Top 10 Best Mirin Substitute

If you are looking for a mirin substitute, then you have arrived at the right place! Mirin is usually used to add mild acidity to any dish. But sometimes, they are not easily available in grocery stores. There is no need to panic in such situations! In today’s article, I have found the 10 best substitutes for mirin in cooking. Here, I have tried to include all the possible mirin substitutes that can be found both online as well as offline stores. You can keep on reading to find out the best mirin substitute before they go out of stock! 

List Of Top 10 Best Mirin Substitute

First, you go through the list for best mirin substitute and then head towards the main article.

  1. Aji-Mirin
  2. Rice Vinegar
  3. Sake
  4. Balsamic Vinegar
  5. Shao Xing Cooking Wine
  6. Marsala Wine
  7. Dry Sherry
  8. White Wine
  9. Vermouth
  10. White Grape Juice

Keep on reading to know what is a substitute for mirin in detail.

Top 10 Best Mirin Substitute

All the details of the mirin sauce substitute start from here. You can them one by one and then purchase them accordingly.

  1. Aji-Mirin


The very first mirin substitute is Aji-Mirin. You can easily find Aji-Mirin in Japanese markets. It is original yet traditional that is very rare and inexpensive. They are mixed with very low alcohol content and very high sugar content. If you want to add umami flavor to your favorite dish, then go for Aji-Mirin blindly!

  1. Rice Vinegar

Rice Vinegar

Rice vinegar is likely to substitute mirin in several dishes. It is mostly known as rice wine vinegar and is non-alcoholic. This mirin substitute is made by putting the rice wine into a fermentation process. This fermentation process helps the alcohol to turn into acetic acid. Thus, it will give you a mild flavor and a slightly sweet taste to your dishes. You can also splash half a teaspoon of sugar into each teaspoon of vinegar to minimize its sourness.

  1. Sake


Another close non-alcoholic substitute for mirin is sake! You will find many kinds of sakes in the markets, but the most common one is unfiltered sake. By adding some sugar, you can lower the alcohol content of sake even more. Without any doubt, unfiltered sakes are sweet enough to substitute for mirin. Surprisingly, sakes can also be used in marinades to remove odors from meat and fish.

  1. Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is suitable as a mirin substitute due to its rich flavors! They are usually made from boiled-down white grapes along with their skin, seeds, and stems. It has a thick consistency with a rich and slightly sweet taste. You can use balsamic vinegar for various purposes like salad dressings, dipping sauces, gourmet marinades, and soup broth.

  1. Shao Xing Cooking Wine

Shao Xing Cooking Wine

The next substitute for mirin is Shao Xing Cooking Wine. It is Chinese rice water that tastes exactly like sake. They usually have a salty, harsh alcohol flavor and are used in most Chinese foods. This includes stir fry sauces to soup, broths, marinades, and wontons.

  1. Marsala Wine

Marsala Wine

It is a type of wine with rich caramel and a nutty taste. Marsala wine is of two kinds: dry marsala and sweet marsala. In sweet marsala, you do not have to add extra sugar. This replacement for mirin is a multi-purpose and flavor-friendly ingredient.  You can use them for sauteing vegetables and marinating meat and poultry.

  1. Dry Sherry

Dry Sherry

Dry sherry wine has a stiff, acidic flavor and is made from wine and brandy. The taste of dry sherry is on the sweeter side. So, you can splash some salt if you want to make it less strong. For this, you have to add half a tablespoon of sugar for every tablespoon of sherry. The only drawback of this ingredient is that it lacks the umami taste.

  1. White Wine

White Wine

As well all know mirin is wine, so white wine is the best substitute for mirin. You will find various different flavors in white wine but mostly are on the fruitier side. If you find it sour in taste, you can add 2 tablespoons of sugar for every tablespoon of dry white wine. This hack will help you to add sweetness to your dish. But make sure you avoid very sweet white wines like Moscato or ice wine. They contain a high amount of sugar.

  1. Vermouth


Vermouth is an excellent substitute for mirin. It is a flavored wine mixed with brandy.  Generally, they are infused with herbs and spices so that it adds a delicate flavor to any dish. In the market, you will find two kinds of vermouth: red and white vermouth. Here, red vermouth is sweet vermouth and white vermouth is dry vermouth. Both these vermouths are perfect for glazing, dressing, and dipping sauces.

  1. White Grape Juice

White Grape Juice

Lastly, you can use white grape juice as the substitute for mirin. It is made from skinned grapes and is sweet on its own. To add some tangy taste to mirin, you can add a tablespoon of lemon juice per cup of white grape juice. But the umami flavor is missing in this mirin substitute non-alcoholic. This will add a fruity flavor to all your dishes!


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What Does Mirin Taste Like?

Mirin has a sweet and tangy flavor. Unlike sake, mirin has a thicker, almost syrup-like, consistency. The ingredient’s taste brings in umami due to its fermentation process.

Is Mirin The Same As Teriyaki Sauce?

Mirin is a type of rice wine that’s often used to make teriyaki sauce. It is similar to sake but has a lower alcohol content and a higher amount of sugar. It is a staple in Japanese cooking.

What Can Be Used Instead Of Mirin?

You can always buy mirin online, but if you’re really in a crunch, you can sub in a dry sherry or a sweet marsala wine. Dry white wine or rice vinegar will also do, though you’ll need to counteract the sourness with about a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar for every tablespoon you use.

Can I Use Honey Instead Of Mirin?

Honey for Mirin’s Substitute

Honey is also recommended to use instead of sugar. If you use honey, it will taste almost like mirin. But let’s note that honey has higher sugar content than sugar, so please mix it slightly less than when using sugar.

Can I Use Honey Instead Of Mirin?

Best mirin substitutes
In a pinch, a simple sugar and water combination, honey, or agave syrup can mimic the sweetness of mirin. A good rule of thumb is a 3:1 ratio for water to sugar to get the correct level of sweetness. However, these mirin substitute options will lack that pleasurable umami taste.

What Does Mirin Taste Like?

Mirin has a sweet and tangy flavor. Unlike sake, mirin has a thicker, almost syrup-like, consistency. The ingredient’s taste brings in umami due to its fermentation process.

What Is Mirin In Japanese Sauce?

Mirin (みりん, 味醂) or sweet rice wine is a sweet and syrupy liquid used as a seasoning and glazing agent. Just like soy sauce, it is one of the most important condiments in Japanese cuisine. Similar to sake, mirin is also a type of rice wine but with lower alcohol content (14% instead of 20%).


With the help of the above-listed mirin substitutes, you can add different flavors to your dish! This includes Aji-Mirin, Rice Vinegar, Sake, Balsamic Vinegar, and Shao Xing Cooking Wine. There are also some other popular mirin substitutes such as Marsala Wine, Dry Sherry, White Wine, Vermouth, White Grape Juice. All of them contain an alcohol content of around 10 to 14 percent.  It is original yet traditional that is very rare and inexpensive. They are mixed with very low alcohol content and very high sugar content. You can pick out any of the best mirin substitute that is available in your nearby grocery stores.

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