Mirin generally comes in a glass jar

What is it?

Although mirin is a rice wine, it is strictly used for cooking. In the dashi, shoyu, mirin triad, its sweet flavour profile offsets the saltiness of shoyu and enhances the umami profile of dashi.

How do I use it?

A viscous liquid, it’s perfect to use as a subtle sweetener in simmering stocks, soups, sauces or dressings.

What should I buy?

The real deal, containing approximately 14% alcohol, can be hard to find – but buy it if you can. The mirin sold in many supermarkets usually has a meagre 1% alcohol content, substituting the alcohol’s sweetness with corn syrup. If you don’t have mirin, you can substitute it with a mixture of 3 parts cooking sake to 1 part sugar.

Storage: Mirin should last up to a year when capped tightly in the fridge.