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Thursday, 22 October 2009

Replacement for wine...

Assalamualaikum and Salam Sejahtera to all…

Cooking with alcohol, well as a Muslim, I am well aware of limit in my food that I eat everyday or cooking, though there is always temptation of wanting to try anything that is widely available in the market and yet I still have to limit myself to do so. As my understanding, there is always alternative/replacement ingredients, one close example is: Carbonara is never a ‘halal’ food and as replacement for bacon, we use smoked beef strip (which taste almost the same I think).

This post topic is all about replacement for wine, more specific is red wine.  I dare to say that about 40 to 60% blogs that I’ve been thru are talking about alcohol in their food and for some, about 60-80% were highlighted. So, that makes me think that for a Muslims, those who read blogs are not interested to read any post that featured to non-halal food around (as for me those articles with pork featured post, I’ll straight away skip them) but with wine or anything alcoholic in the food, its still be considered just to add for knowledge.

There were period of time for me, where food is all about taste, satisfaction for your appetite and whatever you eat/taste, regardless religion, you will have to try to eat them especially foods that looks really good, oh! so good!. I know that, it is wrong but for me, you live only once and if you never try it you will never get the chance and I am glad that those periods has over except under some circumstances, I think.

Red wine is used as marinations, flavoring and finishing. As a replacement, I use red/white wine vinegar (you’ll have to be careful for their amount cause of sour taste), sparkling grape juice and stewed grape (usually home made). These are most available product in our limited market here in Brunei which I believed that in oversea there are more choices available in the market.

Maison Rose – Sparkling Grape Drink, this drink has sweet taste and far from wine taste, so, I wouldn’t recommend to be used as marinations.

As for marinations for meat or seafood, I would recommend red/white wine vinegar (I don’t have pics for this, sorry)

Spaghetti Alla Mediterranean prepared by Chef Jimmy using Rose – an improved version of his signature spaghetti

And here is his recipe…

1 tsp garlic (sliced)
1 tsp onion (diced)
3 nos asparagus (sliced)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Black olive (crushed)
Diced tomato
Dried tomato (diced)
Chili (sliced)
¼ cup rose
100 gm cooked spaghetti
Salt and pepper

Heat up a pan, add in evoo, saute onion and garlic to fragrance. Add in chili, asparagus, dried tomato, stir and cook to a bit brown color. Put in rose and reduced, simmer for about 5 minute, add in tomato and black olive, cook for about 2 minute.  Add in Spaghetti, spinach and seasoning. Serve hot.

Spaghetti Alla Mediterenean - I am not a Veggie dish fan but this one gets your appetite to top... and I think it would taste better if using wine... let me know...

Rose as a side drink, great combination right? - just like having your dish with wine...

Spaghetti with chicken in cream sauce with touch of Saffron and Rose - another dish that was prepared by Chef Jimmy


I have to highlight here that I still doubt non-halal-ness of wine in cooking (can anyone give me a good answer to this) that alcohol evaporated during cooking process, so, there is no more alcohol.  My big question is, no more alcohol in that so cooked food, is it still consider non-halal?...

Regards, Chef Nash


Kathy Gori 23 October 2009 at 03:17  

I do not use any wine in my cooking..INdian food doesn't call for it, but when I cook Italian, since I do not drink I use..unsweetened Pomegranate juice.

Kathy Gori 23 October 2009 at 03:32  

one more thing, many times I mix chicken broth with dark unsweetened cherry juice, or cherry juice with a bit of balsamic vinegar..I blend and taste..but never use wine, even for marinade

choco 23 October 2009 at 10:34  

At last! hehe...yes good post on replacement for wine Nash. Honestly I would skip any recipes that has wine in them so this one is good. Thanks for sharing :)

Divina Pe 23 October 2009 at 13:43  

That's a great substitute. If I don't have red wine, use sake or shao hsing wine. But if I use that, I would have to stick to an Asian flavors too. But would try your suggestion.

jeroxie 23 October 2009 at 13:59  

red wine vinegar can work and add sugar? tricky! and I learn something today.

SheR. 24 October 2009 at 22:07  

Hi Chef Nash.
A good alternative for red wine is actually balsamic vinegar. I love the intense flavour of the vinegar that is extracted from grapes.

Happy cooking!

chef_bri 26 October 2009 at 19:42  

this looks delicious!!! your so creative! just need a chocolate cupcake on the side. :)

ValleyWriter 26 October 2009 at 22:11  

I don't know the exact religious rules, but I can tell you that, while MOST of the alcohol gets cooked off, a small amount of it will still remain (even after cooking something for 2 hours, up to 5% of the alcohol will remain). So, I think you're better off leaving it out!

As others have said, I sometimes use balsamic vinegar in place of red wine. And in place of white, I usually just use a clear stock (like chicken stock).


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