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Salad dressings, marinades, and many Asian sauces call for this essential condiment. Here, a bit about what mirin is and how you can substitute if you don't have any.

Tim Cebula
October 25, 2016

Mirin is a Japanese sweet rice wine that lends mild acidity to a dish. It’s a handy ingredient to have in your pantry because many Asian and fusion recipes call for it. But if you don’t have it in your cupboard, no worries: Simple subs and hacks can easily mimic mirin’s sweet-tangy flavor. Dry sherry, sweet marsala wine, dry white wine, and rice vinegar will do the trick, for instance, if you mix in about 1/2 teaspoon sugar per tablespoon.

If you’re ready to try mirin (or one of its sweet substitutes), check out these recipes:

If you can't find mirin in the vinegar aisle, check your Asian grocery store or the Asian section in your traditional grocery store. If that fails, head to online retailers. Mirin is shelf stable for several months to more than a year, so one bottle will last you a while.