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mirin


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43 replies to this topic

#31 budrichard

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 12:00 AM

This site sells only Mikawa Organic Mirin with salt. http://www.qualityna...m/recipes2.html
The addition of salt in alcohol containing Mirin and Chinese Wines for cooking is due to US Alcohol laws. If salt added, the product is not classified as an alcoholic beverage and subsequently. easier to import, sell and cheaper. I purchase my Chinese wine as an alcoholic beverage and it is hard to find in the US.
I did purchase some Mikawa Organic Mirin and found that the label did not say salt and it was in fact salt free when tasted. I promptly called the source back and he looked at the 55gal drum and there was no salt listed. This source is the prime importer for Mikawa Organic Mirin and previously told me that it all contained salt now. I ordered a gallon. I suspect when the drum is gone, the next one will be salt unless that drum somehow made it through customs.
BTW, the Mikawa Organic Mirin, produced by a small manufacturer is exquisite. I won't use anything else now.-Dick

#32 _john

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 05:45 PM

What is the state of the art in honmirin these days? I'm looking for a recommendation as I am "upgrading" all my basic Japanese seasonings. The ones I have tasted that I really liked had only rice, rice kouji, and shochu on the ingredients list and were close to ¥1000 for 500ml. I did a little searching around on the Japanese web but opinions vary widely depending on region it seems. Is there such a thing as 地みりん?

#33 Hiroyuki

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 09:11 PM

The state of the art?? You mean some kind of very traditional method of brewing or the most advanced brewing technology?

The greatest thing is probably the fact that due to the recent revision of the Liqour Tax Law, hon mirin is now readily available at almost every supermarket. Now you don't have to go to a liquor shop just to get a bottle of hon mirin.

It takes 2-3 months to make hon mirin, according to this. If you are rich enough, just go and get 3-year-old mirin, like Helen once did.

Every serious cook seems to laugh at mirin-fu chomiryo (mirin-like seasoning), but I like using it because I don't have to evaporate the alchool when using it. As I mentioned in my foodblog, I have three types: hon mirin with an alcohol conent of 14%, a newer type of mirin-fu chomiryo with 8%(?), and a regular mirin-fu chomiryo with less than 1%. I use them almost interchangeably, and I can't discern their difference! To make asazuke, I always use a 1:1 mixture of mirin-fu chomiryo with less than 1% and vinegar. Using hon mirin for that purpose is just wrong!

I googled "地みりん", and I got 51 results.

#34 _john

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 05:31 AM

Thanks Hiroyuki. That is a good point about the asazuke. It would be useful to have multiple types for times when you don't want to burn off the alcohol. What I meant by "state of the art" was that I was looking for something that was both novel and traditional. Something like the Otokomae tofu of the mirin world. Or a new and interesting product on the market.

I ended up buying this 3 year mirin (¥766 500ml) at Takashimaya department store in the rice milling section of the basement. It is very good. When I'm in the kitchen I keep taking little sips of it, very drinkable. I cooked a few small dishes to see how it would perform and had good results.

Something I noticed on the labels along with the alcohol percentage was something called "エキス分" with numbers ranging from 30 to 45. What does this mean?

#35 Hiroyuki

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Posted 10 August 2007 - 03:21 PM

Thanks Hiroyuki. That is a good point about the asazuke. It would be useful to have multiple types for times when you don't want to burn off the alcohol. What I meant by "state of the art" was that I was looking for something that was both novel and traditional. Something like the Otokomae tofu of the mirin world. Or a new and interesting product on the market.

I ended up buying this 3 year mirin (¥766 500ml) at Takashimaya department store in the rice milling section of the basement. It is very good. When I'm in the kitchen I keep taking little sips of it, very drinkable. I cooked a few small dishes to see how it would perform and had good results.

Something I noticed on the labels along with the alcohol percentage was something called "エキス分" with numbers ranging from 30 to 45. What does this mean?

View Post

I had no idea, so I had to google.

According to this (Japanese only),

エキス
酒類の成分で水、アルコール、揮発酸以外の不揮発性成分。つまり酒類に熱を加えて蒸発させると、飴のような暗褐色の固形物が残る。これがエキスである。このエキスは糖分を主として他の炭水化物、蛋白質、灰分、不揮発酸等から成っている。なおエキス分とは酒類100血中に含まれるエキスをグラム数で表わしたものである。一般にエキスの多い程、酒の味は濃厚になる。簡単にいえば甘くなる。醸造酒は蒸留酒よりエキスが多く、特にエキス分の多いものに、我が国のみりんの約45、甘味の強いキュラソーやペパーミントのようなリキュール類は25~47位の高エキス分、ポート・ワインが12~20。日本酒やビールが4~6程度のもの、蒸留酒は0.1~0.3でと最もエキスが少ない。

Nonvolatile components of an alcoholic beverage, mainly sugar, i.e., candy-like dark brown solids resulting from heating the beverage to evaporate.
The more ekisu it has, the denser (sweeter) it is.

Here is a story of a man who drank a lot of mirin and got a hangover due to the ekisu bun, if you can read Japanese.
http://portal.nifty....eta05/04/28/02/

As for asazuke,
80 to 100 ml mirin-fu seasoning
Equal amount of vinegar
1 tsp salt
7-8 cucumbers

I posted some photos to the pickle cook-off thread (page 1) in the Cooking forum.

#36 v. gautam

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 10:19 PM

Elsewhere I have noted with surprise at the number of places where glucose turns up unexpectedly in large quantities in ordinary, innocent ingredients in Japanese cooking: instant hon-dashi granules for example, and also mirin.

As so many wonderful Japanese foods, from mochi, to her specific rice varieties, her unique white breads and rice & wheat noodles have such high glycemic indices, when added to certain American eating patterns, there can be a reason for making informed choices.

Fructose is slightly less wild to the Glycemic Index initially, compared to glucose ingestion [say, with regard to diabetics], though not without its own risks.

Since I have a bee in the bonnet about mirin, i tried to do some research and found that a certain company, Takara Shuzo, for reasons quite removed from GI and nutrition, has created a mirin that is fructose-rich by treating it with the enzyme glucose isomerase.

http://www.takarashu...nings200809.pdf


contains a list of their many mirins and mirin-like products, including a low alcohol type.

However, I am unable to determine which is the high-fructose mirin. Unlike High-fructose corn syrup, here is an example of biotechnology being potentially very valuable for one's health.


The research was undertaken at


The Alcoholic Beverages Research Laboratories,
Takara Shuzo Co., Ltd., Seta 3-4-1, Otsushi, Shiga 520-21, Japan.

by

Dr. T. Takayama
Nanryo-cho 2-1-58, Uji-shi
Kyoto 611

&

Dr. Oyashiki Takuo Sakai
Dept. of Food Science Faculty of Agriculture, Kinki Univ.
Nakamachi 3327-204, Nara-shi, Nara 631.

#37 MomOfLittleFoodies

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Posted 28 April 2009 - 04:29 PM

Lately I've been using an American made mirin with a 12% alcohol content.
http://www.takarasak...ducts/mirin.htm

Apparently it's the same variety that my grandmother uses. It's a little more expensive than the Kikkoman aji-mirin that Mom uses, but I like the results better.

I also like a brand called Mitoku, but it's harder to find locally.
Cheryl

#38 v. gautam

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 12:10 AM

I see how industrial fructos-rich corn syrups etc. have become almost a staple in many traditional cuisines like Korean, replacing perhaps honey, millet syrups and amazake type sweeteners. What the health effects might be of excessive, prolonged use is debatable, given how much or how little is consumed.

For any interested in pursuing further the roles of ructose, glucose and other dietary sugars, some interesting studies:


Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2006 Jul;9(4):469-75.

Metabolic effects of fructose. A Review

Lê KA, Tappy L.

Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland

Abstract:..... Fructose/sucrose produces deleterious metabolic effects in animal models. This raises concern regarding the short-term and long-term effects of fructose and its risk in humans....

In humans, short-term fructose feeding increases de-novo lipogenesis and blood triglycerides and causes hepatic insulin resistance. There is presently no evidence for fructose-induced muscle insulin resistance in humans. The cellular mechanisms underlying the metabolic effects of fructose involve production of reactive oxygen species, activation of cellular stress pathways and possibly an increase in uric acid synthesis.

SUMMARY: Consuming large amounts of fructose can lead to the development of a complete metabolic syndrome in rodents. In humans, fructose consumed in moderate to high quantities in the diet increases plasma triglycerides and alters hepatic glucose homeostasis, but does not appear to cause muscle insulin resistance or high blood pressure in the short term.


A more current update:

The American Society for Clinical Investigation


Consuming fructose-sweetened, not glucose-sweetened, beverages increases visceral adiposity and lipids and decreases insulin sensitivity in overweight/obese humans
http://www.jci.org/articles/view/37385

".. compared with glucose, dietary fructose induces dyslipidemia and insulin resistance. ...These data suggest that dietary fructose specifically increases DNL, promotes dyslipidemia, decreases insulin sensitivity, and increases visceral adiposity in overweight/obese adults."

corr. to: Peter J. Havel, Department of Molecular Biosciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, California 95616, USA. Phone: (530) 752-6553; Fax: (530) 752-2474; E-mail: pjhavel@ucdavis.edu.



http://www.jci.org/articles/view/39332

Dietary sugars: a fat difference
Susanna M. Hofmann, Matthias H. Tschöp

Published April20, 2009

#39 edwardsboi

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 01:11 PM

みりん
mirin (mee-reen)
this is often called sweet rice wine in English, it is essentially made from rice, distilled alcohol and very heavy on the sugar, it is an essential ingredient to Japanese cooking. It is used for both the sweetness it lends and the glaze or sheen that it gives to foods.
The problem with mirin is that there are many types out there, but only one that you want to be using.

本みりん hon-mirin, this is the real stuff! this is what you want to look for, this can often be located in the alcohol section because of it high (13% to 17%) alcohol content. It will cost you more then the fake stuff, but it is more then worth it. The ingredients should read rice, distilled alcohol, and sugar (and if you are really lucky there will be no sugar added).


I just want to confirm if I understand this correctly:

hon-mirin is bettter than most types of mirin, but 3 year mirin is better than mirin and hon-mirin?

Do I need to recognize any specific japanes characteristics to know its been aged 3 years?

And, what else do I need to look for to know if its a quality bottle of mirin?

#40 Hiroyuki

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 04:44 PM

Here is some explanation of the three types of mirin readily available in Japan.

#41 v. gautam

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 11:46 PM

Dear H-san,

Have many in Japan heard of, or used, this:

"AKASAKÉ MIRIN is a rice wine which has an unusual, unique sweet flavor with a slight chocolate note and golden reddish brown color. ...AKASAKÉ MIRIN is a wonderful substitute for traditional mirin..... flavorful, reasonably priced and readily available alternative to traditional mirin, and is distinctly superior to mass produced faux mirin. ...

...alkaline wood ash preserved the saké by raising the pH to 7.2. This prevents the growth of spoilage bacteria. And also the brew acquired a beautiful red hue. Akasaké brewers in Kumamoto Prefecture still practice this ancient saké preservation technique to produce this unique type of sake."
http://www.nymtc.com...azakemirin.html

Am curious to know what this might be in terms of utility and value:price ratio, or if it is some new foodie trend in the making, like French sea salt?

Thanks.

Edited by v. gautam, 20 September 2009 - 11:49 PM.


#42 Hiroyuki

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 05:00 PM

I'v never heard of this product before, and I have checked the website of the manufacturer. It seems like an excellent product. I'll post more information when I learn more about it.
For now, I can say that not a lot of Japanese know of this product. By the way, the Japanese pronunciation of the product name is Akazake, not Akasake.

#43 helenjp

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 10:53 AM

I came across a mention of "akazake" earlier this year in a food magazine. It's definitely a trend...the only question is whether it's anything MORE than a trend!The selling points are that it is fermented, and that the final product is weakly alkaline (supposed to be healthier, though what happens when it's mixed with food and then encounters digestive juices is anybody's guess.

Let us know if you find out more, Hiroyuki - it sounded interesting, but I haven't seen the actual product around.

#44 Shel_B

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 10:57 AM

This is an old thread, but I thought I'd add to it rather than starting a new one.

 

I'm going to use mirin for the first time in a couple of soup recipes, and I was wondering about the quality of Eden brand mirin, which I can get rather easily.

 

http://www.edenfoods...ducts_id=109780

 

Note the ingredients:  Water, Rice, Koji (Aspergillus Oryzae), Sea Salt      


.... Shel