Tare vs. Dashi: What is the Difference?
We Japanese usually don’t call Shoyu (醤油), referred to as soy sauce in English-speaking countries, sauce. But in a sense, it is a kind of Japanese sauce.
Like this, Tare is also a Japanese sauce, as seen from overseas. But Tare and Sauce are somewhat different from the Japanese perspective, as explained last time.
Tare (タレ) vs. Dashi (出汁)
Tare is a liquid seasoning, which may remind some people of Dashi (出汁), as it is also a Japanese thing well-recognized in many countries. But do you know how they differ?
For the unfamiliar, Dashi is short for Nidashi-Jiru (煮出汁), a stock made by heating ingredients in water.
Also known as Dashi-Jiru (出し汁) or Nidashi (にだし), Dashi forms the base of Japanese dishes such as miso soup, Suimono clear broth soup, soba, and udon noodle soup.
Typical ingredients prepared for making Dashi soup stock are Kombu (seaweed), Katsuobushi (dried bonito flakes), Niboshi (Iriko), and dried Shiitake (mushroom).
To make miso soup, miso (fermented soybean paste) is dissolved in Dashi, while for the Suimono clear soup, we typically season the stock with Shoyu (soy sauce) and salt.
As I wrote in the previous post, Tare is a thick combined liquid seasoning made by simmering down ingredients such as Shoyu, sake, mirin, and miso.
Tare comes in various varieties, and the representative includes Yakiniku no Tare (焼肉のタレ), Shabu-Shabu no Tare (しゃぶしゃぶのタレ), and Kabayaki no Tare (蒲焼きのタレ).
The former two are dipping sauces, whereas the latter is a seasoning sauce used during cooking.
In conclusion, while Dashi is soup stock that forms the base of Japanese dishes, Tare is a Japanese sauce (typically soy sauce-based) used during cooking or by dipping/soaking food.