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a good place to buy mirin? and a good brand?

Budino Jun 22, 2009 05:33 AM

(Wasn't sure which board to post this on...home cooking?)

Have been using mirin more and more in my home cooking and am looking to start buying bigger bottles, since the ones I get at the PSFC are tiny (and expensive!).

Where can I go? I live in Brooklyn and can travel...willing to go to sunset park, or manhattan chinatown, if that's a good place to look, or...wherever. What would be a good brand to look for?


  1. Richard 16 Jun 22, 2009 07:44 AM

    Fa and away the best mirin I have ever used I order online from Simply Natural:


    Mitoku company brand, called Mikawa, it is a hon-mirin. Made from only sweet (glutinous) rice, rice, and koji it has a touch of salt added for importation to the U.S. No, it's not cheap, but I buy the large bottle and refrigerate it, which dramatically lowers the price per ounce.

    After a few weeks or months it develops a little crystalization on the bottom, which I been assured is normal. Certainly the taste does not deteriorate.

    Warning: It has spoiled me for other mirin. No, really. I'll use the aji-mirin if need be, but I don't think of that stuff as mirin. Mikawa's is deep, complex, sweet yet that sweetness is part of the flavor rather that than tasting as if it were added.

    I use it in the su for sushi rice - lots of dishes.

    1. m
      MikeG Jun 23, 2009 06:34 AM

      I don't remember its name, but there's a liquor store on W 23rd between 5th and 6th Aves that carries Takara mirin. I think it's made here, but it's properly brewed and much better than the fake stuff. It's actually drinkable, sort of, if you can stand the sweetness anyway. (I've never had, so can't compare it to, the Mikawa brand Richard16 mentions.) You do have to buy a 750ml bottle, but that's cheaper than a similar-sized bottle of the faux seasoning. Fwiw, f you ever go to Mitsuwa over in New Jersey, it's a bit cheaper there. (NJ unlike NY does allow its sale in grocery stores.)

      FWIW, salt does not have to be added for importation. I think it's usually added to avoid taxation as an alcoholic beverage, and/or make it more easily sold in jurisdictions that don't allow wine sales in food stores.

      1 Reply
      1. re: MikeG
        Richard 16 Jun 23, 2009 08:05 AM

        Exactly; to avoid alcohol taxes.

        Also, Eden makes a very good mirin with the advantage of it being available in a lot of natural food stores. I usually have it around as a back-up. It doesn't use sweet rice - just brown rice. It's certainly worth trying - it may be just what you want!

      2. penthouse pup Jun 23, 2009 10:32 AM

        You can also find Mikawa Mirin at this site: http://www.naturalimport.com/mirin

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