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Oct 30, 2010 02:51 AM

What I can replace instead of Shaoxing wine?

Dear friends,

I like chinese vegetables and planning to cook it. Here , Chinese restaurants serves Fusion chinese vegetables with Bengali-Indian cooking style.
They serves a white gravy chinese vegetable with fried rice . It is very delicious . There are dark gravy also , but sometimes we are bored with dark soya sauce gravy and look for white gravy .
Recently I got one chinese vegetable recipe from online that used Shaoxing wine for white sauce or gravy . What is Shaoxing wine ? If it is not available what I can replace instead of Shaoxing wine ? Here ,I searched in our big Chinese shops they told me they have a chinese Wine to use in food name is " Wangzhihe" . I did not buy it becoz it was written in chinese. I took the name and searched in Google and saw that it is Bean curd. Can you help me with some Chinese Wine names which specially used for cooking food. Non- Alcoholic will be better. because , we do not use alcohol in our food .

The recipe is follows :
Recipe: Chinese Vegetable (Choy Sum) with White Sauce


6-8 oz. choy sum or Chinese leafy greens
Some sliced carrots
6 medium-sized shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1 inch ginger (peeled and sliced thinly)
2 tablespoons cooking oil

White Sauce:

1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce or to taste
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon corn starch
6 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon Shaoxing wine
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil


Rinse the vegetables with water and drain the water dry. Mix the white sauce ingredients and set aside.

Heat up a wok and add the cooking oil until it’s smoking hot. Add ginger, stir-fry until light brown or aromatic. Add mushrooms and shrimp and do a few quick stir until the shrimps become half-cooked. Add vegetables into the wok and stir quickly. Transfer the white sauce mixture into the wok and continue to stir-fry until the sauce thickens. By then, the vegetables should be perfectly cooked, but not overcooked.

Dish out and serve immediately.

Thank you

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  1. My bottle says Shao Hsing Rice Cooking Wine. Some of my earliest Chinese recipes called for sherry (not cooking sherry because it is salty). Since only 1 tsp is used in your recipe, you can probably just skip it and the taste won't be affected much especially because of all the other ingredients.

    Thank you for including the recipe. It looks very good.

    5 Replies
    1. re: dfrostnh

      So, Can I use Rice wine instead of Shaxoing wine ? Can you give me some good brand Chinese Rice Wine names ? So , That I can order here in our shops . It will be better if provide me some Shaxoing Wine names with company names as well .


      1. re: susmita

        No. Shaoxing is a type of rice wine. All rice wines are alcoholic. Seeing your location and mention of you avoiding alcohol in food, I assume this is for religious reasons. You will need to simply exclude it from the dish.

        1. re: susmita

          If you don't use alcohol in your food there isn't much you can do except to simply eliminate that ingredient altogether.
          However, if you do wish to use a substitute, any good qualify rice drinking wine will work just fine. Shoaxing has nothing to do with the type of wine the recipe suggests. "Shoaxing" is a regional wine and the name simply identifies the region (in the cas the city) in China.
          As pointed out in another post here, a god dry Sherry (or even a Sauterne) could be used in this dish.

          1. re: todao

            Is Rice drinking wine is non- alcohol ?
            What is Dry Sherry ? How I will use ? Mix with hot or Cold water or use dry ? and when to use ? Do you have any picture ? Does it contain alcohol ?


            1. re: susmita

              Rice drinking wine has alcohol in it. "Dry" sherry is another kind of alcoholic wine. "Dry" just means it's not very sweet.

              If you don't wish to have alcohol in your dish, you may just have to omit using any kind of wine. The recipe sounds like it has plenty of elements already: it probably won't hurt to much to leave it out altogether.

              Let us know how it turns out. Good luck!


      2. The usual recommended substitute is dry sherry, although I understand your dietary restrictions. I would simply leave it out unless you have an acceptable alternative to alcohol that you've used in other (non-Chinese) dishes.

        1. Leave it out the wine. No harm, trust me, esp. considering it's only 1 teaspoon and you've got 6 tablespoons of water.

          1. ok.
            thanks to all for your advise.


            1. Susmita, I use various products to replicate shaoxing wine in Chinese cooking. I usually use white grape juice mixed with rice vinegar or plain white vinegar. I have also found Blue Dragon non-alcoholic mirin.

              You can google substitution charts and experiment with what works and tastes best, I couldn't find one that mentioned shaoxing, though but you could try their recommendation for Dry Sherry, substituting a sub for a sub: