There are two very common rice wines that we use in both Chinese and Taiwanese cooking of which you can buy both of them easily in Chinese supermarkets in the United Kingdom.
One is “rice wine” (米酒) which has no colour and looks like water. We use it in most of our Chinese and Taiwanese dishes. It’s made by normal rice while the other is “Shaoxing rice wine” (紹興酒) which usually has brown colour. It’s made by glutinous rice.
These two wines have a different taste and flavour but they both can be used in different dishes. It depends on personal taste. I personally use rice wine for most of my eastern dishes because it tastes mild with a refreshing fragrance and use Shaoxing rice wine when I cook drunken chicken, drunken prawn, Dongpo pork and other slow cook meat dishes. Shaoxing rice wine usually has a stronger taste and flavour. It tastes a little bit spicy so not every dish is suitable for Shaoxing wine.
Here is a true story about Shaoxing wine to share with everyone. Shaoxing wine is from a city in China called Shaoxing. Shaoxing wine has many different variations and one of these is called “nu’er hong” (女兒紅). Every family in Shaoxing will make Shaoxing wine when their daughter is one month old and bury it underground until the day their daughter’s wedding date when they will open it and drink it to celebrate. “Nu’er” means daughter in Chinese and “hong” means red. Because red is a very lucky colour in both Chinese and Taiwanese culture and this wine is used to celebrate, so using “red” in the name adds a lucky meaning to it.
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Can you please tell me if Chinese cooking wine is the same as shaoxing wine.
There are many different kind of Chinese cooking wine. But the most common one is Rice wine(Mijiu). Shaoxing wine have strong flavour you can use it for cook meat and it will give your dish a strong alcohol fragrant.
I prefer rice wine. I don’t like the smell of Shaoxing wine. haha!
Hi Ma recipes,
I know! Shaoxing wine got this very unique taste and smell. I like to use it in some dishes but not all of it. But I know some chef really obsessed with Shaoxing wine and insist to add it in pretty much everything in the recipe. 😀
It is hard to find shaoxing wine here, but lots of angciu (maybe, red rice wine), it smells a bit strong, made of sticky rice, usually black sticky rice, are they the same? We often use it to cook meat. Can it be substitution?
I have never use angciu to cook before. I think it depends on which dish you want to cook with Shaoxing rice wine. If you want to make drunken chicken then you definitely need Shaoxing rice wine as the special taste of Shaoxing rice wine is the the key flavour for this dish.
Hi, I want to make Taiwanese Stir fry cabbages.Which wine is good for this recipe. Thanks in advance!
I would recommend normal rice wine for stir fry cabbage because Shaoxing rice wine has unique strong flavour.