Where can I find real Chinese rice wine for cooking

I’ve been trying to stir-fry and have been looking at various recipes online. They include Chinese rice wine (not Mirin, not rice cooking wine) but I can’t find it anywhere. I posted this in the Bay Area board because I was wondering where to buy it locally. Or if not, I’ve heard I could use gin or sweet vermouth or…?

99 Ranch. Lion Super. Most Chinese grocery stores. Bruce Cost recommends the Pagoda brand.

Thanks, Robert. I was going to check out Lion b/c it’s the closest. Will report back if I find it. I’ve never been to 99 Ranch but need to venture out there since my cooking curiosity is starting to get the better of me. Thanks again.

Lion and 99 Ranch are pretty similar.

Which one is close to you?


Which Lion?

The one on Saratoga in San Jose

If you’re looking for Shao Xing (I think that’s the spelling), I’ve never had any problem finding it in any Asian grocery store, from tiny corner stores to Lion, Marina, Ocean or 99 Ranxh & sometimes even in regular grocers. To my knowledge, this is Chinese rice wine… If all else fails, Google “Chinese Rice Wine images” & you’ll get photographs of many different bottles. Show that to a clerk in an Asian market & they’ll show you where it is…

The 99 Ranch Market near me (albeit in SoCal) must have two dozen different rice wines. I can’t imagine any Asian market not having it. OTOH I’ve never seen it in the small Asian food section of any major chain supermarket around here.

Thanks so much. I’m going to go over to Lion today and then Ranch 99 tomorrow just because I’ve never been to either of them and both are relatively close to me. Will report back!

I went to Lion today. I definitely need to spend more time there but finding the Shao Xing was pretty easy and they had several varieties. Thanks rwcfoodie, Midlife and Robert for the guidance. I the different cultural grocery stores confusing because they, like Americans, I guess, offer so many choices of things but I don’t know enough about the cuisine to explore easily. I guess I’ll need to travel more and hang with my Chinese friends more often. Thanks again. Stacy

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Some cookbooks recommend specific brands, which makes things easier.

Can you recommend a couple of good ones?

I don’t know, I’ve just noticed that when I flip through them in bookstores. I think my Chinese cookbooks are all over 20 years old.

From what I understand, it’s about where it’s made and whether salt is added or not. The recommended brand I’ve read about is:

Pagoda brand “Shao Xing Rice Wine” (blue or red label bottle- not yellow) from Zhejiang, China )750 ml bottle

Pagoda brand “Shao Hsing Hua Tiao Chiew” from Zhenjiang China 624 ml bottle

“Shaoxing” from Taiwan, 21 oz bottles.

Good luck,


Thanks, Steve. You are right on! I also read this short blurb on Saveur and ended up buying one of the Pagoda and one of the other ones. It’s quite interesting and I like it a lot!

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