Yesterday morning, I celebrated my discovery at the H Mart of Shaoxing rice wine -- the one missing ingredient from Andrea Nguyen's Asian Dumplings cookbook.
Yesterday afternoon, Nguyen posted about Shaoxing and coincidentally pointed out that I bought the wrong item. She recommends Pagoda brand rice wine and says "Whatever your price point, avoid Shaoxing 'Cooking Wine' which is salted and tastes awful."
One look in my pantry confirmed that I had bought cooking wine. My prior pride in last week's pork and cabbage dumplings crashed down around me. Inauthentic and salty! The memory tastes like shame.
Help me! Nguyen was very nice in emails saying that sherry can substitute for the Shaoxing rice wine. But a few pulls on the bottle clearly got her tipsy and honest enough to blog that I do need Shaoxing for "an extra authentic boost." I have all the ingredients for kimchi and tofu dumplings. I want to be extra authentic!
Has anyone seen Pagoda brand rice wine? (Photo from Nguyen's Web site.) H Mart? Lotte? The Chinese supermarket on Rte 40?