Cantonese rice wine
Cantonese rice wine, or cooking wine, or Cantonese spirit, or Cantonese Mijiu, is a must-have in any Cantonese household. It’s not only for cooking, but drinking. Maotai is the most famous but expensive Chinese wine, so for elder generation of Cantonese, Cantonese Mijiu is a more affordable choice. I won’t drink it directly as beverage but make fruit wine with it every year. The one I use for cooking is about 30% ABV, but for making fruit wine, I usually choose those above 40% ABV.
For me, Cantonese rice wine is one of the essential in my home-cooking, the other is soy sauce. Well, in those days I lived in Scotland, more than ten years ago, it wasn’t easy to obtain Cantonese rice wine in the town I lived. Thus I would use vodka, or even whiskey, for substitute. However, it’s hard to replace the special and familiar aroma of Cantonese rice wine. It’s the smell of Cantonese cooking.
The usage of cooking wine is varied. Usually it’s for removing the gamey or fishy taste of meat or fish. It would be added when marinating, or in cooking. Also, a splash in stir-fried meat or vegetable would enhance the final taste. In this recipe, Chicken Pot, a larger amount, half cup or even more is required. Don’t worry, after cooking, only fragrance remains.