Mirin from Japan is a sweet, syrupy, clear fermented rice product with added distilled alcohol that is used in cooking only. It has an alcohol content around 12 percent and a high sugar content, and the combination of the two gives mirin its distinctive flavor and sweetness—and also provides it with two particularly prized characteristics: the ability to mask strong fish and meat odors and the sheen it imparts to food, most noticeably in teriyaki. Mirin is almost always sold in clear glass bottles and is commonly used in grilled and simmered dishes, dipping sauces, and broths.
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