Nikiri: How to Make Sushi Shoyu (Soy Sauce)

“Nikiri (煮切り, にきり)” is mirin or sake or the mixture of the two that has been boiled down to evaporate its alcohol content (or the cooking method of the liquid seasoning), which is commonly used in Japanese cuisine. 

Nikiri Shoyu for Sushi and Sashimi

Sushi Shoyu or Nikiri shoyu

For example, soy sauce used in Japanese sushi restaurants is usually neither “Koikuchi Shoyu (濃口醤油: dark soy sauce)” nor “Usukuchi Shoyu (薄口醤油: light-colored soy sauce)” but “Nikiri Shoyu (煮切り醤油: boiled-down soy sauce)” using Nikiri.

The most common, multi-purpose soy sauce, Koikuchi Shoyu generally has some acridity and is usually not used for sushi and sashimi.


Zuke Maguro or Tuna marinated in Nikiri Shoyu

Nikiri Shoyu, also known as Sushi Shoyu or Sashimi Shoyu, is not only used as a dipping sauce for sushi and sashimi but it can actually be used in various ways, say, as a marinade for Maguro (tuna) or Katsuo (Skipjack tuna) called “Zuke (漬け)” or as a brush-on sauce for Yaki Onigiri (grilled rice ball).

Basic Recipe

Nikiri Shoyu (Nigiri Joyu)

Nikiri Shoyu is often made only with Koikuchi Shoyu or dark soy sauce, but some Japanese cooks like to use a mixture of Koikuchi Shoyu and Usukuchi Shoyu. For those who want to try making the boiled-down soy sauce at home, lastly here is a basic recipe for it.

Ingredient Ratio
Soy Sauce 3
Sake 1
Mirin 1
  1. First, put the sake and mirin into a small saucepan 
  2. Heat the saucepan on middle heat and let the alcoholic mixture boil for 30 seconds
  3. Then, reduce the heat to low and add in the soy sauce 
  4. Once the sauce starts to bubble again, turn off the heat
  5. Cool it down and ready to use

(Reference Pages: Wikipedia 煮切り,,


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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