Some things will remain a secret forever – “Who shot JFK?”, “Did man really land on the moon?”, “Was Lady GaGa ever a man?” and “How can I make tare that tastes just like the one at that famous yakitori-ya?”
Tare basically translates as sauce and the tare that is used to dress grilled chicken in downtown Tokyo is a savoury sweet combination of shoyu and sugar with a big spoonful of complexity. Recipes are closely guarded from generation to generation and each yakitori-ya shows a unique balance in salt, sweetness and umami in their tare.
After the eighth visit to our favourite yakitori-ya and far too much time in the Chef’s Armoury kitchen, we’ve developed a tasty incarnation of our favourite yakitori tare.
Chef’s Armoury Original Yakitori Tare Recipe
© Chef’s Armoury 2011, All Rights Reserved
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Equipment: a heavy based pot
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 100ml mirin
- 125gm sugar
- 400ml high quality shoyu
- 1 tsp of dashi stock powder
- 1 tbsp kuzu for thickening (can substitute with potato starch)
Japanese ingredients available at Chef’s Armoury.
Pour mirin and sugar in a heavy based pot and boil until reduced by a third. To test if it is reduced enough, drop some of the mixture in cold water. If it forms a soft ball when it cools it is reduced enough.
Add the dashi powder and shoyu and bring to a simmer for 3 minutes. Dissolve about a tablespoon of kuzu starch in a little cold water and stir into the tare. Stir for a further 3 minutes until glossy and slightly thick.
This is a simple recipe but the last stage of adding the starch can be a little tricky. Add a little at a time as different starches have different strengths so keep adding until you achieve the desired thickness. The sauce should have the consistency of thin pouring cream.
Let cool and store in the fridge until needed.
- Use the very best shoyu you can afford because it will add a richer flavour to the finished tare.
- When making Yakitori, grill your chicken over genuine binchotan charcoal. Anything else will not deliver the same results.
- If you’re looking for authentic yakitori grills, don’t despair. Chef’s Armoury import these into Australia and ship nationwide.