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Dashi, soy sauce, mirin ratios


Hiroyuki
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As many of you here already know, Japanese cuisine very often employs seemingly monotonous combinations of dashi, soy sauce, and mirin (and sake and sugar).

I'd like to summarize the ratios that I actually used to make Japanese dishes here.

Niku jaga (right)

Dashi:soy sauce:mirin = 8:1:1

gallery_16375_4595_79582.jpg

The other day, I wanted to have something light for supper, but I knew that my children wouldn't care for niku jaga, so I decided to make both niku jaga and curry. I simmered carrots, onions, potatoes, and pork for 10 minutes, and transferred one half to another pot to make both of them at the same time.

Simmered daikon (right)

Same as above (8:1:1)

gallery_16375_5_53655.jpg

An 8:1:1 mixture of dashi, soy sauce, and mirin is called happou (versatile) dashi because it can be used for variety of dishes.

I checked various recipes for happou dashi, and found it must be made with light (not dark) soy sauce. I'm a Kanto man, so I will stick to dark soy sauce.

Nizakana (left)

Water (not dashi):soy sauce:mirin:sake:sugar = 5:1:1:1:0.5

gallery_16375_4570_49946.jpg

One recipe calls for the 5:1:1:1:1 ratio, but I wanted to make mine less sweet, so I settled on 0.5 instead of 1. Later I found another recipe that does not call for sugar, thus the 5:1:1:1 ratio.

Takikomi gohan (lower left)

Water (not dashi):soy sauce:sake:mirin = 12:1:0.75:0.5

gallery_16375_4570_101816.jpg

One recipe calls for a dashi (not water), soy sauce, and mirin ratio of 12:1:1, and another recipe calls for 14:1:1, but I prefer the ratio above (without dashi and with sake).

Dipping sauce for noodles

Dashi:soy sauce:mirin = 4:1:1

gallery_16375_4570_116703.jpg

I also use this ratio to make dipping sauce for tempura.

Soup for hot noodles

Dashi:soy sauce:mirin = 12:1:1

gallery_16375_4595_43361.jpg

My special furikake

Soy sauce:mirin = 1:1

gallery_16375_4570_85563.jpg

45 ml each per mackerel can.

Tendon sauce

Dashi:soy sauce:mirin:sugar = 2:1:1:0.5

gallery_16375_5_20883.jpg

Tendon sauce should be sweet.

Gyudon

Dashi:soy sauce:mirin:sake = 10-12:1:1:1

gallery_16375_5_37367.jpg

May gyudon recipe can be found here.

Japanese sauce for hamburgers

Soy sauce:mirin:sake = 1:1:1

gallery_16375_5_16935.jpg

Chicken and negi "kuwa yaki" (chicken coated with wheat flour and pan-fried)

Same as above.

gallery_16375_5_67480.jpg

Made some corrections.

Edited by Hiroyuki (log)
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For those of you who can read Japanese, here are links to some nice webpages on this subject:

Kikkoman's webpage on recipes using a soy sauce and mirin ratio of 1:1.

Aji no ogonhi (Golden ratio for seasoning), which discusses that the golden ratio for seasoning is a soy sauce and mirin ratio of 1:1.

Aji no tane akashi (Revealing the tricks for seasoning), which describes happo (versatile) dashi (8:1:1 mixture of dashi, soy sauce, and mirin) and more.

Here is a book devoted to this subject:

Wariai de oboeru wa no kihon, written by Yoshihiro Murata.

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That's very interesting and makes things much simpler. I go from book to book trying to figure it all out. I have fifteen Japanese cookbooks and some are very good (Japanese Cooking, a Simple Art) and some not so good nor very authentic.

I'm more interested in doing the kind of cooking that is done in the home rather than trying to duplicate restaurant foods.

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That's very interesting and makes things much simpler. I go from book to book trying to figure it all out. I have fifteen Japanese cookbooks and some are very good (Japanese Cooking, a Simple Art) and some not so good nor very authentic.

I'm more interested in doing the kind of cooking that is done in the home rather than trying to duplicate restaurant foods.

Thanks for your reply, BarbaraY. I knew you would respond because you were the one who responded to this post of mine in the nimono thread. :biggrin:

It should be noted that these and other ratios are applicable to not only home dishes but also restaurant dishes. It's no exaggeration to say that the Japanese are addicted to soy sauce-based flavors, especially soy sauce and mirin-based flavors, which really appeal to the palate of the Japanese! Most ofukuro no aji (mother's flavor) dishes are seasoned with soy sauce and mirin.

I myself find these and other ratios very useful, and that's why I started this thread in the first place. Now I don't have to refer to cookery books again and again, and I feel very confident in seasoning Japanese dishes. I can tell what a dish will taste like before I actually taste it, and I can fine-tune the ratios to suit my taste very easily when I want to.

I'm sure that these and other ratios will be very useful to those who wish to learn Japanese cuisine but are not very sure what Japanese dishes should taste like because of limited exposure to the cuisine.

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Thanks, Priscilla!

Here is a book devoted to this subject:

Wariai de oboeru wa no kihon, written by Yoshihiro Murata.

I ordered the book and it arrived today! It's going to be one of my favorite cookbooks. I think I'll try some of the recipes in it and post photos here.

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I made "buta niku no shoga yaki" (pork fried with ginger juice), with a 1:1:1 mixture of soy sauce, mirin, and sake for today's supper. I also stir-fried onion slices as a garnish.

gallery_16375_4595_85325.jpg

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My special furikake

Soy sauce:mirin = 1:1

gallery_16375_4570_85563.jpg

45 ml each per mackerel can.

Correction: 45 ml each for two cans. You can adjust the amount in the range of 30 to 60 ml to suit your taste.

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I made "buta niku no shoga yaki" (pork fried with ginger juice), with a 1:1:1 mixture of soy sauce, mirin, and sake for today's supper.  I also stir-fried onion slices as a garnish.

gallery_16375_4595_85325.jpg

Wow Hiroyuki, that looks just beautiful -- all glistenting and all, my mouth is watering. Would you mind sharing the rest of your recipe for this dish??

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Wow Hiroyuki, that looks just beautiful -- all glistenting and all, my mouth is watering.  Would you mind sharing the rest of your recipe for this dish??

Thanks! But it's all about the presentation. :biggrin:

It doesn't look very yummy when presented in the oval plate in the photo, does it?:

gallery_16375_4595_37662.jpg

Anyway, here is the recipe:

30 ml mirin

30 ml sake

30 ml soy sauce

(1:1:1 ratio)

1 knob ginger

Combine them together.

300 g thinly sliced pork

Pan-fry pork with some salad oil until almost done.

Add the mixture and continue to cook for 1-2 min.

Done! Very simple yet yummy!

Edited to add: Grate ginger and squeeze to get juice, of course.

Edited by Hiroyuki (log)
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I made simmered kiriboshi daikon for supper today.

gallery_16375_4595_137216.jpg

I used the dashi, soy sauce, and mirin ratio of 10:1:1, according to the cookbook I mentioned upthread.

The resulting dish turned out to be rather sweet for my taste. I think I have to adjust the amount of mirin.

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Wow Hiroyuki, that looks just beautiful -- all glistenting and all, my mouth is watering.  Would you mind sharing the rest of your recipe for this dish??

Thanks! But it's all about the presentation. :biggrin:

It doesn't look very yummy when presented in the oval plate in the photo, does it?:

gallery_16375_4595_37662.jpg

Anyway, here is the recipe:

30 ml mirin

30 ml sake

30 ml soy sauce

(1:1:1 ratio)

1 knob ginger

Combine them together.

300 g thinly sliced pork

Pan-fry pork with some salad oil until almost done.

Add the mixture and continue to cook for 1-2 min.

Done! Very simple yet yummy!

Edited to add: Grate ginger and squeeze to get juice, of course.

Thank you!! I will be making this for dinner this week and will send you pictures of my attempt to see how I did against the master ;)

I also just finished reading your wonderful blog - my best wishes to you and your family, hopefully things are getting better now. My sister had a major stroke 3 days after having her baby (she was only 34) so I understand how hard something like this must be, so I doubly thank you for blogging during such a stressful time.

It's really lovely to see a slice of regular Japanese family life. As an avowed Japanophile, so much of what I see about Japan is either so slanted towards urban Tokyo life or written by visiting/relocated westerner's filtering of life through their eyes that I really appreciate your beautiful uncensored snapshot of what real family life in Japan is like.

You're very talented Hiroyuki and you shouldn't deny it. Please continue sharing your cooking, photography and blogging -- you make this a better place for doing so.

Send my best wishes to your wife and if there's anything that would make her happy from Southern California, please let me know and I'll do my best to make it happen :) best steph.

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You're very talented Hiroyuki and you shouldn't deny it.  Please continue sharing your cooking, photography and blogging -- you make this a better place for doing so. 

Send my best wishes to your wife and if there's anything that would make her happy from Southern California, please let me know and I'll do my best to make it happen :)  best steph.

Thanks for all the kind words.

I think my wife can leave hospital in one or two weeks.

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wow, can u list the measurements of the dashi , mirin? do u use teaspoon or tablespoon?

I use both teaspoon and tablespoon. :biggrin:

1 teaspoon = 5 ml

1 tablespoon = 15 ml

Thus,

30 ml = 2 tablespoons

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My children gathered some shiso (perilla) leaves, strawberries, and lettuce leaves from our small vegetable garden.

gallery_16375_4595_126616.jpg

The lettuce leaves were slightly worm-eaten and were not very appetizing. I boiled them for 2-3 min., cut them, and dressed them with a 1:1 mixture of soy sauce and mirin-like seasoning (30 ml, i.e., 2 tablesoons each) and 4 tablespoons ground white sesame seeds.

gallery_16375_4595_52939.jpg

Both my children liked it! The reason why I used mirin-like seasoning is that it does not contain alcohol and need not require "nikiri" (alcohol removal by boiling).

I also made tsukune hamburgers. The dipping sauce is a 1:1 mixture of soy sauce and mirin (30 ml each). We wrapped them in shiso leaves before eating. My daughter said they were "oishii!" (yummy!). :biggrin:

gallery_16375_4595_126908.jpg

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That's great about your wife coming home! But I hope that doesn't mean you're going to stop cooking!

Question about the proportions...someone was asking about Japanese-style grilled corn--the kind you can get at festivals. I suggested it was soy, mirin, and sugar--might there have been dashi, too? Could you suggest proportions for the marinade?

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I don't think this is a marinade, I think this is just brushed on toward the end of the grilling time. I usually use melted butter mixed with soy sauce... I don't think you need any sugar or mirin because the corn is already sweet.

That's great about your wife coming home!  But I hope that doesn't mean you're going to stop cooking!

Question about the proportions...someone was asking about Japanese-style grilled corn--the kind you can get at festivals.  I suggested it was soy, mirin, and sugar--might there have been dashi, too?  Could you suggest proportions for the marinade?

Jason Truesdell

Blog: Pursuing My Passions

Take me to your ryokan, please

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I don't think this is a marinade, I think this is just brushed on toward the end of the grilling time. I usually use melted butter mixed with soy sauce... I don't think you need any sugar or mirin because the corn is already sweet.
That's great about your wife coming home!  But I hope that doesn't mean you're going to stop cooking!

Question about the proportions...someone was asking about Japanese-style grilled corn--the kind you can get at festivals.  I suggested it was soy, mirin, and sugar--might there have been dashi, too?  Could you suggest proportions for the marinade?

I agree with Jason, but quite surprisingly, I found one site that suggests either soy sauce only or soy sauce and sugar

屋台の味! 焼きとうもろこしの作り方

焼くコツは、生から焼くことです。スーパースイートと呼ばれる種類の甘みの強いとうもろこしは、ゆでなくても生のままでも食べることができるため、ゆでなくてもいいのです。

加熱時間は、次の通りです。

両面焼きグリルの場合:

強火で10分(5分後に、90度回転させてください)

片面焼きグリルの場合:

強火で12分(3分ごとに、90度回転させてください)

最後に、タレをつけてさらに、強火2分(様子を見て、返しながら焼いて下さい)。タレは、しょう油。または、しょうゆと砂糖を混ぜたものがよいでしょう

from here (Tameshite Gatten, a famous NHK TV program)

and another one that calls for a 1:1:1:1 mixture of dark soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar and suggests using zarame for sugar.

Will I stop cooking when my wife comes home?? Ask my wife!! I think I'll have to continue to cook for another two or three years... or more...

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i'm doing a piece on yakitori and experimented with different ratios of soy/mirin/sake with chicken thighs. i found that equal volumes of each gave the best balance of chicken and marinade flavor. does this fit with other people's results?

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i'm doing a piece on yakitori and experimented with different ratios of soy/mirin/sake with chicken thighs. i found that equal volumes of each gave the best balance of chicken and marinade flavor. does this fit with other people's results?

I think I prefer a 1:1 mixture of soy sauce and mirin, which results in an intense flavor. Adding an equal amount of sake gives an additional flavor, making the mixture milder, which I usually use for a sauce for hamburgers and chicken "kuwayaki" (see upthread).

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i'm doing a piece on yakitori and experimented with different ratios of soy/mirin/sake with chicken thighs. i found that equal volumes of each gave the best balance of chicken and marinade flavor. does this fit with other people's results?

I think I prefer a 1:1 mixture of soy sauce and mirin, which results in an intense flavor. Adding an equal amount of sake gives an additional flavor, making the mixture milder, which I usually use for a sauce for hamburgers and chicken "kuwayaki" (see upthread).

i can certainly see that. and i tried that method, too. to my taste (decidedly not informed japanese), i tasted too much soy/mirin that way. when i added the sake, i could taste the chicken a little more. interestingly: i tried three concentrations of sake (and one without) and found that i never could really taste the sake itself, rather it just made the mirin/soy taste less pronounced. of course, maybe i just need to learn more about japanese cooking!

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rather it just made the mirin/soy taste less pronounced. of course, maybe i just need to learn more about japanese cooking!

You don't have to learn more :biggrin: . You are absolutely right when you say that. Less pronounced. I described this as "making the mixture milder".

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One of my favoriate dressings:

1:1:0.5 mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil

gallery_16375_4595_28465.jpg

Generally, the Japanese prefer sappari (refreshing) dressings to kotteri (rich, fatty, greasy) ones.

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I much prefer hard-boiled eggs to soft-boiled. (I hate runny yolks!)

I seasoned ten hard-boiled eggs in a 15:1:1 mixture of dashi, soy sauce, and mirin. Here is what they look like in two days. (Six of them are gone!)

gallery_16375_4595_94600.jpg

The ratio is the same as that for oden. Generally, the ratio for oden is 15 to 20:1:1. Seasoned eggs just like these are one of my favorite oden items. :wub:

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