Does Cooking Wine Have Alcohol
Yes, cooking wine has an average alcohol content of around 16% ABV. This means that 16 ml would be pure ethyl alcohol in a 100 ml sample. It also makes the wine have a higher alcohol content than many drinking wines and gives it a rich body. The alcohol content is so high because most of it is intended to be burned off during the cooking process. Cooking wine can still suffer from wine oxidation, so make sure to seal it up unless you want to cook with a stale wine. Trust us, air doesn’t help cooking wine so put away that new wine decanter.
Some white cooking wines have a lower amount of alcohol than the average, so it’s important to read the label before using it. The alcohol level greatly affects the final outcome when cooking with wine. We recommend sticking to a dry wine if you want to use a white wine in the cooking process.
Can You Smell What The Wine Is Cooking
Now that you know all about cooking wine, one question remains. Should you use cooking wine? You can up some of the best books to learn about wine and see why many chefs and cooks say no. Cooking wine lacks any depth of flavor and adds more sodium than you may want in your dish. Less salty, more flavorful wine can impart a lighter flavor to the final product.
We recommend just testing your favorite wines to see how your food turns out. Don’t get upset if the flavor is off-balance because wine is acidic. You can also read about food and wine pairing to discover what tastes the best together.
Can I Drink Rice Cooking Wine
Cooking wine is not intended for drinking, but yes you can technically drink cooking wine. At its core, cooking wine is still a wine and can be consumed without any additional steps. The taste of cooking wine is not enjoyable to most, particularly if you enjoy sugar in wine.
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Why Use Cooking Wine
Why do you cook with wine? What does it do to the food? What does it add to the taste?
Evaporation of Unpleasant Flavors
One main purpose of using Chinese cooking wine is to mask the strong fishy or gamey smell and taste of meat and seafood through alcohol evaporation during cooking. Alcohol has a much lower boiling point temperature than water . Once the temperature is above 78.5° C, then the alcohol evaporates quickly, which reduces the vapor partial pressures of fishy/gamey components in fish and meat and thus makes these volatile components easily evaporate from food. It is particularly true in Sichuan cooking that many quick stir-frying usually spray dry rice cooking wine at the highest heat point during cooking progress, such as stir-frying gizzard with green Thai peppers.
As the name says, Chinese cooking wine is Chinese rice wine for cooking. In one side, Chinese rice wine is a product of fermented regular and glutinous rice that contains high levels of protein and amino acids. The unique fermentation process let these nutrients add additional savory flavors to the food. In the other side, Shaoxing cooking wine has already blended expected cooking spices which can nicely impart the food flavors during cook
Bring out Flavors
Animal fats are partially hydrolyzed into glycerin and fatty acid after heating. The ethanol of alcohol then esterifies with fatty acid and form aromatic esters.
Maybe Not The Best For Sipping On While You Cook But It Can Bring A Ton Of New Flavors To Your Dinner Dishes
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While strolling around your local grocery store, you may have noticed a category of wine that is not marketed as drinking wine, but cooking wine. Although you can put any regular drinking wine into a dinner dish, this set of wines is specifically made for cooking your stuffed chicken parm. But what is cooking wine?
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Shaoxing Wine Your Best Cooking Wine In The Market
Chinese cuisine is popularly known for its rich flavor and artistic nature of meal preparation. What most people dont understand is that the natives use unique ingredients and cooking style to come up with the spicy yet healthy delicacies.
One of the unique ingredients in almost every dish in China is Shaoxing wine. While the westerners believe that cooking wine is only meant for cooking, in China we believe that you shouldnt cook with any wine that you would never drink.
I know that whenever you are out for your shopping at the grocery stores you may have noticed a list of wines being promoted as cooking wine. This is mostly used for cooking only especially in the western countries.
I love cooking wines because they not only enhance the flavor of your food but you can also enjoy drinking.
Unlike regular wines that are naturally flavorful, strong in taste and finer, the cooking wine is your go-to wine that will only add the exact flavor you desire.
According to wine folly, the difference in your food is the kind of wine you use.
How Is It Used
Just like using wine in Western dishes, Shaoxing wine adds depth and flavor complexity. We use it in marinades for meats, as a flavor agent in wonton or dumpling fillings, to deglaze our wok and add flavor to stir-fries, and to add flavor to sauces and braises. Wed go so far as to say that the vast majority of our savory recipes contain Shaoxing wine.Shaoxing Wine is particularly essential for hong shao or red-cooked dishes like Chinese Braised Fish and Shanghai Style Braised pork belly . It appears in larger quantities in braised dishes, , while a marinade or stir-fry usually contains only a tablespoon or two.
It is also the star of a traditional cold appetizer aptly named, Drunken Chicken, in which the chicken is cooked and then soaked in a brine of Shaoxing wine and other seasonings. This drunken brining method can also applied to seafood, like shrimp and crab.
Again, there are types of high quality Shaoxing wine made for drinking , but in the U.S., salt is added to the wine to avoid alcohol taxes and to permit it to be sold in stores where regular wine/liquor cannot be sold. The flavor of the wine sold in most grocery stores for cooking is therefore briny and not meant for drinking!
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The Ultimate Guide To Chinese Cooking Wines
Cooking wine plays a major role in Chinese cuisine, possibly coming second to soy sauce in importance. Theoritically, any wine, including wiskey, beer, distilled wine and rice wine, can be used as cooking wine, but Chinese rice wine, especially Shaoxing rice wine, is the best in the cooking world. Chinese cooking wine is used in two typical applications
- Flavor correction: Cooking wine can not only mask the strong fishy smell and the gamey taste of meat and seafood, but also enhance the final flavors.
- Cooking ingredient: Cooking wine is a key ingredient in recipes of drunken shrimp, pickled egg in rice wine, drunken chicken, chicken wing with beer, and more.
By default, cooking wine in the US market is treated with salt which acts as a preservative to inhibit the growth of microorganisms that produce acetic acid. By US law, cooking wine should be “Not for Sale or Consumption as Beverage Wine.”
Chinese cooking wine in US groceries are all rice wine, made from fermeneted regular rice or glutinous rice, even though they may be labeled differently, such as Cooking Wine, Rice Cooking Wine, Rice Wine, Sweet/Glutinous Rice Cooking Wine, Shao HSing or Shao Shing or Shaoxing Cooking Wine, Miron, Cooking Spirit or without English name at all.
“Shao HSing”, “Shao Shing” and “Shaoxing” means the same place Shaoxing in China. Correct name spelling in Chinese pinyin should be “Shaoxing” or “Shao Xing”
What Do You Use Cooking Wine For
Wine has three main uses in the kitchen as a marinade ingredient, as a cooking liquid, and as a flavoring in a finished dish. The function of wine in cooking is to intensify, enhance, and accent the flavor and aroma of food not to mask the flavor of what you are cooking but rather to fortify it.
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Do You Have To Be 21 To Buy Cooking Wine
No, you do not need to be 21 or have an ID to buy cooking wine. Cooking wine is available in most grocery stores and is considered an ingredient rather than an alcoholic beverage. IDs aren’t usually required because cooking wine is considered “undrinkable.” This is due to the ingredients that make it taste overwhelmingly salty and unpleasant.. Cooking wine is not intended to be drunk and is sold as such.
What Is Shaoxing Wine
Shaoxing wine, or shàoxng ji , is a type of Chinese rice wine that hails from Shaoxing, a city in Chinas Zhejiang Province famous for rice wine production. Its a key ingredient in many dishes and will create that authentic restaurant flavor you may have found difficult to replicate at home.
With early records mentioning it over 2000 years ago, Shaoxing Wine is one of the oldest forms of rice wine in China. The production process involves fermenting rice, water, and a small amount of wheat . Clear rather than cloudy, it has a dark amber color, with a mildly sweet, fragrant aroma.
Aged Shaoxing wine can be consumed as a beverage, usually warmed beforehand. For cooking, however, we use lower grade Shaoxing wine with added salt to 1) avoid an alcohol tax and 2) allow it to be sold in regular grocery stores.
This amber-colored rice wine differs from clear rice cooking wine, or mji , in that it has a more complex and deeper taste. Comparing the lighter flavor of rice wine vs. Shaoxing wine is like the difference between using salt or light soy sauce. One is more purely salty, while the other adds a richer flavor.
Weve actually visited the city of Shaoxing in China to learn more about ancient wine production! In a couple of the photos below, you can see the style of the clay jars that used to store wine.
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Regular Wine Vs Cooking Wine
The difference between the two wines is the quality of the drink. Regular wine is finer, more flavorful, and will have a stronger taste in your dishes. Cooking wine is a go-to wine that will add the flavor you need, but will not be enjoyable to drink, as the flavors it will bring won’t be as potent.
Cooking wine is a great option to use because it provides the wine flavor and body without you spending the extra money to get a second fine bottle. Basically, it helps you reserve your nice wine for you to enjoy during the meal.
What Color Is Chinese Cooking Wine
Its made from fermenting rice, water, and a tiny amount of wheat, which means its not gluten free. Shaoxing rice wine is brown in color, and the flavor is much stronger but sweeter than mijiu, which is another rice wine thats popular in Chinese and Tawainese cooking.
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Chinese Cooking Wine Brings Tangy Depth To Welleverything
I love cooking with alcohol. The magnificent aromas, the satisfying glug of rich liquid pouring from the bottle, and, of course, the drinking. Sure, French cooking gets well-deserved attention for its liberal use of wine, and Japanese cooking wouldnt be nearly as delicious without mirin and sake, but there are few places where alcohol is used as effectively, or as liberally, as in Chinese cuisines. If your pantry is short a bottle of Chinese wine, for cooking and for drinking, its time to fix that. And were here to help.
What Is Chinese Cooking Wine?
Chinese wines are made by fermenting grain with a starter of molds and yeasts. There is a huge range of styles, from light, clear mijiu to dark, sweet xiang xue jiu . But when someone refers to liaojiu , they are usually talking about a variety of amber huangjiu . The best huangjiu comes from the city of Shaoxing. The medium-dry huadiao wine produced in Shaoxing has a rich, slightly nutty taste perfect for braises, stir-fries, or for sipping in the kitchen. Careful, thoughmost exported wine labeled as Shaoxing is spiced and salted to get around taxes and import fees for drinkable wines. These salted cooking wines are generally inferior to genuine, unsalted Shaoxing wines, but theyll do for most recipes. If you can find a bottle labeled huadiao, get it. If its unsalted, even better.
Why Use Chinese Cooking Wine?
The 6 Types Of Cooking Wines
Dry red and white wines: the wines are best used when you are making beef stews, cream soups, wine reduction sauces and when you need to make wine-based sauces.
Dry nutty or oxidized wines: these ones are known to add the richer flavor to your meals than dry ones. They are good with your mushroom gravies on chicken and pork chops, shrimp and rich fish like halibut.
Sweet nutty/oxidized wines: it takes about 10 years to age and can last about a month after you open them. Its perfect for syrups on desserts with nuts, caramel and vanilla ice-cream.
Sweet fortified red wines: for your chocolate sauces, chocolate cakes, savory port sauces and steaks with blue cheese
Sweet white wines: this is perfect for poaching pears, shrimp, sweet butter sauces for flaky fish and lobsters.
Rice wines: these are good for marinades, glazes and Asian barbecue sauce.
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What Are The Stores That Sell Rice Wine
- Amazon One of the simplest ways to obtain rice wine for cooking is via Amazon. Various varieties, including Shaoxing wine and mirin, can be found on Amazon.
- Rice wine is held in the condiment aisle near the vinegars at Walmart. Check the online store locator if youre looking for a particular form or brand of rice wine.
- Rice wine can be found in the international condiment, and wine aisles at Whole Foods. Look for brands like Yu Yee, Eden, and Wan Ja Shan when buying cooking wine.
- Safeway In the international aisle or the oil and vinegar area, look for Ka-Me, Nakano, and Sun Luck.
- If your Trader Joes sells wine, look for sake in the beer and wine section.
- Rice wine from Eden, Sun Luck, Kikkoman, and other brands can be found in the condiments and Asian items section of any Kroger shop.
- Asian Markets Rice wine is commonly sold in Asian markets.
- Liquor Stores If you havent been able to locate rice wine elsewhere in your town, go to a liquor store.
What Does Rice Wine Taste Like
It has a mixed aroma and taste. For those who are unfamiliar with it, Shaoxing rice wine doesnt smell much like alcohol. Some think it has a very particular taste: vinegary, spicy and caramel-like. Playing an important role in Chinese cuisine, Shaoxing rice wine is commonly used for everyday cooking.
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Non Alcoholic Substitute For Shaoxing Wine
Non alcoholic substitutes will vary from recipe to recipe, and I try to include the best substitute in every recipe. However, as a general rule, the best non alcoholic substitute is to use chicken broth in place of water in sauces.
Caveat: I understand that there are some people who cant get or cant consume alcohol, whether for health or religious reasons. But because Chinese cooking wine is such a key ingredient in Chinese sauces, I cannot promise the same recipe outcome if it is made without using an alcoholic substitute.
But for those who can consume alcohol, I really urge you to use one of the alcoholic substitutes above. You will thank me!
Pictured: Chop Suey / Chicken Stir Fry
What Is Shaoxing Wine Used For
Every Chinese restaurant uses Shaoxing Wine in almost every savoury dish. Youd be hard pressed to find a single dish on a Chinese restaurant menu that does not use Chinese cooking wine!
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What Can I Use Instead Of Chinese Rice Wine
The best substitutes for Shaoxing Wine / Chinese Cooking Wine are as follows:
- Dry sherry thats right, just every day cheap and cheerful dry sherry
- Mirin a Japanese sweet cooking wine.
- Cooking Sake / Japanese Rice Wine this is a bit lighter in flavour than Chinese cooking wine, but is an acceptable substitute.
Is Mirin The Same As Rice Vinegar
Mirin VS Rice Vinegar Ingredient While the ingredients generally are the same for rice vinegar but with more sugar. Hence mirin although is very similar to rice vinegar, mirin is sweet and with alcohol that enhances the umami flavor. While the acidity of rice vinegar creates a sour tanginess in the flavoring.
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