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Feb 6, 2008 06:33 AM

Sherry Recommendation for Stir Fry

Hi all,

We're going to be trying out the America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook recipe for beef and broccoli stir fry this week.

It calls for a few T of sherry.

Any recommendations on what to buy? Sweet? Dry? Specific brands?

I have no idea what to look for.

Thanks much,

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  1. Chinese cooking wine (from rice) has the right amount of flavor. If you want something more expensive, a dry Spanish fino will work well. It will only last a few days after opening, so use it as an aperitif'.

    1. I always use a Dry Sherry. Seems to work very well.

      1. Dry sherry was the recommended from my Chinese teacher years ago when learning to cook, I stuck with it. It works perfectly not only for what you are making, but also for marinating meats. It does give it a special flavor. Just don't buy cheap sherry or bottom shelf.

        7 Replies
        1. re: chef chicklet

          I think I'll look for a dry sherry then. Thanks all.

          Does anyone have any specific brand recommendation?

          Also - is sherry fortified? Or does it only last a couple of days???

          1. re: brian874

            Dry Sack is a reliable and affordable brand, or you can just get a bottle of Shaoxing wine.

            1. re: brian874

              lustau, or harvey's bristol cream. Just not the sherry's that are around $5. For marinating meat, I can tell the difference. I have also accidentally used a cream sherry that is too sweet. You want dry.

              1. re: brian874

                Don't use a cream sherry or amontillado. Buy a pale, dry sherry. There are lots of brands (E and J is one). Look for one in the $10-15 range.

                It is fortified, so it will last for quite a while.

                If you buy fresh ginger, you can keep it in a jar, immersed in sherry, in your fridge. Both the ginger and the sherry will be better in your next recipe.

                1. re: brian874

                  There is a lot of misinformation here.
                  Sherry is fortified but dry sherry (fino) will not keep more than 2-3 days after opening.
                  Harvey's Bristol Cream (or any cream sherry) is too sweet for your purpose, Brian.
                  Amontillado is fine, just more intense than a fino, but not sweet unless labelled so.
                  Lustau has excellent dry fino's in the $12 range for 12 oz. bottles. Most others are 750ml.

                  1. re: jayt90

                    I stand corrected, nothing sweet.. dry dry dry, not harveys but the other one I can't remember the name and its around 12 dollars.
                    I have never had a problem with my sherry going bad by the way, I don't use it everyday but probably go through a bottle in two months.
                    Lustau is a good choice. like I said. And I certainly use sherry in quite a few dishes not just for Chinese food, so Brian you will get good use of it.

                    1. re: jayt90

                      I have an bottle of fino that has been open for a month at least and it is completley fine for cooking. Of course it has degraded a bit and I might not want to serve it as a aperitif but it's good to go in my wok and for other culinary uses.

                2. If you can find Shao Xing Rice Wine - make sure it is at least 16% alcohol. It is not that expensive either, perhaps $10 to $12 for a 25 ounce bottle. Cheaper versions have very little alcohol plus added salt! The Chinese have been making this since the 5th century B.C. in eastern Zhejiang province! My guess is that ATK recommended Sherry instead of Shao Xing so as not confuse folks who might not be able to Shao Xing.

                  1. My mom has always interchanged sherries for cooking Chinese food for my (picky) Chinese dad (married 50+ years now). Dry, sweet .. whatever. Both have worked. And we also never spend extra dollars on Harveys or fancy schmancy names. Bottom shelf for me, please! I don't drink them straight ever, and only cook with them, so I just buy whatever strikes my fancy that day. The bottle lasts forever, just like my mom's did. And everyone says we're good cooks, even the Chinese relatives!

                    1 Reply