Categories: Meet the flavours
Welcome to a new edition of Meet the Flavours. Today we’re exploring mirin, a rice wine used in Japanese cuisine. A golden yellow liquid, mirin is similar to sake but has a sweeter taste, and is slightly lower in alcohol content. Mirin is made from steamed glutinous rice (mocha-gome), cultured rice (kome-koji) and distilled alcohols mixed together and fermented for two months.
Like sake, mirin was originally consumed as a beverage but was soon used as a replacement for sugar in Japanese food, and continues to be used like this today. It can also be used to mask stronger odours like fish and seafood, and add shine to a dish. Adding a splash of mirin to stir fries, marinades and sauces like teriyaki adds a touch of sweetness and balance to soy sauce-based dishes, and can enhance the flavour of the dish.
Fun fact: During the rice shortages of WWII, synthetic mirins became very popular in Japan as prices rose by more than 230%!
Now that you’ve been introduced to mirin, head down to your local Wok On Inn and try the Japanese noodles served with our delicious teriyaki sauce – a sweet soya glaze, mushrooms, carrots, bean sprouts, shallots, onions, and toasted sesame seeds. Choose your favourite noodles, add your star ingredient, and enjoy!