What is a decent substitute for Chinese cooking wine? Will Marsala work?

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Robin O'D
Robin O'D February 16, 2011

A dry sherry will work.

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AntoniaJames
AntoniaJames February 16, 2011

I use a medium dry sherry. Marsala would likely be too sweet and heavy, at least for my taste. Mirin (Japanese rice wine) is also a great substitute, but be sure to check for sweetness, when using any of these -- or when using the Chinese cooking wine, for that matter -- and add a dash of vinegar to sharpen the sauce, if necessary. ;o)

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Queen of Spoons
Queen of Spoons February 16, 2011

I'd like to know a little more about the recipe, but I'd be tempted to try sake, with maybe a tiny bit of mirin.

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cookinginvictoria
cookinginvictoria February 16, 2011

I use a dry sherry (usually manzanilla or amontillado) or in a pinch I have substituted dry white wine.

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Sadassa_Ulna
Sadassa_Ulna February 16, 2011

I'd like to try the wildcard-winning Gong Bao tonight and my liquor cabinet is frighteningly bare. I have some mirin so perhaps I'll try that and reduce the sugar a tad as AntoniaJames points out. Thanks for the input!

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amysarah
amysarah February 16, 2011

If you mean the darker Chinese cooking wine - Shao hsing - then dry sherry is a very good sub; for white Chinese cooking wine - a dry white (French, Italian, California, whatever.)

Mirin cab be okay too, but it's much sweeter than white Chinese wine, so adjust accordingly.

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isabelita
isabelita February 17, 2011

My chinese cooking teacher always used scotch.

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Helen's All Night Diner
Helen's All Night Diner February 17, 2011

I always substitute tequilan for Chinese wine.

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Sadassa_Ulna
Sadassa_Ulna February 17, 2011

Thanks everyone, I have scotch & tequila & mirin... so one will work!


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AntoniaJames
AntoniaJames February 17, 2011

I am so intrigued by the idea of using Scotch!! Definitely going to file that interesting tidbit for use in the near future. ;o)

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