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So Essential It’s in Every Japanese KitchenMIRIN is a subtly Japanese sweet rice wine, which is an essential condiment used in many Japanese dishes. Mirin is similar to sake, but with a much lower alcohol content.
It is a clear golden liquid made from steamed glutinous rice, Kome koji (malted rice) and shochu (distilled alcoholic beverage). These are mixed and fermented for about 40-60days. Mirin provides decent and mild sweetness. It gives a luster and eliminates raw odors and adds a rich aroma to Japanese dishes.
TYPES of MIRIN
There are three general types of MIRIN.
*HON MIRIN -- is produced without artificial preservatives or additives, which contains about 14% alcohol and about 40-50% natural occurring sugar, therefore, no sugars are added. Sugar is formed naturally during the fermentation process. In addition, no salt is added.
*SHIO MIRIN type -- is a MIRIN-type condiment with very little alcohol, water, rice, starch syrup and around 1.5-2% salt to make it undrinkable (to avoid the alcohol tax in Japan).
*Shin (new) MIRIN -- is MIRIN-like condiment contains less than 1% alcohol and less than 1% salt. It has added starch syrup, brewed vinegar, acidic components, etc., but retains the same flavor as HON MIRIN.