Does Mirin Need to Be Refrigerated? Does It Go Bad?

Does Mirin Need To Be Refrigerated?

Asia is a unique continent that is known for its diversity, exotic locations, vagrant lifestyles, and above all the spicy, tasty, and flavored foods. If you consider far-east Asia, especially Japan then you can always find the sincerity, the hard work, the passion, and the positive mindset on their every creation that make them not less than the best.

Today, I have brought to you a very special kind of liquid that is not meant for drinking but to add an extra taste and flavor to the dishes that you’re going to prepare using this. This special kind of liquid is called Mirin-a type of wine prepared from rice and of course, it is precisely coming from Japan. Does Mirin need to be refrigerated? You might be asking yourself this question if you’ve ever tried making mirin at home or if you’ve used it recently. The answer is yes, mirin should be refrigerated. Come, join me, and try to know all about it.

What Is Mirin?

If you get an opportunity to visit Japan or get a chance to go to an authentic Japanese restaurant, then you’ll certainly be privileged to have some delicious, tasty, savory, and umami-flavored dishes like ramen, teriyaki, and something more. The kinds of delicate sweetness that come from those dishes will make you think that all the dishes are added with sugar. No, it’s not true. Actually, the flavor is coming from a type of rice wine-mirin.

Mirin is fine, clear, golden-tinged sweetened Japanese rice wine close to a shake that is extensively used to prepare many delicious Japanese dishes. The sweetness of it is extracted from the rice starch that converts into sugar through the fermentation process. Besides, Mirin also contains about 14% of alcohol which cooks off once heated through.

What Does Mirin Taste Like?

Mirin is a type of Japanese rice wine that has a sweet and slightly tangy taste. It is often used in cooking to add flavor to dishes like teriyaki sauce.

Also read: Does Soy Sauce Have To Be Refrigerated?

What Are The Differences Between Sake and Mirin?

Sake and Mirin both are used in a recipe for Japanese cooking. But there is one big difference- Mirin contains low alcohol and high sugar while sake contains just the opposite to that, low alcohol and high sugar.

What Is Mirin Used For?

Usually, Mirin is used as a seasoning and glazing agent for having its sugar content and syrup-like texture. Besides, it is also popularly used in Japanese cooking to add mild sugar to the dishes or sauces. If you wish to have some grilled food, then you must add Mirin to it to get some sweet taste out of it. There are some popular sauces where Mirin is used as one of the main ingredients. Besides, Mirin is added to some of the Japanese salad and it is also the main ingredient of a kind sauce that is taken with Vegan Sushi.

Also read: Does Tartar Sauce Need To Be Refrigerated?

Is Mirin Good For Drinking?

If the ingredients of Mirin are limited to glutinous rice, rice malt, and shochu, you can drink it. But the fact is, there are some other ingredients that are added to it and that makes Mirin not drinkable at all.

Different Types Of Mirin

Generally, there are 4 types of Mirin-

1. Hon Mirin

It is prepared by steamed glutinous rice, rice koji mold, and a distilled alcoholic beverage called shochu. All of them are mixed and fermented for 40-60 days. This kind of Mirin has 14% of alcohol, more than any other type. Therefore, it can be stored in a cool place for more than 3 months.

2. Mirin

If you replace shake with shochu, then the Hon-Mirin turns to Mirin. The shake that is used here is made with rice, water, koji mold, and yeast. Apart from shake, glucose, corn syrup is the two main ingredients of this type of Mirin.

3. Mirin-fu Condiment

This kind of Mirin contains no alcohol or only 1% of alcohol and also a little salt [less than 1%]. Along with that, this type of Mirin is made of starch syrup, cultured rice brewed seasoning, brewed vinegar, and also a few acidic contents.

4. Aji-Mirin

This is another type of Mirin which is also called “Mirin-type condiment”. This kind of Mirin contains 8-14% of alcohol and it is nothing but a blend of starch syrup, rice, and salt and ready to provide whatever you expect from it.

Also read: Does Chick Fil a Sauce Need to Be Refrigerated?

How Long Does Mirin Last?

If the bottle of Mirin is unopened is stored in a cool, dark, and dry place, it can last for months and even years. However, if the bottle is opened then it will last within a few weeks. After that, the flavor and the quality will be going to fall.

How Long Is Mirin Good for After Opening?

Mirin is a type of rice wine that is typically used in Japanese cuisine. It is made from rice, starch syrup, water, salt, and sugar. Mirin has a sweet and slightly alcoholic taste and is typically used to add flavor to sauces and marinades.

Mirin is typically good for up to one year after opening. However, it is best to check the expiration date on the bottle to be sure.

Does Mirin Go Bad? & How Do You Know if Mirin Is Bad?

Although Mirin has an indefinite shelf life, if you keep it at room temperature then after 2 months the quality of it will start declining. Therefore, if you find any changes in the taste, color, and texture of Mirin, then it will be a better idea to discard it.

How To Store Mirin? & Does Mirin Need to Be Refrigerated?

As I said earlier, to keep your Mirin for longer use you have to find a cool and dark place. Now the question would certainly come to your mind, does Mirin need to be refrigerated?  Yes, to preserve the quality and flavor at its best for a longer time, Mirin should be kept in the refrigerator, especially after opening. But the thing you must know, the ingredients of Mirin tend to separate into the solution if it is refrigerated for a long time. This may cause color variation. But that doesn’t mean it’s all but over for Mirin. Just give a shake to your wine and the condition will be restored as you find the original amber color is back again.

Also read: Does Chocolate Syrup Need to Be Refrigerated?

What Would Be The Substitutes Of Mirin?

Suppose you have forgotten to buy the bottle of Mirin or if you’re not too keen to use Mirin in cooking, then you have no way left but to find any substitute for it. They are- Dry Serry, Sake, Rice Wine Vinegar, White Wine, White Wine Vinegar, etc. All of these can act as a perfect alternative to Mirin.

Can I Use Rice Vinegar Instead of Mirin?

No, use mirin, it is the best. You can use rice vinegar, but it is not as good as mirin. Mirin is not interchangeable with rice vinegar. Mirin has more of a sweet flavor and less of a sour taste than regular rice vinegar.


Drinking or cooking alcohol is not advisable. But as far as Mirin is concerned, it is to add an exotic flavor to the dishes and that’s what the foods from Japan are known for. So far I have tried to provide all the relevant details about this rice wine so that you can feel the worth of it much better than before. So, that’s all for today. Hope to meet you again soon.

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