Top 4 Rice Wine Substitutes

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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Rice wine is an alcoholic beverage created with fermented rice and used throughout South and East Asia, both for cooking and drinking. Depending on how you’re using it, finding the right rice wine substitutes is important. So, here we have curated a comprehensive list of the best rice wine substitutes.

Rice Wine Substitutes

The best rice wine alternatives include sake, mirin, Shaoxing rice wine, pale dry sherry, and white rice wine.

Sake

When looking to replace sake, a Japanese variety of rice wine, use dry sherry and white wine in equal amounts.

Mirin

To substitute for mirin, mix 1 part sugar with 6 parts dry sherry, dry white wine or sweet marsala wine.

Shaoxing Rice Wine

If the recipe calls for Shaoxing rice wine, use pale dry sherry (not cooking sherry!).

Two large wine glasses filled with sherry

When in Spain, do have sherry. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

White Rice Wine

If you’re looking for white rice wine substitute, use a slightly smaller amount of gin or vermouth. Gin has the most similar flavor.

Note: Avoid substituting rice wine across cuisines – Chinese rice wine has a vastly different flavor profile than Japanese or Indian rice wine. However, if your palate isn’t overly sensitive, or if you have no other options, lean towards using smaller amounts of any substitute to protect the meal’s flavor as much as possible.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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