Sunday, May 04, 2008

Cooking wine - Shaoxing wine and Chinese rice wine, I have used them both

Shaoxing Wine 紹興酒, taken at Puli 埔里 - Nantou county 南投 , Taiwan

I guess most of you, who cook, keep a bottle of cooking wine at home or your kitchen pantry, either it's (colorless) rice wine or (mellow yellow) Shaoxing wine, even dry sherry. Drizzle over while a fish steams, or make a dish such as Drunken Prawns or Shrimps. Season or marinate meat such as pork in cooking wine- sometimes touted as a way to "rid the fowl smell" in pork and additionally bring out the good natural flavor of pork. I even substituted white wine with Shaoxing wine to make my linguine vongole (Chinese-style) which does not taste any worse than that cooked in dry white wine such as Pinot Grigio.

Shaoxing wine (a grade of yellow liquor) is named after a famous wine making city of the same name in China. This type of alcoholic beverage is brewed directly from grains such as rice, millet, or wheat and is not distilled. These wines are traditionally pasteurized, aged, and filtered before being final bottled for sale. Taiwan also produces many types of Shaoxing 紹興酒 rice wine, and Puli locates one of Taiwan nationally owned Shaoxing Wine factory. Puli is famous for its four 'W's - water, wine, women and weather. This post is about wine, not women. Sorry guys. :P

Taiwan Chinese Sausage 香腸 (literally meaning, fragrant sausage) is famous, ya? This variety of sausage is emulsified and much sweeter in taste.

Guess what? This is a Chinese sausage marinated with lots of Shaoxing wine- Shaoxing Fragrant Sausage - 紹興香腸!

Well, this is what you get in a "Shaoxing" Wine Town in Puli. Everything has Shaoxing wine in them. Ice-cream, mochi, and even eggs!

This is Shaoxing wine aroma egg. Comes in vacuum-packed like this -

Looks harmless and just like a typical hard-boiled egg BUT BUT BUT oh my, this is so strong in alcohol taste. The entire yolk has been infused with alcohol (Shaoxing wine, what else?!) flavor. So strong that we did not really enjoy it. The sausages were much much better!

Recipes with cooking wine as ingredient (as seasoning or marinade) :
White pepper braised noodles
Stuffed mushrooms
Steamed cod fish rolls
Pan fried fish fillet in soy sauce and ginger
Warm fusili salad with wine-steamed shrimps

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