6 Uses for: Mirin, a Crazy Good Seasoning

Have some mirin sitting around? Or are you hesitating on buying it for that one recipe in fear you’ll never use it again? The s#!t is awesome. Here are some great ways to help you use it up.

I am here to tell you, BUY that Kikkoman Manjo Aji Mirin for your homemade ramen broth for that AMAZING Bon Appetite Chilled Ramen With Soy Milk And Chili Oil, by way of Nakamura, and what you have left over, you can use in a myriad of ways. It adds a bit of sweetness with an obvious Asian flare, likely due to rice or sake being a base ingredient. Mirin can even be used in place of cooking wine in recipes. The key with mirin is that a little goes a long way. And here is how:

  1. Good for autumn baked tofu! Cut the firm tofu into 1/2-inch slices, long ways, and marinate with equal parts mirin and soy sauce for a salty-sweet glaze. Let the tofu sit in the marinade for at least 30 minutes. Bake at 400° for 20 minutes, flipping half-way through.
  2. Splash a bit into your quick and easy stir-fry. Since you already have some soy sauce in there, (right?) throwing in some mirin during the last few minutes really gives the flavor a nice sweet and saucy balanced flavor.
  3. This one directly from the blog.foodnetwork.com with some a few updates from me: Drizzle a bit of mirin, Toasted Sesame Oil and a pinch of Smoked Paprika over purchased humus. Serve with raw carrots, warm sliced pita, or pita chips.
  4. Make some easy spicy Thai-inspired peanut sauce. 1/2 cup of creamy peanut butter, 1/2 cup of warm water, 2TBsp of soy sauce, 1TBsp of mirin, and 1TBsp (or to taste) of Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce, a teaspoon of canola oil, and maybe some sugar to taste. Toss in noodles, vegetables, and any protein of your choice. If too thick, add more water. This is a scalable recipe too!
  5. Marinade for grilled vegetables. Mix with rice vinegar, white miso paste, and some soy sauce, toss in the veggies and grill away!
  6. Homemade tomato chutney a.k.a. ketchup with tomato skin. This is scalable and easy. I take my cherry or grape tomatoes as they are showing signs of wrinkles, usually about a cup at the rate I eat them. I throw them in a saucepan on med-high heat, toss in about 1/4 cup of mirin, salt, and black pepper to taste, and boil down stirring constantly. The mirin takes care of the vinegar and most of the sweet needs making for a great simple ketchup!

There you have it! If you have more uses, please comment below and I will add to the list!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Aji-Mirin is “mirin-like”, not true mirin. True mirin is not easy to find, even at Japanese grocery stores in NYC but the substitutes are less expensive and easy to find. Nothing to worry about in using the Aji-Mirin. 😉

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