Flavor Hacks: Best Sake Substitute?


Sake is a classic Japanese drink that has a subtly sweet flavor with more alcohol than most wines. It’s usually used with soups, sauces, marinades to enhance flavor and tenderize meat.

Here are some Sake substitutes that can give the same flavor profile:

Rice Wine Vinegar This is a great Sake substitute since it also came from rice. It’s non-alcoholic, so it’s good to use for parties where your guests are a mixture of drinkers and non-drinkers, including children. Its vinegar component also helps it last longer so you can use it as many times as you want.

Sweet Sherry This Sake substitute also has a sweet and dry flavor. It is gluten-free. Be careful with the amounts you use as you may go overboard in trying to produce the same level of flavor. Ask for professional help if you’re not familiar with the recipe you’re trying to cook.

Dry Vermouth This one is quite aromatic and fortified with brandy. It blends well with dishes that call for Sage. Make sure that you get the white variety so you can control the level of sweetness of the dish with sugar.

Mirin Mirin’s alcohol content is just right, so its flavor profile doesn’t delve away much from Sake. Since it already has sugar content, don’t use additional sugar anymore, or else you’ll destroy your dish. It’s also highly accessible and can be found in the nearest grocery store.

White Grape Juice with Lemon Zest White grape juice is another ideal non-alcoholic substitute. Adding a bit of lemon zest for every tablespoon of white grape juice produces the same complexity of Sake. Use the same amount of mixture for the Sake needed in your recipe.

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