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Shaoxing Rice Wine

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As you might have noticed, one of our favorite Guest Authors, Judi Gamble, who has had many Chinese recipes posted on The Chinese Quest, uses Shaoxing Rice Wine in almost all of her recipes.  You may have asked yourself, what exactly is Shaoxing Rice Wine? Well, guess what? We are going to tell you all about Shoaxing Rice Wine too.  And I bet that after you read this article, you will want to incorporate it in to many of your own recipes.

Shaoxing-Rice-Wine-BottlesShaoxing Rice Wine (pronounced: Shaohing, Shaoshing) is one of the most famous varieties of huangjiu, or traditional Chinese wines, fermented from rice. It originates from the region of Shaoxing, in the Zhejiang province of eastern China. It is widely used as both a beverage and a cooking wine in Chinese cuisine. It is internationally well known and renowned throughout mainland China, as well as in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.

Shaoxing rice wine has been in production since dynastic times. Large quantities are made and stored in the classic Shaoxing rice wine container over long periods of time. It is also bottled for domestic consumption and for shipping internationally. Aged wines are referred to by year of brewing, similar to grape vintage year (chénnián, 陳年).

Shaoxing rice wine can be drunk as a beverage and is considered to take the place of rice at the beginning of a meal. When at home some families will drink their wine out of rice bowls. Women customarily do not drink very much as it is considered somewhat unbecoming. If not served at a meal, Shaoxing wine can also accompany peanuts or other common snacks.

Huang jiu 黄酒, as it is known locally, is also well known for its use in meat dishes, in addition to being an ingredient in many dishes of Chinese cuisine, it is a key ingredient of Mao Zedong’s favorite dish of braised pork belly with scallion greens – what he called his “brain food” that helped him defeat his enemies.


If you can’t find Shaoxing Rice Wine if your local supermarket, you can order Shaoxing Rice Wine from Amazon.com.

What recipes would you add Shaoxing Rice Wine to?

Humbly submitted for your consumption,

Mee Magnum  (“Chop!  Chop!”)

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