Alcohol, typically mirin and sake are staple ingredients in Japanese cooking. This is of course an issue for us practising Muslims, as alcohol is one of the prohibited ingredients as well as for those who abstain due to health reasons, pregnancy or precautions resulting from personal past experience.
I’ve heard and seen so many arguments (particularly that the alcohol get absorbed while cooking hence not being part of the food, but I mean, why put in the ingredient in the first place if it would not affect the food in any way? Oh and by the way, it appears that, according to the USDA Data lab, 5% of alcohol still remains in a dish that has been simmered for over 2.5 hours) and well, I don’t know who they are trying to kid but themselves, but hey, to each their own, right? In the end, it is not to me or other people that you will be liable to answer to but to the God you claim to believe. I wouldn’t believe in a divine being who is easy to be tricked, but like I said, to each their own. But I digress.
Lucky for us who refrain from alcohol consumption, there are those who are generous enough to share some long non-exhaustive lists of alcohol substitutes! :
Imagine my happiness when I came across those lists. I could hug them, honestly. While some substitutes might not work because I suppose it depends on what kind of cooking is suitable with which alternatives, I found substituting sake to rice vinegar did a great job.
Now speaking of vinegar, there are arguments about whether these are acceptable as well. I found an argument written by Yvonne Maffei on My Halal Kitchen regarding whether or not vinegar is halal. But again, one’s faith and beliefs differ from one another. What you do is up to you as long as you know you will be liable for every action of yours.
Well, I found the lists to be very informative and I hope you do too. If you do know any other alternative(s), do not hesitate to let me know!