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Originally published Wednesday, May 27, 2009 at 12:00 AM

3 courses for $30 at 49 standout restaurants

Eat well, save money and support local restaurants. Urban Eats offers you three-course dinners for only $30 from 49 of the area's most admired restaurants. Visit them May 3-31, 2009, Sunday-Thursday nights. See our map of participating restaurants.

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What can substitute for mirin?

Mirin is a sweet rice wine used in Japanese cooking but there are some liquids that can stand in for it.

McClatchy Newspapers

By Kathleen Purvis

Q. I found a recipe that calls for 3 tablespoons of mirin, but I don't have any. What is a good substitute?

A. Although it sometimes gets confused with rice wine vinegar, mirin actually is a sweet rice wine used in Japanese cooking. It doesn't just flavor food. The sweetness also gives luster to sauces and glazes and can help them cling to food.

If you don't have mirin, there are many common suggestions for substitutions. You can just use dry sherry or sweet marsala, for instance. Or you can dissolve a small amount of sugar in a little white wine or sherry, perhaps a 1/4 teaspoon of sugar to 1/4 cup wine wine.

(c) 2009, The Charlotte Observer (Charlotte, N.C.).

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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