12 Shaoxing Wine Substitute
Shaoxing wine is a popular Chinese alcoholic beverage produced in Shaoxing since ancient times. It is made from rice and other ingredients such as wheat, sorghum, millet, corn, beans, etc., and it is usually served with food. The most famous variety of Shaoxing wine is called “Jiuqiang” (汲張) or “Zhengjiu” (正酒). In recent years, the production of Shaoxing wine has declined due to the increasing popularity of imported wines. However, many small-scale producers still produce this traditional Chinese cooking wine.
To meet the growing demaauthentic Shaoxing wines, they provide an alternative way to enjoy Shaoxing wine. Some people have tried to develop new varieties of Shaoxing wine substitutes. For example, some people have used a bit of rice wine instead of rice to make Shaoxing wine. They believe Shaoxing wine can be easily substituted by default rice wine because they both come from the same region. Some people even use beer or Sake to make Shaoxing wines to taste the flavor of rice wine better. These Shaoxing wine substitutes are not authentic Shaoxing wines or any forms of rice wine. However, they are straightforward to prepare and consume for Chinese recipe.
Here are some Shaoxing wine substitutes you can try instead:
1. Dry Sherry
Dry sherry is a type of fortified wine that comes from Spain. This Spanish wine is also known as manzanilla or amontillado and is one popular ingredient in Chinese foods and noodle recipes. It is often served chilled on favorite recipes and can be paired with yellow wine. This kind of Shaoxing wine substitute is quite similar to Shaoxing wine for cooking and has a similar taste to rice wine for dishes. You can add dry sherry to your Shaosing wine recipe to make it more mellow to your Chinese takeout recipes.
Most people use dry sherry when they make Shaoxing wine substitutes because it is cheap and widely available. To buy dry sherry wine, you should look for brands like Don Q, Manzanilla, Amontillado, Oloroso, Palomino, Pedro Ximenez, Fino, etc. These are genuinely a favorite drinking wine by a lot of Asian people.
A great recipe to try when using dry sherry is to mix half a cup of dry wine sherry with two cups of water. Then add one teaspoon of sugar and stir well until dissolved. Next, pour the mixture into a glass bottle and let it sit at room temperature for about three days. After three days, strain out the sediment and store the liquid in the refrigerator.
Mirin is another Shaoxing wine substitute you can use to replace Shaoxing wine. It is a Japanese rice wine seasoning that is commonly used to enhance the flavors of dishes. Moreover, this outstanding wine is also called wine with mirin.
This is typically added to soups, sauces, stews, and marinades. To create a Shaoxing wine substitute, combine parts of mirin and Shaoxing wine.
Sake is a popular Japanese alcoholic beverage that is made from fermented rice. It is sometimes referred to as “rice wine” or “shochu.” Sake is traditionally served cold, but it can also be served warm. Like Shaoxing wine, Sake is also a popular alcohol consumed during meals.
To make a Shaoxing wine replacement, combine one part sake with four parts water. Add one tablespoon of sugar and stir well. Let the mixture sit overnight before straining out the sediment. Store the liquid in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
4. Cooking Sake
Cooking sake is different in a way from regular Sake. Instead of being brewed from rice, cooking sake is made from barley malt. It is then distilled to become a clear liquor. When making a Shaoxing wine substitution, you will need to use cooking sake instead of regular Sake.
Cooked Sake is primarily used in dishes like miso soup, ramen, and other types of Asian cuisine. However, if you want to drink this Shaoxing wine substitute on its own, you can always add a little bit of sugar to it.
Cheongju is a Korean type of rice wine usually used in desserts and drinks. These Korean wines have a sweet taste and a light body compared to regular or rice-cooking wine. The best thing about this Shaoxing wine substitute is that it does not require any aging process. All you need to do is add a few drops of honey to the finished product.
Moreover, cheongju’s flavor is very versatile. It goes well with many foods, including fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, and even chocolate!
6. Dry White Wine
Another alternative to Shaoxing white wine is dry non-alcoholic white wine. Chinese rice wines and vinegar are generally sweeter in a taste of rice wine than an amber-colored rice wine. They have fewer tannins and higher acidity levels.
Dry white wine is a rice wine vinegar perfect for drinking alone or mixed with food. For example, you can serve them with cheese, crackers, nuts, fruit, and breads. This is also one of the best ancient wine production still existing til this day.
You can also use dry white wine when making cocktails. Just remember to adjust the amount of sugar accordingly. Dry white wine is a common ingredient that can be mixed in dishes such as salads, pasta, and soups.
7. Dry Vermouth
Dry vermouth is a popular type of fortified flower wine that originated in Italy. It is often used as a critical ingredient in martinis and other cocktails. This Shaoxing wine substitute is similar to dry white wine because they both have low-tannin content and high acidity. It’s also the best semblance to rice wine, among other selections of wines.
However, there are some differences between these two types of wine. Dry vermouth is more acidic than dry white wine, among other rice wine production. Also, dry vermouth tends to be sweeter than dry white wine.
8. White Grape Juice
White grape juice is a healthier and cheaper alternative to Shaoxing wine. You can find this Shaoxing wine substitution at most grocery stores.
It would help if you mixed one part white grape juice with three parts water. If you want to add sweetness, you can add a teaspoon sugar.
9. White Grape Juice + Rice Vinegar
Another way to have a more vibrant flavor to your dish and drinks is to use non-alcoholic white wine or grape juice combined with rice wine vinegar.
This combination creates a unique flavor that is hard to describe. It is somewhere between sour and sweet. Most of the time, this combination is best to use when preparing salad dressings.
Lastly, the classic gin cocktail is one of the best alternatives for Shaoxing wine. Gin is a spirit that originates from England. It is known for having a spicy flavor and a strong kick.
Gin is also commonly served chilled. To make this Shaoxing wine replacement, you must combine equal amounts of gin and tonic water.
Note On Cooking With Alcohol
When cooking with alcohol, it’s best to keep the temperature below 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius). Otherwise, the alcohol will evaporate and leave behind unwanted flavors.
If you’re using a slow cooker, you may want to cook your savory recipe for extended periods. This allows the alcohol to dissolve fully into the liquid.
Here are some other tips when using Shao-Hsing or Shaohsing wine or any Chinese cooking wine:
1) When adding alcohol to a dish, add half the alcohol. Then taste the mixture and see if you like how it tastes.
2) Add the remaining alcohol after tasting the first batch.
3) Be careful not to burn yourself while stirring the mixture.
4) Always store alcoholic beverages in a cool place away from direct sunlight.
5) Never drink alcohol on an empty stomach. Wait until you’ve eaten something before consuming any alcohol.
6) Avoid mixing different types of alcohol.
7) Do not consume alcohol within 24 hours of taking medication.
8) Keep alcoholic beverages out of reach of children.
Is It Okay For Kids To Drink Shaoxing Wine?
According to Chinese medicine, Shaoxing wine has very mild effects on the body. Although this wine is a special cooking wine, it’s also a sweet cooking wine, almost similar to an average grape juice. Despite that, it is still recommended that kids avoid drinking too much of this beverage.
Shaoxing wine contains a lot of tannins which can cause digestive problems in young people. Therefore, it is better to limit their intake of Shaoxing wine.
If you use Shaoxing wine in your food, dilute it with water or another non-alcoholic beverage. Kids need to drink plenty of fluids as well.
Shaoxing wine is often used to create dishes such as braised meats, soups, stews, and sauces. These foods are usually meant to warm up the body during cold weather.
However, Shaoxing wine is not suitable for everyone. People sensitive to alcohol might experience headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, and hallucinations.
Which Brand Of Shaoxing Wine Do I Use?
There are different brands of Shaoxing wine available in stores. The most popular ones include:
1. Shaoxing Wine Company
3. Yanchang Wine Company
The main difference between these three companies is the quality of the product. It would be best if you chose the brand that suits your needs.
For example, if you prefer a more robust flavor, go for the Shaoxing Wine company. If you prefer a lighter flavor, then try the Wuliangye. And if you want a more delicate flavor, try the Yanchang Wine Company.
Shaoxing Wine Storage
When storing Shaoxing wine, keep it in the dark container. Also, don’t let it sit at room temperature for long periods.
You can refrigerate Shaoxing wonderful wine for about one month. After that, you’ll have to discard it because its shelf life is only six months.