1+ 1/2 tablespoons of sugar
4. Rice Wine Vinegar 1 tsp of rice wine vinegar for 1 tbsp of Mirin
5. Rice vinegar1:1+ 1/2 tablespoons of sugar
6. Apple Cider Vinegar1:1 ratio
7. Soy sauce+ sugar1 tbsp say sauce with 1/2 spoon of sugar for 1 tbsp mirin
8. Dry sherryThe same amount of Mirin
9. Marsala1/2 amount
10. Home MadeAs per as the recipe requires
Quick Table for Mirin Substitutes

What is a good substitute for Mirin in Cooking? 10 Alternatives 

Best mirin substitutes are Sake, Chinese rice wine (Shaoxing wine), white wine, rice wine vinegar, rice vinegar, soy sauce+ sugar, marsala sauce, apple cider vinegar, etc.

1. Best Mirin Substitute SAKE

Sake is a rice wine typically used in Japanese cuisine. It is similar to Mirin, but the alcohol content is higher than Mirin. So you can easily substitute sake for Mirin in any recipe you want.

best mirin substitute sake

Sake is made by fermenting polished rice that has been milled to remove the bran. It’s also called “rice wine” or “mirin” but should not be confused with rice wine or Mirin.

To substitute sake for Mirin, use 1/4 cup of sake in place of 2 tablespoons of Mirin for cooking. It provides the same richness that Mirin does to this dish.

The best part of Sake is- it comes with several flavors like fruits, spices, and herbs. 

2. SHAOXING WINE Substitute for Mirin

My second most preferable replacement for Mirin is Shaoxing wine. Chinese Cooking Wine, also called Shaoxing cooking wine, is a fermented alcoholic drink made from grain. It is used in Chinese cuisine to improve the flavor of dishes.

It is widely used in marinades for barbecue dishes and as a component of dipping sauces in China. Sometimes, it is mixed with sesame oil as a dipping sauce for dumplings.

Chinese rice wine can be made from glutinous or non-glutinous rice or other grains.

You can use Shaoxing rice wine for Mirin or Korean cooking wine as the same ratio. The taste of the two is quite different, though, so adjust accordingly by adding sugar to Shaoxing rice wine or Mirin.

3. Substitute WHITE WINE for Mirin 

Substitute white wine for Mirin in recipes that call it a cooking liquid or seasoning. You can also add a touch of sugar to enhance the flavor, 1/2 tablespoons of sugar. Honey is more soluble than sugar in white wine.

you can substitute white wine with mirin

Use a 1:1 ratio for every spoon of Mirin for salad dressing boiling seafood.

4. RICE WINE VINEGAR Substitute Mirin

Rice wine Vinegar is another best alternative for Mirin. To substitute rice wine vinegar for mirin, use 1 teaspoon of rice wine vinegar for 1 tablespoon of Mirin.

Don’t forget to add sugar because rice wine vinegar has a sour taste but is similar to Mirin. 

You can use Rice wine vinegar in the same way Mirin is used; it can be added to a hot broth or sauce, simmered for a few minutes, or used as an ingredient in marinades.

5. Use RICE VINEGAR Replace of Mirin 

Substitute rice vinegar for Mirin is a good idea. Rice vinegar is made from fermented rice same as Mirin. Even rice vinegar is frequently used in Korean, Japanese, and Chinese cuisine. 

As a result, you won’t have to worry about your taste altering. Although rice vinegar is available in red, black, and white colors, it is also less sweet than Mirin, so you have to put sugar in your recipe. 

Whereas the red one is perfect for soups and noodles, use white rice vinegar in the salad, sushi and black rice vinegar good pair with stews.

For every tablespoon of vinegar used in place of Mirin, add half a tablespoon of sugar.

6. APPLE CIDER VINEGAR Substitute for Mirin

Apple Cider Vinegar substitution is not an exact one. However, it is still quite suitable when you want a splash of umami seasoning in stir-frying, salads, or the Keto diet, other dishes. 

However, be aware that since ACV and Mirin have different ingredients and pH levels, the food may end up with a different flavor and texture. 

7. Try SOY SAUCE + SUGAR Instead of Mirin

Try soy sauce and sugar if you don’t have anything to replace. Soy sauce is a traditional condiment used in many Japanese, Korean and Chinese cuisine.

Although mirin and soy sauce has no similarities, they can bring the taste you want. 1 tablespoon say sauce with 1/2 spoon of sugar for each spoon of Mirin. Soy sauce is only suitable for stir fry, casserole, soup, and noodles.

8. DRY SHERRY -A Decent replacement for Mirin 

Mirin is a Japanese rice wine used in cooking, often as a condiment or glaze for grilled meats and vegetables. Dry sherry is also used in cooking, with its nutty flavor working best in meat-based dishes. 

If you happen to be out of Mirin when preparing a recipe, you can substitute dry sherry for Mirin. Still, the taste will not be exactly the same so add some natural sugar.

9.MARSALA WINE- ALternative for Mirin 

Marsala is a sweet Italian wine often used for cooking purposes. Marsala resembles Japanese Mirin. 

Marsala is the last option on my bucket list for substituting Mirin.

The best part is that marsala is also a good substitute for port wine, perfect for dessert and sweet dishes.

You can add marsala half amount of Mirin required for the dishes.

How to Make a Substitute for Mirin (HOMEMADE MIRIN)

Mirin is a rice wine that is used in Japanese cuisine. It is a sweet, low-alcohol beverage made from glutinous rice, water, and koji. Mirin can be used as a marinade, sauce, make the teriyaki sauce, or seasoning.

More Substitute- Best Teriyaki Sauce Alternatives 

To make Mirin at home, you will need:

  • -1 cup glutinous rice
  • -4 cups water
  • -1/2 cup koji


1. Combine the glutinous rice, water, and koji in a pot and bring to a boil.

2. Lower the warmth to low and simmer for 30 minutes.

3. Strain the mixture and discard the solids.

4. Pour the Mirin into a jar and store it in the refrigerator.

Mirin can be stored in the fridge for several months.

Non-alcoholic substitute for Mirin

As Mirin has low alcohol content still, if you avoid absolute alcohol, try to use coconut aminos and liquid aminos at the same amount. Here is the detailed post about Non-alcoholic alternatives.

Mirin VS Rice Wine Vinegar

There are a few key distinctions between mirin and rice wine vinegar. 

Mirin is a Japanese sweet cooking rice wine made from glutinous rice, while rice wine vinegar is a type of brewing rice starch with the Mother of Vinegar; the difference is in the vinegar content. 

Mirin has a lower alcohol level and a higher sugar content than rice wine vinegar. It also has a slightly sweeter flavor.

Mirin is used in cooking to add sweetness and flavor, similar to how sugar might be used. A small amount of Mirin can also be added to a dish after it is finished cooking to add a bit of shine and gloss.

Rice wine vinegar has a very similar taste to Mirin. It also has a strong sweet flavor. But unlike Mirin, it is not used in cooking to add sweetness or flavor. 

Rice wine vinegar is used to add a sour or tart flavor to dishes, and it can also be used to marinate meats.

Also, unlike Mirin, rice wine vinegar can be used to pickle ingredients. It is often used in dishes like Japan’s famous cucumber sunomono salad.

Mirin is also fragrant and slightly syrupy, while rice wine vinegar has the consistency of standard white vinegar.

What can I use to substitute Mirin?

I generally use these alternatives while running our for Mirin

  • · Sake
  • · Rice vinegar
  • · Soysauce+sugar
  • · Dry sherry
  • · Marsala
  • · Red wine vinegar
  • · White wine

Wrap Up On Mirin Substitutes

If you use rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, and rice wine for Mirin, Don’t forget to add sugar because rice wine vinegar has a sour taste. Again rice wine vinegar does not contain any alcohol, so it is a non-alcoholic mirin replacement option as well.

If you’re looking to make some Asian dishes without the use of Mirin, try using coconut aminos instead! It’s an excellent substitute that will give your food the same flavor as if it were made with traditional ingredients. 

You can see this product at most grocery stores and online retailers like Amazon. What other alternative ingredients have you seen to stay true to your eating habits?

Q1. Can Mirin replace rice vinegar?

There are many various types of vinegar, each with its own distinct flavour and range of applications.

Rice vinegar is a type of vinegar made from rice that is popular in East Asian cuisine. Mirin is a type of rice wine that is used in Japanese cooking and has a sweet flavor.

To replace Mirin for rice vinegar totally depends on personal preferences; while some say that Mirin can replace rice vinegar in recipes, others say this is not always the case.
Mirin is not as acidic as rice vinegar, so it may not be a good substitute in all recipes. So you can experiment with that.

Q2. Can I use cooking sake instead of Mirin?

A Big YES to Sake. Cooking sake can be used as a substitute for Mirin in most recipes. 

Mirin is a sweet rice wine that is used in Japanese cooking to add a little sweetness and flavor. If you don’t have mirin, you can use cooking sake as a substitute. 

Cooking sake is a Japanese rice wine that is also sweet and has a subtle flavor. It can be used in most recipes that call for Mirin.

Q3. Can I substitute apple cider vinegar for Mirin?

Apple cider vinegar has a sharp, tangy flavor, whereas Mirin has a slightly sweet and mellow flavor. 

If you don’t have any other option, I suggest including honey or sugar along with apple cider vinegar.

Q4. Sake and Mirin substitute

Sake is a Japanese rice wine made from fermented rice. Mirin is a sweet rice wine used in cooking. They are both similar in flavor, but Mirin is slightly sweeter and has a lower alcohol content.

Sake is the more popular beverage in Japan, particularly in restaurants. Sake begins with a brewing process similar to beer, whereas Mirin does not. 

Mirin is typically added at the end of cooking to give a bit of sweetness and flavor to dishes made with meat or seafood. 

Some Japanese cookbooks suggest substituting 1/2 teaspoon of sugar with 2 teaspoons of Mirin. 

To substitute sake for Mirin, use 1/4 cup of sake in place of 2 tablespoons of Mirin.

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