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Chinese rice wine with no added salt

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I've been looking everywhere (in the NY area) for unseasoned Chinese rice wine, to be used for cooking... All of the ones I found so far contain 1.5% sodium.

Does anyone know where I can purchase unseasoned Chinese rice wine, either online or in the NYC area? (I know that this product exists, because it is available in Los Angeles.)


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  1. In LA, you can buy liquor from sidewalk lemonade stands, too! Well, not quite, but California alcohol laws are very different than NY's. Here, the only alcohol that can be sold outside of wine/liquor stores is beer. (And "of course," wine/liquor stores can't sell beer. :) )

    It used to be sold illegally (possibly innocently) at several Chinatown grocery stores but these days I think a liquor store in Chinatown may be your only bet; it's certainly the best one though I don't know which stores have a better selection than others.

    1. I assume it would be shelved with other liquors, like sake and plum wine, as opposed to the area with soy sauce and vinegars.

      1. Wouldn't a dry vermouth work in a pinch? That's what I usually use. But is Chinese rice wine sweetened like its namesake vinegar?

        1 Reply
        1. re: nemo

          You can buy unseasoned rice wine vinegar, without salt or sugar. The issue with the salt in the wine is to transform it into "cooking wine" that can be sold in food stores (regular wine cannot be in NY); it's not like mirin, which is sweetened. The OP needs to look in a liquor store, as MikeG suggests.

        2. Try 53 Mott in Chinatown.


          For cooking dry sherry or vermouth is good. Of all the chinese wine for cooking, I think i like the "Taiwan Michiu" , from Taiwan the most. It's about $4 a bottle. You can get it at the liquor store as well as in Hong Kong Market. There is salt in it, but it makes the four God's soup taste really good!