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In Reply to: Paul Kirks Char Siu Recipe posted by Ray Basso on April 17, 2014 at 07:14:10:
With all due respect to Chef Paul...
Take a serious look at morphing this recipe by dropping the 'sweet sherry cooking wine (and possible half the sugar) and subbing in a quantity of 'Mirin'...a sweet rice cooking wine, most common brand here being Kikkoman.
Methinks Mirin has oft been overlooked by American cookbooks because it is not a readily available common grocery store ingredient, hence difficult to justify listing on a domestic recipe, so (methinks) it is often adlibbed (with detriment) as some sort of sweet wine.
Discovery of Mirin for me was an epiphany of sorts. My wife and I had attended a reception at a Korean consulate and one of the things we had was Kalbii - it was delicious, and if anybody is going to cook an ethnic dish properly, it would be the consulate, so I attempted (with no luck) to replicate the flavor of the consulate Kalbi. My 'revelation' came when I went to a Korean market and asked the Korean lady for HER recipe and she led me to a bottle of Kikkoman 'Aji-Mirin'...turns out the mirin was exactly the ingredient I had tasted in the consulate Kalbi months before.
I've provided a link that might help you with understanding 'mirin'.
(Evidently there are two different types which I did not know previous to this post - locally, you will probably have the easiest time locating the Kikkomann 'Aji-Mirin' product.
Mirin...I've even used it as a sweetener in brownies :-)
Another hint about the recipe...I would be tempted to blend the sugar into half white and half brown.
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