Soy sauce, mirin (sweet rice wine), sake (rice wine), and sugar are all you need to make this all-rounder Japanese sauce called tare. In fact, “tare” is a general term for sauces used in Japanese cuisine. It figures in many of its dishes, from grilling (yakitori and yakiniku) to sushi and hotpot.[READ: We asked chefs which condiments they can’t live without. Here are their picks]
Throughout Japan, it also has many variations that often include additional ingredients such as garlic, ginger, oyster sauce, dashi, and vinegar.
It’s sweet, umami, and tangy—all the reasons why Lawrence Cua, owner of seafood sandwich shop Bun Appetit, loves to serve it with his favorite beef barbecue, wrapping it in a grassy and herby-tasting perilla leaf topped with uni and kimchi.
“I always associate tare and beef barbecue with something special, whether a trip to Japan/Korea or a gathering with family and friends at a restaurant or even at home,” he says. “It’s never just an ordinary meal when these are on the table.”
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup mirin
1/2 cup sake
1/4 cup brown sugar
- Mix all the liquids and sugar in a saucepan
- Boil on low heat until sugar dissolves
- Dispense in a small dipping bowl then add minced garlic
- Serve with your favorite barbecue elements