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MSP - Where to find Un-Salted Shaoxing Rice Wine

Hey guy/gals, I've heard there really is no substitue for chinese rice wine that is called for in chinese cooking so I was wondering if any of you can help me find some. I'm from the Frogtown area. Any and all input is welcomed and appreciated. Thanks.

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  1. Tough one. Last time I was at Shuang Hur on University Avenue to buy Shaoxing wine, there was a man there shopping for un-salted Shaoxing Wine. Now I wish I'd stuck around long enough to see if he found it. They had many brands, but I was looking for a version that was actually produced in Shaoxing, which I found. But it definitely had salt in it. I would call Shuang Hur and Dragon Star and ask if they have it. And if neither of those places has it, maybe United Noodles in Minneapolis.

    Good luck!

    ~TDQ

    -----
    United Noodles
    920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN

    7 Replies
    1. re: The Dairy Queen

      Or perhaps a liquor store that specializes. Or ask at Little Pepper, Teahouse etc what they are using. In NYC, the salted Shaoxing wine used to be sold in most any Chinatown food shop. But when the unsalted (and better) versions turned up about 5-6 years ago they had to be sold from liquor stores. About $10-$12 a bottle. Now the salted version has all but disappeared.

      1. re: scoopG

        Good idea, although I wonder which liquor store to start with. I just searched Surdyks' and Haskells' online stores and came up empty (though, I would definitely call rather than assume they don't have it just because some goof on the internet couldn't find it.)

        I could be wrong, but I'd be astonished if they were selling anything that was $10-$12 per bottle at Shuang Hur. If I'd seen something like that, I would have bought it on the theory that products made with better ingredients cost more. I'm guessing what I bought was $4 a bottle, and that's about where they were all priced.

        Little Pepper = Little Szechuan?

        ~TDQ

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        Little Szechuan - West End
        5377 16th Street, St. Louis Park, MN 55416

        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          United Noodles has it.

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          United Noodles Asian Supermarket
          2015 E 24th St, Minneapolis, MN 55404

          United Noodles
          920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN

          1. re: SmartCookie

            Thanks alot for the replies. I went to the United Noodles website and the only Shao Xing/Hsing wine I could find was "cooking" wine which probably means it has salt in it. But I'll still go check it out just in case. I was thinking about checking out the liquor stores around the Frogtown neighborhood since they mostly are asian owned but...they mostly cater to those guys standing on the corner that always seem to be short on bus fare.

            -----
            United Noodles
            920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN

            1. re: MilliePop

              There's a Big Top liquor in that strip mall on the South side of University Ave just East of Snelling. It's kind of a bigger liquor store. Maybe give them a jingle?

              ~TDQ

            2. re: SmartCookie

              Update: United Noodles DOES NOT have the unsalted kind

            3. re: The Dairy Queen

              Oh right - I meant Little Szechuan! I'd ask them what they type they use and where they buy it from. Not sure of the liquor laws in MN but it NYC the salted stuff was suitable for food stores cause it was not potable. Once the unsalted good brew appeared it had to be sold in liquor stores.

              -----
              Little Szechuan - West End
              5377 16th Street, St. Louis Park, MN 55416

        2. The place I buy mine is from a Asian grocery on Eat Street, i.e. Nicollet avenue.
          I can't tell you the name of the grocery, but it is on the west side of the street on the northern end of the street. It shares a parking lot with Hudson map company. It is one of the groceries that has been there the longest and has an in house herbalist / pharmacist. The non salted version is cleverly hidden among the salted brands, usually on the bottom shelf.

          7 Replies
          1. re: Lilbug

            Great tip, thank you! I'm thinking you mean Truong Thanh? http://www.flickr.com/photos/surlygrr...

            2520 Nicollet Ave, between 25th St and 26th St

            ~TDQ

            1. re: Lilbug

              Hiep Thanh Oriental Grocery
              2534 Nicollet Ave
              Minneapolis, MN 55404-4248
              (612) 870-0905

              http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&s...

              1. re: Lilbug

                Thanks Lilibug and TDQ. I was not only abe to find unsalted Shaoxing at Truong Thanh, but I also found black rice (kuro mai) that I thought I would have to buy online.

                1. re: BigSal

                  It's there. it looks just like the salted versions.just have to sort through and find the label without the salt content.

                  1. re: BigSal

                    I went there a few times recently and they no longer carry the unsalted version. Very disappointed in MSP's chinese food scene. But onto my next adventure...making my own rice wine out of sticky rice and yeast balls.

                    1. re: MilliePop

                      Did you try United Noodle?

                      I don't think it's on Lake, I think it's at:

                      2015 E 24th St, Minneapolis, MN 55404

                      It's particularly not easy to find. On the plus side, if you do go at lunch time you can go to their in-store Deli for one of the most interesting bowls of Ramen available in the Twin Cities. So even if they don't have the product you seek, at least you get pretty good Ramen.

                      I'd avoid the steam-table selections.

                      1. re: JimGrinsfelder

                        Yeah I've tried United. No luck. Thanks.

                2. http://www.haskells.com/Shao-Xing+Ric....
                  At least it is on their website. Your not going to find unsalted wine in a grocery. Unsalted wines in Minnesota are sold in liqueur stores.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: ibew292

                    That's the one I originally found at Truong Than's but couldn't find the unsalted one anymore.