I have a question about step 1 on the recipe "Quick Cucumber and Shiso Pickles" from Teri. It says:
"Put sugar, vinegar, mirin and salt into a non-reactive bowl. Whisk until the sugar and salt are dissolved."
Mirin is a sweet rice cooking wine and I'm sure is available at Asian markets. I actually found it in the Asian aisle of my grocery store.
Good answer. And don't be afraid of the sweet wine description. It's needed to provide a balance in the sweet-tangy-salty balance of Japanese foods.
You should be able to find it easily. You can substitute sake + a little sugar.
I made this with just some white wine and it was delicious!
I sometimes use vermouth -- sweet or dry depending on what's called for -- if I don't have the right ingredient. As you see, it's about getting a good balance of taste. (Vermouth is an easy choice because even the brand name is inexpensive and, here at least, in my supermarket.) Ultimately, you should try to get some mirin.
Mirin is the best choice as it is more mild than using straight sake or Vermouth and has a nominal amount of alcohol. The flavor is completely different. Mirin is easy to find at most grocery stores with other Asian foods and is not expensive. Also, instead of salt, white soy or shoyu can be used. It is found in some stores and online.