Where to buy chinese rice wine
- monkeyman Feb 18, 2005 05:06 PM
Up from Philly, where you can't buy Chinese rice wine, as far as I know. (Went to Chinatown and the Asian markets elsewhere, but no go, and the state stores don't sell...)
So I'm assuming that it can be had in New York, but I'm wondering where to go and which brands to look for.
You may be able to find it in just about any supermarket (i.e. Food Emporium, Associated, Whole Foods) in the Ethnic/Asian section, or a gourmet shop (there are quite a few), but if you want to make absolutely sure, try an Asian market.
Hanh Areum (sp?) on 32nd st, b/t 5th and Broadway (Korean grocer store).
Probably any grocery store in Chinatown. I've bought it on Mosco St (this street is VERY small and has about 4 storefronts, one of them is a Thai store.)
I have a bottle of Kikkoman. I'm sure it's not the best, but is does the trick.
Can't help with where to locate it in NY, however
with regard to brands/type, suggest you try some
specific Chinese areas (Chinatown) and ask for
specifics such as:
Mirin :A sweet Chinese rice wine, also used to make
Sake : A strong Japanese wine made from rice & spring
water, used often in stir frying.
Shao Xing : Chinese rice wine
Your post is unclear as to whether you are looking for Chinese rice wine for drinking or the cooking variety.
For cooking wine, if you are looking specifically for Chinese rice wine (huang jiu) as opposed to Japanese (e.g. mirin) or Korean varieties, your best bets of course are Chinese grocery stores in C'town. Even smaller stores in C'town could be expected to have it; bigger stores in the area include Dynasty on the corner of Elizabeth and Hester or Hong Kong on corner of Pike and Division. If you would be happy with any kind of cooking rice wine including mirin, going to most any Asian store, or even many non-Asian stores for a bottle of Kikkoman as a previous poster indicated, should do the trick.
Drinking wine can be bought at liquor stores in Chinatown. One liquor store is a couple blocks below below Canal on Mott St. on the right side of the street as you walk down Mott, there are more stores over on Bowery and East Broadway; an internet search should guide you to their precise locations. (NB: Try serving the huang jiu warm.)
As far as brands go, Shaoxing makes both very good cooking and drinking varieties of huang jiu and is sold in Chinese grocery stores and liquor stores in NYC. Both the cooking and drinking varieties have a similar label with a red background. Also it is a highly regarded brand so watch out for imitators.
Zinnia, thanks for the link to the article!
Do you know what the difference between cooking and drinking chinese wine? Is the former simply lower quality and have salt added, so it can be legally sold at grocery stores?
I have been buying the under $5 cooking shaoxing wine for my own cooking. I wonder whether it is worthwhile to use the drinking version instead. After all, a French would use the best wine that can afford to cook a coq au vin or boeuf bourguignon. But perhaps the smaller quantity in Chinese cooking means it doesn't matter?
One correction to my post-- I should have said that the Chinese cooking rice wine brand you should be looking for is PAGODA. Not Shaoxing, which is the type, or the name of the place where this type of rice wine came from (as the article I attached to previous posting explains). There is more than one brand with similar red label (very similar!) that is labelled as Shaoxing. But a good one is called Pagoda brand, it has a small picture of a pagoda in the upper center of the label. And above the label the word 'Pagoda' is in raised letters on the bottle.
This same brand makes other things including vermicelli / harusame that is easily mistaken with imitators copying the label quite well but not so well the quality of the product, so you have to look at the label very carefully.
A recent search in Manhattan Chinatown revealed Pagoda Shaoxing cooking wine at Kam Man, the grocery store on the south side of Canal St (200 Canal St.). near Mott.
However, it was not at Hong Kong on Pike St/E. Broadway or at Dynasty on the corner of Elizabeth and Hester.
It can be found in Flushing too-- have seen it at Kam Sen (Jing Shan) on 41-79 Main St corner of Maple.
Zinnia - FYI Many Chinese Cooking rice wines also say Shaoxing...which is an area of China. Pagoda brand is an exporter not a producer. I believe they are an exporter for a ricewine manufacturer named Kuai Ji Shan. Most knowledgable chefs will tell you not to use the basic Chinese cooking wine in your dishes...it's bad, and bad for you. Full of salt. Use a Premium drinking- quality CRW and salt it to your taste.
You can buy Pagoda Brand aged shao xing rice wine at the liquor store you will find on Mott Street, between Bayard and Pell Street. I do not think Kam Man has a liquor license though I may be wrontg. The Pagoda brand is reasonable (under $10) and is fine for both cooking and drinking. They stock higher priced rice wines as well.
Walker Street, a bit east of Lafayette, the store is totally behind plexiglass, but he has it just by his right hand, slip him money through the crack, he'll slide a bottle out, $5.00 if I recall. Dong Po pork, ummm!
I searched using wine-searcher.com and found the wine at Brian's Wine & Liquor Emporium in Piscataway, NJ for $6.99 a bottle, plus tax and shipping.
However, the search function at the store's web site is in a dumb place (bottom center of the web page) and is stupid -- you have to input the name just so, or it won't come up. Use this exact phrase for your search term:
Pagoda Shao xing rice wine
Now you just have to hope that they're not out of it when you try to order it! But it's a beginning ...
The Pagoda brand rice wine is widely available in all Chinese neighborhoods of NYC, such as the Manhattan Chinatown, Flushing, and Elmhurst. A typical price for a Pagoda wine is $4.99 a bottle. A similar Taiwanese brand (the label will say, Shaohsing) in a rectangular bottle is slightly more expensive at $6.99 or so. Ask a storekeeper for a Chinese yellow wine. More expensive varieties are $10 and $20.
The same wine is available in a condiment section of any Chinese supermarket, next to vinegar and soy sauce. You can also see a cheaper supermarket wine, but I would recommend against it: it is most likely a cheap-o wine with some salt added (unless you fully understand what you are buying).
Interesting. I've never bought Chinese rice wine (drinking) since my mom makes it. You buy the sweet rice and put it in a big tupperware container with yeast and water, wrap it in lots of blankets, and then stick it near the radiator for about 4 days.
Bam! Chinese rice wine for tian jiu liang (sweet rice wine soup to go with sticky sweet dumplings) or for special occasion toasts.
But this is a good thread to reference since I'm too lazy to ferment my own.
I see it all the time in liquor stores around Edison, NJ...an area with a large Asian community.
There's a liquor store in Chinatown. NYC that definitely has a pretty good variety. Can't remember if the store is on Pell St or Mott St.