"Mirin (味醂 or みりん?) is an essential condiment used in Japanese cuisine. It is a type of rice wine similar to sake, but with a lower alcohol content and higher sugar content. The sugar content is a complex carbohydrate formed naturally via the fermentation process; it is not refined sugar. The alcohol content is further lowered when the liquid is heated.
There are three general types of mirin. The first is hon mirin (literally: true mirin), which contains approximately 14% alcohol and is produced by a forty- to sixty-day mashing (saccharification) process. The second is shio mirin, which contains alcohol as well as 1.5% salt to avoid alcohol tax.The third is shin mirin (literally: new mirin), or mirin-fu chomiryo (literally: mirin-like seasoning), which contains less than 1% alcohol yet retains the same flavor.
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