Good afternoon, dear friends
I first came across homemade raisin wine when my healer friend made a batch of it and she gave me a bottle to try. She told me that it is very good for marinating and tenderising meats, especially when used in cooking Kung Pao Chicken.
Juicy, Tender Lamb Chops Marinated With Raisin Wine
That day, I was going to cook some lamb chops for dinner and I thought I would try out what my friend said about raisin wine. My usual method of tenderising chops was to use a kitchen mallet on them before marinating them with some oyster sauce, garlic and ginger paste, salt & pepper, Chinese Rice Wine and cornstarch. I was taught that the combination of wine and cornstarch would help to tenderise meats.
When I tried out the raisin wine, I decided to forego using the kitchen mallet to see how well the wine would work as a tenderiser. I was using lamb shoulder chops which can be a bit tough to eat if not tenderised properly.
Wow, the lamb chops turned out to be so tender, juicy and really delicious when raisin wine was used as part of the marinade. Everyone in my family was happily tucking into the lamb chops.
Ever since, raisin wine has been in integral part of my cooking – I would add that liberally into stews, stirfry, soups, etc. I even used it in my Spaghetti Bolognese sauce and Cottage Pie beef fillings. How yummy! Quickly, my free bottle of raisin wine ran out!
To meet my high usage of raisin wine for cooking, I decided to try making my very own wine (my first attempt at making wine ) … and now I have a few bottles of raisin wine on hand!
I was even more motivated to make the wine when I read about the goodness of raisins and the many health benefits of raisins.
The photos below were taken way back last year – in early October, 2009. It is very easy to prepare and well worth the wait.
Initially, I had wanted to follow Amy Beh’s recipe (at bottom of page) for making raisin wine. Armed with a list of ingredients required for the wine, I went to a Chinese medical hall to get what I wanted. Heheh, it turned out that the lady boss has her own recipe and she packed all the ingredients according to hers.
*Boiled Sugar Solution
Yeast For Making Wine
*Powdered Yeast Sprinkled Over Raisins
Sugar syrup poured over yeast and raisins. Cover tightly and let stand overnight
A small bottle of distilled rice wine to be added on Day 2
My healer friend said she usually adds a bottle of Kaoliang Wine (Go Leong Jao in Cantonese) to her wine at the beginning. I would try her method the next time I make more of this wine.
Her raisin wine is very popular and whenever her friends or relatives have someone about to have a baby, they would pay her to make a batch of raisin wine for the new mother’s consumption during confinement month. I have seen this wine being sold at RM15 for a 750 ml bottle. My cost in making my own raisin wine was about RM20 only.
One thing to note, when the raisin wine is ready, it doesn’t taste very alcoholic – just very smooth and a little sweet. The medical hall lady boss said she would add more distilled wine when bottling the matured raisin wine to give it the more alcoholic taste. As with other wines, the longer this wine is kept, the better it tastes.
With best wishes for good health,
Homemade Raisin Wine by Any Beh
- 5 bottles water (approximately 3.75litres)
- 1.2kg rock sugar
- 600g golden raisins
- 5 pieces sweet wine biscuits (tim chow paeng), crushed finely
- 5 pieces spicy wine biscuits (lat chow paeng)
Place water and sugar in a large pot and bring to a boil; stir until rock sugar is dissolved. Leave to cool completely. It is important to cool the syrup thoroughly.
Prepare a big glass jar (you can buy one from any provision shop) by washing it well and then drying it thoroughly.
Scatter raisins evenly on the base of the jar. Sprinkle both types of wine biscuits over the raisins. Pour in the cooled syrup slowly. Seal the jar lid tightly and allow the liquid to ferment and mature in a cool, dry and dark place for 100 days. Do not move the container during the fermenting and maturing period. If you do not follow this piece of grandmother’s lore, the whole process will not turn out well.