Is Mirin Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

September 7, 2023

In today’s world, identifying whether any product is truly vegan can be a challenging task.

This difficulty often arises from manufacturers cleverly hiding the nature and source of their ingredients.

But fear not! This article aims to uncover the truth and support you, our conscious reader, in your commendable vegan lifestyle.

Is Mirin Vegan?

Yes, based on the provided ingredients list, mirin is vegan.

The product does not contain any animal-derived ingredients such as meat, dairy, eggs, or honey. All the ingredients listed are plant-based or synthetic, making it suitable for a vegan diet.

Is Mirin Cruelty-Free?

Yes, mirin is cruelty-free.

None of the listed ingredients are tested on animals or otherwise involve harm to animals in their production process.

What Is Mirin Made Of?

Mirin, a staple in Japanese cooking, is a type of rice wine that adds sweetness and flavor to many dishes. Obviously there are different brands of mirin, but the ingredients tend to be standard. Let’s see what they are:

  • Glucose syrup
  • Fructose syrup
  • Water
  • Fermented rice seasoning
  • Soy sauce
  • Preservative (E211)

Glucose Syrup

Derived from starch syrup, glucose syrup is a sweetener. It’s plant-based, often made from corn syrup or glutinous rice, and is vegan.

Fructose Syrup

Another sweetener, fructose syrup is derived from sugar and is also vegan.


A universal solvent, water doesn’t have any animal content and is vegan.

Fermented Rice Seasoning

This ingredient, often associated with sake and shochu, is made from rice. It adds a distinct flavor to mirin and is vegan.

Soy Sauce

A staple in Japanese cuisine, soy sauce is made from fermented soybeans. It’s vegan and adds a salty and savory taste to dishes.

Preservative (E211)

Also known as sodium benzoate, this preservative is synthetically produced and is vegan.

Vegan Alternatives to Mirin

Some popular vegan brands of mirin include 52USA and Best of Thailand. But if you’re exploring vegan alternatives to traditional mirin, there are plenty of options available:

  • Rice wine alternatives: Look for rice wines labeled as “true mirin” or “hon mirin” which have a lower alcohol content and no added sugar.
  • Soy-based alternatives: Tamari is a gluten-free soy sauce variant that can be used in recipes.
  • Sweet alternatives: Maple syrup or agave nectar can be used to replicate the sweetness of mirin.
  • Cooking wines: There are various vegan cooking wines available at the grocery store that can be used as a substitute.


Mirin, a traditional condiment in Asian food, is not only an essential ingredient in Japanese cooking but is also vegan and cruelty-free.

For those committed to a vegan lifestyle, it’s reassuring to know that products like mirin align with ethical choices.

Whether you’re whipping up a tofu dish, a vegetable broth, or any other vegan recipe, mirin can be your go-to sauce for that added flavor. Remember, every tablespoon counts in our journey to protect animals and our planet.