Top 5 Substitutes For Mirin in Teriyaki Sauce

May 4, 2021 | Cooking Tips

Mirin is a rice wine that is almost always present in Asian and some fusion dishes. Mirin sweet, tangy just like sake but with less sugar and alcohol to it. Asian food, particularly Japanese food has a certain umami flavor that is hard to recreate with your normal cupboard condiments. This is where Mirin comes in.

Have you ever craved for teriyaki sauce in the middle of the night and you can’t order takeout? You go online and find a good recipe, which you know you, can easily recreate but then you check your ingredients and you’re missing one thing: MIRIN. You go back to bed with your stomach rumbling or you find ways to make it happen. Substitutes do exist to replace mirin in teriyaki sauce. That’s a great silver lining.

Mirin isn’t too hard to find. It is mostly found in the Asian aisle of your local grocery store. However, if you can’t make time to go out and buy Mirin and you’re badly craving to make your teriyaki sauce, here’s a list of things that could be used to substitute mirin with.

1. Dry Sherry

If you don’t have mirin but have dry sherry for your other cooking needs then you’re set! Simply add ¼ teaspoon of white sugar for every 1 cup of dry sherry.

The sugar is what sets mirin aside from other cooking alcohol.

Sweet marsala wine as a substitute for Mirin in teriyaki sauce
Sweet marsala wine is another alternative to mirin

2. Sweet Marsala Wine

If you don’t have mirin, you can use sweet marsala wine as a substitute. With this kind of substitute, you don’t have to compensate too much in sweetening the substitute since it’s already sweet. If anything, you may add just a pinch of sugar.

Marsala has a very distinct flavor though so you can expect a little bit more extra flavor when you use this as a replacement for mirin.

wine vinegar as a substitute for Mirin in teriyaki sauce
You can also use white vinegar as a good substitute for mirin

3. White Wine Vinegar

White wine vinegar may be the most neutral tasting substitute on this list. White wine vinegar is fairly subtle in its flavor but it does provide a nice tang to your dishes. If you have white wine vinegar, it’s your easiest substitute to replace mirin in teriyaki sauce. Don’t forget to follow the rule of adding a teaspoon of white sugar for every one cup of white wine vinegar.

rice wine as a substitute for Mirin in teriyaki sauce
Rice vinegar is probably one of the best alternatives to mirin

4. Rice Wine Vinegar

The closest to mirin would be rice wine vinegar. They come from the same source and they composed of mostly the same things except that rice wine vinegar does not have alcohol in it. If you don’t have mirin in your shelf, use rice wine vinegar with a pinch of sugar to complete your teriyaki sauce.

Sake as a substitute for Mirin in teriyaki sauce
Sake plus a few other ingredients!

5. Sake

If you don’t have mirin but you do have a nice bottle of sake in your pantry to you know, share with friends, you may use it. Don’t worry; you won’t be using all of it. You can still enjoy most of the bottle. You can easily make homemade mirin using water, sugar and sake. Simply dilute ¼ cup granulate sugar, 3 TBSP water, and ¾ cup sake. This will be a lot so you have some saved up for the next time you make teriyaki sauce and still don’t have a bottle of mirin.


Hey there! I'm Isabel. I love cooking, dogs, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good flavorful food, to share with family and friends.



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