7 Non-Alcoholic Substitutes for Chinese Cooking Wine (Shaoxing Wine)

Shaoxing wine is a type of Chinese rice wine used to add a certain complex flavor to a range of dishes. The wine, used to improve texture, color, and flavor in food, is made using brown rice. Its flavor is sweet and complex, which means that it can be hard to replicate.

Regardless, it is possible to find yourself looking for a non-alcoholic substitute for Chinese cooking wine that can deliver the same results in your food.

We have prepared a list of some of the best non-alcoholic Shaoxing wine substitutes that are in the market.

Here are the substitutes;

  • Soy Sauce

Soy sauce

Since Shaoxing wine is used to add a certain sweet flavor to a meal, some light sauce, coupled with some sugar can provide the results you need. Since soy sauce has a saltier flavor, it is preferable if you use a smaller amount. Maybe you can use around a quarter of the amount of Shaoxing wine required.

Using dark soy sauce can overpower your meal and have completely different results. We would recommend that you use light soy sauce.

  • Stock

You can use mushroom, pork, vegetable, chicken, or beef stock as a non-alcoholic alternative to Shaoxing wine, especially in sauces and stir-fries. However, you should use smaller quantities. Even though the flavor will not be the same as Shaoxing wine, it will add a bit of flavor.

You can choose to add some brown sugar or vinegar to give your flavor some depth.

  • Non-Alcoholic Beer

Alcohol Free Beer

It makes sense, right? Non-alcoholic beer, or wine for that matter, can provide the level of flavor you need. You will only need a small amount of it in your meal. However, we would recommend that you chose a type of non-alcoholic beer with a mild flavor to avoid overpowering the dish.

  • Non-Alcoholic Meat Marinade

In most recipes, you will find the Shaoxing wine used in a marinade to eradicate the meat smell. If you have ginger water, you can use it as a non-alcoholic marinade to substitute Shaoxing wine.

  • Rice Vinegar

Rice Vinegar

Rice vinegar can be a good non-alcoholic Shaoxing wine substitute. However, you would have to accept that the flavor profile is different from Shaoxing wine. There are also chances of the dish being somewhat acidic.

Altogether, you will end up with a delicious dish, even though the flavor will be different.

  • Mirin


This is a type of Japanese rice wine made for use in dishes. There are different types, some with higher levels of alcohol, and others with lower. Choose a type that has very low levels of alcohol, if that’s what you need. The flavor profile of mirin is similar to Shaoxing wine. Therefore, you will get results similar to what you need in terms of texture and flavor. However, mirin might be somewhat sweeter.

  • White Grape Juice

A bit of white grape juice works great as a non-alcoholic substitute for Chinese cooking wine. However, we would recommend using a very small amount to get the desired results.

Also, read: Difference Between Shaoxing Wine and Rice Wine


The truth is, there are different types of non-alcoholic substitutes you can choose from. The one that would work best for your meal would depend on the results you expect.

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