Is Mirin a sake? 

In this article, we will answer the question “Is Mirin a Sake?”. We will also discuss Mirin and Sake in detail- what are the different types and what are they used for individually. 

Is Mirin a Sake?

Even though Mirin and Sake are both rice wines, they are quite different from each other. 

The alcohol percentage and sweetness level of Mirin and sake are the main differences. As a result, the choice between the two boils down to personal preference when it comes to cooking.

Mirin, on the whole, has a sweeter flavour and has less alcohol. As a result, Mirin’s principal function is to be utilised in cooking. Mirin can be used to make a glaze or a lovely sauce, in addition to its sweet punch. It offers liquid sheen, which is why cooks frequently use it to gleam a dish.

Sake, on the other hand, is primarily consumed as a beverage. This rice wine is best enjoyed on its own as a liquor due to its neutral flavour and high alcohol concentration. Some recipes that call for rice wine, on the other hand, frequently refer to sake. It’s entirely up to you how you want your food to taste.

What is Mirin?

Mirin is a syrupy liquid that is used as a flavouring and glazing agent. It is also known as sweet Japanese rice wine. It’s a rice wine that’s comparable to sake but has a higher sugar content and lowers alcohol percentage. 

The alcohol concentration typically ranges from 1% to 14%. As a result, it burns readily throughout the cooking process. Mirin has a sweet flavour that pairs well with salty seasonings like soy sauce or miso.

Mirin can be found in a variety of Japanese meals and sauces, including udon and ramen broths, teriyaki, and tempura sauces. Sauces and glazes benefit from the richness and lustre of this sweet cooking wine. The alcohol concentration in meat and seafood also helps to balance out any gaminess or fishiness.

Mirin is a golden tint in general, though the specific shade varies between brands. Mirin has a slightly syrupy consistency when poured, but it’s not nearly as heavy or sticky as maple syrup or honey.

What are the types of Mirin for cooking?

There are four types of mirin in general: hon mirin (“genuine” mirin), mirin, mirin-like condiment, and mirin-type condiment. Hon mirin is typically imported and can be costly. Mirin-like or mirin-type sauces are inexpensive and commonly accessible, however, they include more sugar and chemicals than mirin.

What is Mirin used for?

Mirin tenderises meat and gives it a little sweetness. It helps to disguise the smell of fish and seafood and helps the flavours “sink in” to the meal better because it has a deeper body and umami. 

It also prevents the components from dissolving due to the sugar and alcohol concentration. Finally, mirin gives food a lustrous sheen, which is why it’s used in teriyaki sauce.

What is Sake?

Sake is prepared from rice and water and is pronounced SAH-keh rather than saki. Although it is generally referred to as Japanese rice wine, it is manufactured using a brewing procedure similar to that of beer, in which rice starch is converted to sugars, which are then fermented by yeast into alcohol. 

Sake is used in the same way that wine is used in cooking by the Japanese. Quality rice, clean water, koji mould, and yeast are the fundamentals of good sake. They’re mixed and fermented in a series of steps that have been perfected over time. 

The resulting clear to slightly yellowish rice wines have an alcohol content of roughly 15% and very moderate flavour profiles, ranging from light and crisp to deeper, more substantial, fruity overtones, and are typically filtered (although unfiltered goods are also available). 

Sake goes great with practically any food, but it’s especially good with the delicate flavours of traditional Japanese cuisine. 

What are the types of Sake used for cooking?

Sake, like white wine, comes in a wide range of flavours, ranging from dry to sweet, delicate to strong. There are more expensive bottles for drinking, but cheap bottles can be used for cooking. Sake is a Japanese alcoholic beverage that is distinct in its own right. 

The drink’s legal name in Japan is Seishu. It’s prepared from sake rice that has been fermented with fungus and yeast. There are many various sorts of sake, so it’s a good idea to look into them before deciding on one or more that you’ll appreciate. 

The five primary types of sake are Junmai-shu, Ginjo-shu, Daiginjo-shu, Honjozo-shu, and Namazake. They are brewed in somewhat different ways and with varying percentages of milling, giving them a distinct flavour.

What is Sake used for?

Sake, a traditional Japanese beverage made from fermented rice, has a slightly sweeter flavour than most wines and contains more alcohol (ABV 15 per cent to 20 per cent). Sake is often used in marinades, sauces, soups, and other recipes to add delicate flavour depth and tenderise meats, in addition to being delicious to drink with a meal.

Other FAQs about Rice Wine that you may be interested in.

What is Mirin?

What are the other substitutions for rice wine?

Does Mirin Go Bad


In this article, we answered the question “Is Mirin a Sake?”. We also discussed Mirin and Sake in detail- what are the different types and what are they used for individually. 

Hopefully, this blog answered your question! If you have any further questions, feel free to comment below. 


Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!