Where to Buy Mirin?
Mirin (みりん), or the Japanese sweet rice cooking wine, is the indispensable condiment behind Japanese cuisine. Japanese household will stock mirin because it can be used for so many recipes.
The subtle sweetness of mirin will give richness and umami to the dish. Mirin is also easy to absorb, thicken the sauce, and add glaze with a natural sweetness to meat ingredients.
Mirin is essential for making teriyaki sauce, nimono (Japanese simmered dish), soba noodle soup, yakitori (Japanese grilled chicken), etc. If you are cooking Japanese cuisine and you don’t have mirin in your hand, then you’re missing out.
Now back to the topic.
Where to buy mirin near you?
To get better information about “where” and “how” to buy mirin, let’s divide it into two categories where you can get mirin near you!
Find Mirin in The Grocery Store
If you live in Japan, looking for mirin in the grocery store will be easy-peasy.
However, mirin can be tricky to find overseas, especially when you’re looking for hon mirin (real mirin).
Aji mirin is the type of mirin that is cheaper and easier to find. But they have a completely different taste and quality. If you could find hon mirin in the nearby grocery store, consider yourself as lucky!
You can find mirin in grocery stores, Asian grocery stores, as well as international grocery stores.
Find it in oil & vinegar aisle. Some grocery stores might put mirin near rice vinegar because mirin is the sweet rice cooking wine.
If you can’t find it there, try in the condiment & spice aisle. It is usually placed near soy sauce, or around liquid condiments.
Find Mirin in Online Stores
Another way to buy mirin without directly find it in the grocery store’s aisle is to buy mirin in online stores. Many types of mirin can be found in online shops, which makes it so convenient.
If you are unsure what brand or which mirin should you choose, you can look at our product recommendations for reference.
Click Here to See Recommended Products for Mirin
Can Minors Buy Mirin in Supermarkets?
This is a very frequently asked questions about mirin in Japan.
Minors (or people under 20 in Japan) can buy mirin in supermarkets, because mirin is classified as condiments. Therefore, it is the same as buying other condiments like soy sauce or vinegar.
They can buy mirin, but they can’t drink hon mirin due to its alcohol content. Minors can enjoy hon mirin in dishes as the alcohol content blow off from the cooking process.
Great Ways to Use Mirin
There are some types of mirin. The most common names you may heard are “hon mirin (real mirin)”, “aji mirin”, and “mirin-fu chomiryo (mirin-like seasoning)”.
Those are all mirin and can be used for cooking. However, the manufacturing method and ingredients are completely different. Therefore each type can result in a different taste to the dish.
We recommend to use the hon mirin to bring the most authentic, delicious taste to Japanese cuisine.
In this article, we will further introduce hon mirin as mirin.
Knowing how to use mirin will make more discoveries to your cooking experience.
Let’s review it one by one.
● Use it to Make Teriyaki Dishes or Sauce
Teriyaki, the all-time favorite sauce which holds the ultimate combination of savory, saltiness, and sweetness in one sauce. Teriyaki's bold taste with umami made it loved by all generations.
To make the authentic teriyaki sauce, you will need a ratio of,
1 Mirin : 1 Japanese Soy Sauce : 0.5 Sugar
Try to make teriyaki dishes using chicken, beef, fish, or any meat you want.
Take a peek at Salmon Teriyaki Recipe here.
● Add when Cooking Nimono Dishes (Japanese Simmered Dish)
When we are talking about Japanese home cooking, nikujaga (meat-vegetable stewed dish) probably be the most popular of all. This Japanese comfort food is one of the nimono dishes where mirin plays an important part in its recipe.
Nimono is a cooking technique from Japan when you simmered fish, meat, vegetables, to clams in broth from several ingredients (dashi, Japanese soy sauce, sugar, sake, mirin, etc).
Nimono dishes are delicious for an everyday meals, served with several side dishes, and also perfect for making lunch bentos.
● Add to Braised Fish/Meat Dishes
Nizakana (braised fish) and kakuni (stewed pork belly) is also one of the nimono dishes.
You won’t want to miss adding mirin to these dishes because mirin could suppress the raw smell of the fish/meat, add a beautiful glaze, and prevent the fish/meat not to collapse easier.
To make nizakana, you’ll need the ratio of:
1 mirin : 1 Japanese soy sauce : 2 dashi soup : 1 sake : 2 water
Please note to adjust the broth ingredients above at the beginning before adding the fish.
● Use it for Oden Soup
Oden is another simmered dish that becomes the comfort food during the cold winter.
To make oden soup, you’ll need the ratio of:
1 Mirin : 1 Japanese Soy Sauce : 20 Dashi soup
What’s interesting about making oden is, you can add any ingredients you want from fish cakes, boiled egg, konyaku, daikon (Japanese radish), tofu, octopus, meat, etc. Additionally, you can add karashi or miso as the condiment.
● Dipping Sauce for Tempura (Tentsuyu)
Tempura will be more scrumptious to dip with tentsuyu (tempura dipping sauce). It is a general umami dipping sauce for all kinds of tempura.
To make tentsuyu, you’ll need the ratio of:
1 Mirin : 1 Japanese Soy Sauce : 4 Dashi soup
Tentsuyu usually served in the dipping sauce plate with grated daikon radish.
● Add to Scrambled Egg Recipe
Last but not least, my favorite yet simple way to use mirin is to add it to a scrambled egg recipe. I like my scrambled egg to be fluffy, soft and has an umami under taste on it. Mirin helps me to make that happen!
Please add 1 teaspoon (or at your preference) of mirin for each egg.
Add mirin when making scrambled eggs to add sweetness, tangy flavor, and fluffy texture to your egg. You can still add other ingredients like salt or pepper (if you love savory egg), sugar (if you like it to be sweet), or even dashi powder (if you want it to be more like Japanese tamagoyaki).
Mirin also can be used to make Oyakodon (Chicken & Egg Bowl).
Check the Oyakodon recipe here.
If you interest to learn more about hon mirin, please check the article below!
Hon Mirin: The Real Deal Japanese Sweet Rice Wine
Hon Mirin is one type of mirin, which has the best quality of all. It not only can be used as a condiment, but it is also delicious to drink as a liquor.
We will discover thoroughly about hon mirin in this article, so please check it out!
Click here to see more >>
Mirin Substitute If You Can’t Find Any
Mirin can be substitute with this ratio:
1 tablespoon of mirin = 1 tablespoon of sake and 1 teaspoon of sugar
You can also replace sake with white wine because it also has sweetness.
Cooking alcohol could be used too, but the taste will be a little bit different because it contains salt.
Mirin can’t be substitute with rice vinegar because they have a different flavor profile.
If you cannot use alcohol for religious or other reasons, you can replace sake with water. There are also halal mirin that already have halal certification. You can check for halal mirin in online shops.
Learn more about the mirin itself in our article below!
What is Mirin and What is the Good Substitute for Mirin?
When you visit a Japanese restaurant or read a Japanese cuisine recipe, sometimes you will notice that there is the word “mirin” in the dish.
So “What is mirin, anyways?” Here, we would like to learn more about mirin - discover the right mirin's substitute, types of mirin, how to use mirin, and tons of useful information about mirin in one article!
Click here to see more >>