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Where to buy rice wine?

Having a very hard time finding rice wine (not vinegar) which is frequently listed ingredient in Chinese cooking. Checked Whole Foods, Galleria, different liquor places. Anyone have any ideas for places? Ideally West LA/Grove/K-town area. Thanks!

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  1. Any Asian market should have ie. 99 Ranch, SG Superstore, Hawaii Market, etc.

    99 Ranch
    17713 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA

    1. How is this different from Japanese sake? Is rice wine distilled or fermented?

      4 Replies
      1. re: Tripeler

        Fermented. Rice wine is a sweet wine made from fermenting steamed glutinous rice, which has a quite low alcohol content. It's basically like sake that you wouldn't want to drink.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          Thank you, ipsedixit. Fermented from glutinous rice makes a lot of sense, and you're right -- I really wouldn't want to drink it.
          I see your new avatar -- but Where's The Beef?

            1. re: cls

              Very similar, but in my experience mirin is a bit sweeter than most Chinese rice wines.

        2. You can substitute pale dry sherry or gin for Chinese rice wine.
          I use brandy.

          1. Marukai and I've seen small bottles of it in Ralph's and Albertson's

            1. Shao Xing wine or Chinese cooking wine can be found at most Asian markets (ie. 99 Ranch Markets). It's very similar to dry sherry and not much for drinking. Inexpensive on sale (between $2 - $5) a bottle. The Japanese have a cooking wine also called sake which can be used for drinking if preferred. Sweet cooking wine is called mirin. There are different grades for different purposes. The Korean version is called soju which is mainly used for drinking.

              99 Ranch
              17713 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA

              5 Replies
              1. re: Clinton

                dear clinton

                HI. i'm jihun.

                korean wine->so-ju
                korean rice wine->Makgeolli

                1. re: baedary

                  Thanks baedary. Not a connoisseur of rice wines but all I do know is that the tastes of both so-ju and Japanese sake are very similar. I've asked about how to drink so-ju and most tell me to drink it chilled while Japanese sake is preferably consumed warm. Don't know if this is the normal custom or individual preference? I normally use mirin to make my teriyaki sauce and not to drink. I also use Shao Xing to cook with in Chinese preparations. Different rice wines for different purposes.

                  1. re: Clinton

                    There are MANY types of sake which are meant to be drunk at room temperature or even chilled/iced.

                    1. re: Clinton

                      Sake should be served hot only if it's bad. That's why in many Japanese restaurants you'll find that the only sake served hot is the house sake.

                      1. re: mrhooks

                        Sorry, I live in Japan and I know that NOT to be the case!

                2. Hi I'm korean

                  rice wine is

                  korean style and japanese style,

                  usually drink it.

                  mirin is usually help to cook

                  mirin one of japanese sake

                  you will buy korean market(hankuk, gaju, galleria, zion) and japanese market

                  korea town selling the rice wine

                  korean ricewine called Makgeolli
                  korean wine called so-ju
                  japanese ricewind called sake


                  3 Replies
                  1. re: baedary

                    Korean Makgeolli is very much like Nigori-style (cloudy) Japanese sake, though it is much lower in alcohol. It is quite different from Chinese-style rice wine.

                    1. re: baedary

                      Hmm, I don't think of "soju" as wine, more like liquor because it isn't brewed or fermented but distilled. And I would be VERY surprised if anyone used it for cooking.

                      1. re: hbkawachi

                        Anybody know where to buy unpasteurized maekkeolli? Just back from Korea and the stuff in the stores here is not at all the same. It's like a living beverage there and every bar/cafe seems to have a special one that they made themselves.

                    2. Mitsuwa has a big selection of rice wines. It's on Centinela in the Santa Monica/West LA area.


                      Centinela Cafe
                      4800 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066