I’ve read that regular pears work for tenderizing too, but I’m sure that info was gleaned from some website and I have no scientist hat to prove this. It also adds some of that desired sweetness into the marinade, which is more what I go for.
Mirin in the US is tough – at least for locations that don’t have a sizable Japanese or Korean population with a good specialty grocery store. If you chat with purists, most will tell you the mirin available locally is usually high-fructose corn syrup crud. I found this a few years ago – Wan Ja Shan brand mirin - that at least doesn’t have the corn syrup. I’ve seen this in your average Asian market. I’ve never tried just replacing with sake and sugar, and I understand the sweetness is important for most recipes it’s called for.
I don’t like mirin, awful taste and too sweet. Maybe it’s the ones available in shops here that are no good, I don’t know. When I see a recipe asking for mirin, I substitute by using sake or rice wine, maybe add some sugar or sweet element. But no mirin.
That is true
The Koreans recommend using pear juice for tenderizing beef when preparing Korean charcoal beef, It is difficut to find pear juice with out added sugar , so I buy either pear or crushed pear in their natural juice crushed in the food processor.
I also was told by another Korean colleague that kiwi acts the same
The filipinos recommend using pineapple juice and I use that when I am making sate babe
I use mirin for their subtle sweetness to counteract the saltiness of food like miso, and when I am steaming fish which does not call for miso but with black beans, I like to add a splash of mirin as well .When I am making cucumber salad ( with soy sauce, sesame oil, cider vinegar. fresh ground pepper and crushed red pepper,), mirin provides the balance of slight sweet and tanginess. This is also true the using Yuzu Kosho which is quite salty. I try to add a little mirin to counteract the saltiness.
I’m a mirin purist-at-heart and since I can get brewed mirin at reasonable prices (albeit not especially good brewed mirin), I do. But in defense of “hon-mirin” (the “crud” of which you speak ), it is what the overwhelming majority of Japanese use in Japan. It serves the purpose as an “ingredient” and unless you’re using it in a dish where there’s a lot of it relative to the other ingredients, I can’t say I taste it per se anyway…