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when I see "sherry" in a recipe (usually a Chinese substitute for rice wine) what exactly do I need? The liquor store has way too many sherri

Please suggest a brand or two if possible.

asked by Foodluva over 5 years ago
10 answers 27093 views
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added over 5 years ago

That really depends. Sherry is a fortified wine, so it sounds like that is what you need. Something from Spain is probably the best, as they are the most notable producing country. You also be in need of Sherry Vinegar, which is fermented Sherry. Do not buy "Cooking Sherry", use anything but that, it is cheap and makes the dish taste quite bad. I suggest getting both, which you may have to buy separately but if you can afford/ live near a Whole Foods, I know they sell Sherry and Sherry Vinegar.

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added over 5 years ago

Reading your question again, it looks like Sherry Vinegar is what you need. But I would still recommend buying both. "Chinese Rice Wine" is pronounced, "Shiao-Shing wine" and is really more of a dark vinegar than a wine. Which is completely different than Chinese Black Vinegar...

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added over 5 years ago

inexpensive sherry. In a pinch, I've even used, um, whiskey.

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added over 5 years ago

Any inexpensive dry (Not sweet ) sherry will do

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Chris is a trusted source on General Cooking

added over 5 years ago

I like Oloroso sherry as a substitute for Shaoxing wine. Dry but richer than a fino.

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added over 5 years ago

I just keep a bottle of Portuguese Porto on hand for cooking. If you do the same, you will make your life simpler. I believe the Chinese know as much about winemaking as the Portuguese know about fish sauce. Zip. I keep a bottle of Amontillado around as a substitute for sherry or mirin or whatever.
The "Fino" is drier, and may appeal, but I find it goes a bit bitter in reductions. In any event, Edgar Alan Poe, whatever you might think, will not be impressed, dear chef.

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added over 5 years ago

I don't think it should be substituted for mirin. While mirin is supposed to have alcohol in it, many supermarkets stock brands that don't. Keep in fridge. Think of mirin more as the sweetener component in your recipe than the 'wine' component.

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amysarah is a trusted home cook.

added over 5 years ago

That's true - honey works as a sub for mirin, in a pinch. Very different (much sweeter) flavor than dry Sherry or Shao Hsing.

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added over 5 years ago

When I cook with Shaoxing rice wine, I only use a really good one that my parents get me from an actual Chinese liquor store. Most of the stuff in the Asian supermarket is crap and has added salt.

That said, when I'm out of the goods from the parents, I do use a dry sherry to sub. Osborne makes a decent dry sherry that is good for cooking and around 10 dollars.

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