Cooking with Guangdong Rice Wine: Recipes and Culinary Uses

Jun 26, 2024

Guangdong rice wine, also known as mijiu, is a versatile ingredient in Cantonese cuisine, celebrated for its ability to enhance flavors and tenderize meats. This article explores how Guangdong rice wine is used in marinades, sauces, stir-fries, and braised dishes, and provides classic recipes like Drunken Chicken and Rice Wine Eggs. We will also discuss how this rice wine adds depth of flavor and helps tenderize meats.

Culinary Uses of Guangdong Rice Wine

Guangdong rice wine is a staple in marinades, where it serves multiple purposes. The alcohol and acidity in the wine help to break down the proteins in meat, making it more tender. Additionally, the subtle sweetness and umami flavors of the wine infuse the meat, enhancing its overall taste.
Example: For a simple chicken marinade, mix Guangdong rice wine with soy sauce, ginger, and garlic. Let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes before cooking.

In sauces, Guangdong rice wine adds a layer of complexity and depth. It can be used to deglaze pans, capturing the caramelized bits left from cooking meat, and incorporating them into the sauce. This technique enriches the sauce with a robust flavor.
Example: A classic Cantonese sauce might include Guangdong rice wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and a bit of sugar, thickened with cornstarch.

Stir-fries benefit greatly from the addition of Guangdong rice wine. It is often added towards the end of cooking to deglaze the wok and to impart a subtle, sweet flavor that complements the other ingredients.
Example: In a beef and broccoli stir-fry, add a splash of Guangdong rice wine after the beef is seared and the vegetables are nearly cooked. This will enhance the dish's flavor and help to create a glossy sauce.

Braised Dishes
Braised dishes are where Guangdong rice wine truly shines. The slow cooking process allows the wine to penetrate the meat deeply, making it incredibly tender and flavorful. The wine also helps to balance the richness of the braising liquid.
Example: In a traditional braised pork belly dish, Guangdong rice wine is combined with soy sauce, sugar, and spices, then simmered until the meat is tender and the sauce is thick and rich.

How Guangdong Rice Wine Enhances Flavor and Tenderizes Meat?

Depth of Flavor
Guangdong rice wine adds a unique depth of flavor to dishes. Its slightly sweet and umami-rich profile complements a wide range of ingredients, from meats to vegetables. The fermentation process of the rice wine creates complex flavor compounds that enhance the overall taste of the dish.

Tenderizing Meats
The alcohol and acidity in Guangdong rice wine help to break down the proteins in meat, making it more tender. This is particularly useful in marinades and braised dishes, where the wine has time to penetrate the meat deeply. The result is a tender, flavorful dish that is both satisfying and delicious.


Guangdong rice wine is an essential ingredient in Cantonese cuisine, known for its ability to enhance flavors and tenderize meats. Whether used in marinades, sauces, stir-fries, or braised dishes, this versatile wine adds a unique depth of flavor that elevates any dish. Shiwan is one of the cooking rice wine manufacturers in China, please feel free to contact us to get more information or purchase.