Shaohsing/Shaoxing rice wine has long been used as both a marinade in Chinese dishes and also for seasoning, helping to add depth to any dish. It is made from fermented, glutinous rice and has a fragrant, subtle taste, similar to sherry. It is becoming increasingly easy to get a hold of and even my local Tescos stock it as I discovered recently.

If you venture into the kitchens of many Chinese restaurants and takeaways you will probably find a bottle of Shaoxing wine next to the other essential Chinese sauces (soy, sesame oil, oyster etc). Often shredded ginger is added to the wine to add an aromatic pep to the flavour. I personally can't get enough ginger, I love the zingy taste it brings to dishes, and it is renowned for its many health benefits.

To create your own Shaoxing ginger wine, simply take one large piece of ginger, peel and slice and add to the rice wine, then store in a cool, dry place. Add to meat/fish as a marinade or splash a good few drops into the dish right at the end of cooking.