Nikiri: How to Make Sushi Shoyu (Soy Sauce)
Commonly used in Japanese cuisine, Nikiri (煮切/にきり) is mirin or sake or the mixture of the two that’s been boiled down to evaporate its alcohol content or refers to the cooking method of the seasoning.
Nikiri Shoyu for Sushi and Sashimi
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 acridity and is usually not used for sushi and sashimi.
Nikiri Shoyu, also known as Sushi Shoyu or Sashimi Shoyu, not only comes in a dipping sauce for sushi and sashimi, but you can also use it in various ways,
for example, 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).
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.
Here, I will introduce a basic recipe for the boiled-down soy sauce for those who want to try it at home.
- First, put the sake and mirin into a small saucepan
- Heat the saucepan on middle heat and let the alcoholic mixture boil for 30 seconds
- Then, reduce the heat to low and add the soy sauce
- Once the liquid starts to bubble again, turn off the heat
- Cool it down, and it’s ready to use