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Feb 18, 2005 05:06 PM

Where to buy chinese rice wine

  • m

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.


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  1. 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.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ultbil

      I was looking for the higher quality drinking Chinese rice wine, though I intend to use it for cooking. Thanks for your helpful posts. I will head to Mott.

      1. re: monkeyman

        Then do stick with a liquor store. Until a few years a few of the groceries had drinking wine and even liquor (illegally of course) but I think ABC enforcement must have cracked down because it all disappeared very quickly in the space of about a month.

        1. re: monkeyman

          Hi there...Just bought some via who outsources their alcohol through Union Square Wines and Spirits. Good luck.

      2. a
        Amin (London Foodie)

        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
        mirin sauce.

        Sake : A strong Japanese wine made from rice & spring
        water, used often in stir frying.

        Shao Xing : Chinese rice wine

        2 Replies
        1. re: Amin (London Foodie)

          I am completely confused by your posting.

          1. re: Amin (London Foodie)

            Mirin and Sake are no replacement for good Chinese rice wine. they have their place, they just aren't as bold/robust in flavor. Sake or Mirin or Sherry are too fruity/light and sweet. Chinese rice wine is earthy, like mushrooms, or soy.

          2. There is a liquor store on Mott St in Chinatown.

            1 Reply
            1. re: floppybingo

              That's what I would have suggested. Monkeyman, are you still with us? If so, where have you been getting your Chinese rice wine?

            2. 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.


              4 Replies
              1. re: Zinnia
                Amin (London Foodie)

                Zinnia, I found your response to the OP of immense
                interest, particularly the Huang Jiu Chinese rice
                primer that you linked at the end. -Thank you.

                1. re: Zinnia

                  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?

                  1. re: Zinnia

                    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.

                    1. re: Zinnia

                      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's bad, and bad for you. Full of salt. Use a Premium drinking- quality CRW and salt it to your taste.

                  2. The original comment has been removed