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【nikiri】What is nikiri?ニキリ


What is Nikiri used at sushi restaurants?

sashimi in soy sauce
sashimi in soy sauce

This time, we looked into the industry term nikiri used at sushi restaurants.

Nikiri is a sauce that removes the smell of soy sauce.

Nikiri is a sushi restaurant’s own sauce, and refers to the soy sauce made by combining soy sauce, water, sake, mirin, dashi stock, etc. and boiling it down. By the way, “Nikiri” refers to the process of removing the alcohol contained in sake and mirin.

It is used to soften the strong aroma and saltiness of soy sauce and bring out the flavor of the ingredients. It is also called “sushi soy sauce” and is often used at sushi restaurants and Japanese restaurants. Ingredients and simmering methods vary depending on the restaurant, chef, and region.

How to eat sushi with a grin on it

Some high-end restaurants will serve sushi by applying this nikiri with a brush. In that case, eat it as is without adding soy sauce.

If the sushi doesn’t have nikiri on it, turn the sushi on its side and put a little soy sauce on the sushi toppings. For frigate rolls, if you lay it on its side, the sushi toppings will fall off, so dip the gari in soy sauce and pour a little on top of the sushi toppings. If soy sauce gets on vinegared rice, the rice grains will turn brown and fall off easily. Also, if you add too much soy sauce, the sushi will taste like soy sauce and you won’t be able to enjoy the taste of the ingredients.

How to make Nikiri

sushi and chopsticks
sushi and chopsticks

Nikiri is an essential seasoning for eating nigiri and sashimi. It mellows out the salty taste of soy sauce, allowing you to enjoy it deliciously without interfering with the taste of the ingredients. Here we will show you how to make Nikiri that you can enjoy at home.

The only ingredients needed are: soy sauce, mirin, sake, and kelp. It’s just a combination of these four things, but there are a few things I’m particular about. Use good materials. Junmai sake is better than honjozo sake because it has a smooth taste and less bitterness. And mirin. And a little bit of kelp to add flavor.

Each quantity is 3 parts soy sauce, 1 part sake, and 1 part hon mirin.

First, put sake and mirin in a pot and heat to evaporate the alcohol. Once the alcohol has evaporated, add the soy sauce. Add the kelp at this time. It brings out the flavor. Cook slightly over low heat, being careful not to let it boil. Once it has cooled down, transfer it to a container and let it rest for a while to let the flavors meld before using.

“Nikiri soy sauce” has a low salt content because it contains Japanese sake and mirin. Be sure to put it in the refrigerator. If it’s made of plastic, it may pick up odors from other foods. A glass storage container, such as a bottle, is best.

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