All About Mirin

All About Mirin

Just like soy sauce, mirin is an essential Japanese ingredient.

This Japanese sweet rice wine is widely used in all kinds of dishes, where it lends depth of flavour and a mild sweetness. Unlike rice wine vinegar, mirin, like sake, is made from fermented rice alcohol - but it's sweeter, with lower alcohol content.

Mirin is an absolute staple in Japanese cooking, and provides both sweetness and umami in many Japanese dishes. We absolutely adore mirin here at The Wasabi Company, and we boast a truly incredible range for any Japanese cuisine beginners, and enthusiastic foodies alike.

Read on to find out more about mirin!

Learn about hon mirin Japanese rice wine in our recent blog online at The Wasabi Company

What is mirin?

Dating back centuries in Japanese cuisine, mirin has a rich history. Its delicate sweetness, balanced acidity, and subtle umami undertones make it a versatile addition to a variety of dishes.

Traditionally, mirin is crafted through a fermentation process including glutinous rice, koji, and shochu. This intricate method yields a nuanced flavour profile that distinguishes mirin from other sweeteners.

As a flavour enhancer and tenderiser, mirin is one of the most effective. The natural sweetness helps to balance salty and savoury components in dishes, creating harmonious flavour profiles. Plus, mirin's acidity lends brightness and depth to marinades, sauces, and glazes, elevating them from ordinary to extraordinary.

Hon Mirin also known as Japanese rice wine is great for dipping marinading and sauces

Varieties of mirin

At The Wasabi Company, we stock solely 'hon mirin', or 'true mirin'. Thanks to the traditional method of slow fermentation, the rice starches break down into simple sugars, resulting in a sweet, umami-rich, complex flavour profile. Inferior products (sometimes labelled as 'sweet rice seasoning') will contain glucose syrup, offering a more one-dimensional sweetness.

In addition to traditional hon mirin, there are variations such as shio mirin (salt mirin) and shin mirin (new mirin), which may contain additives or lower alcohol content. When choosing mirin, opting for high-quality, authentic varieties will ensure the best flavour in your cooking. Reading labels and seeking out mirin made with natural ingredients will help you select the highest quality mirin.

Our hon mirin selection includes Miwaka, Jun-Jou, Mukashi Jikomi, Okomedake and 20-Year-Aged Mirin. Each offers unique taste profiles to give the maximum umami to your Japanese cooking.

Culinary applications

While mirin has deep roots in traditional Japanese food, its impact extends far beyond Japan's boundaries. In modern culinary circles, chefs and home cooks alike are embracing mirin as a versatile ingredient that transcends cultural borders.

From classic dipping sauces and sushi rice to inventive fusion dishes, the creative possibilities with mirin are endless. Its ability to impart a gorgeous depth of flavour makes it an essential component in everything from simple weeknight stir-fries to gourmet culinary masterpieces.

Try adding a splash of hon mirin to miso paste, rice vinegar, soy sauce and sesame oil for an incredible dipping sauce to eat with raw fish, or pour on top of steamed rice. Mirin can also be used to add a sweet flavour to miso soup, miso ramen, ramen noodles, udon noodles or seaweed snacks.

Have a look at our recipes containing mirin for some inspiration!

Buy mirin at The Wasabi Company

Try our high-quality Japanese mirin, and discover what this unique fermented rice seasoning can bring to your Japanese cooking. Start your authentic Japanese food journey today!

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