Shoyu Tare is the soy sauce seasoning and concentrated flavor base used in Japanese Shoyu Ramen. Tare is one of the most important elements in a good bowl of ramen. This is Part 1 of the Ramen At Home series for Traditional Shoyu Ramen.
Tare is one of the most important ingredients in a good bowl of ramen. It is the concentrated base that enhances the soup by adding salt and flavor. When you go to most ramen shops, you’ll often find the ramen categorized by tare.
The most common are miso, shio (salt), and shoyu (soy sauce).
Here are the links to the rest of the posts in this series:
- Chicken Chashu
- Menma (Seasoned Bamboo Shoots)
- Half-Boiled Ajitama (Seasoned Eggs)
- Basic Clear Chicken Soup
- TRADITIONAL SHOYU RAMEN
How to Make Shoyu Tare
Grind 1 oz of dried fish and 1 large dried shiitake mushroom into a powder using a food processor. I used a Magic Bullet blender and it did the job perfectly. For the dried fish, Brian recommends anchovy, bonito or sardine).
I used anchovy in this recipe and really loved the flavor.
Next, put 2 1/2 cups of water (see note below) in a large stockbot and add 2 oz of konbu.
Simmer for 2 minutes, then remove and discard the konbu.
Note: The recipe in the cookbook calls for 1 3/4 cups of water, but the konbu and mushroom powder tends to absorb quite a bit of water so I would recommend adding more water so that there is more yield after you strain it.
Add the fish-and-mushroom powder to the simmering water and bring it to a boil again. When it boils, remove it from the heat, and strain the liquid through a paper or cloth filter.
Brian recommends using a coffee filter for this task – brilliant! I used this and it worked perfectly.
Place the coffee filter in a large colander, then strain the tare liquid through it.
As mentioned earlier, the fish-and-mushroom powder does absorb a good amount of the water, so after the liquid has drained on its own (and cooled down!), squeeze the excess liquid from the pulp. I spooned the pulp on to a fresh coffee filter then used my hands to squeeze the excess liquid.
Use a weighing scale to weigh the liquid. I ended up with 6.5oz.
Calculate 17% of this weight. This is the amount of salt you will add.
Using mine as an example, 17% of 6.5oz would be 1.105oz. (6.5 X 0.17 = 1.105)
Measure that amount in salt.
Add the salt to the liquid and mix well.
Alternatively, if you do not want to use a weighing scale, you can measure out exactly 2 cups of the liquid (so you’d have to start with more water at the start) and add 1/3 cups + 1 teaspoon of salt.
Pour the liquid-and-salt mixture into a measuring cup. Measure out the same amount of *dark soy sauce (koikuchi) and add it to the bowl. Mix well.
I got almost 1 cup of the liquid-and-salt mixture, so I added 1 cup of soy sauce.
*A note about dark soy sauce: Japanese dark soy sauce is NOT the same as Chinese dark soy sauce so be sure to purchase a Japanese dark soy sauce for this recipe.
Chinese dark soy sauce is usually very thick and slightly sweet.
Japanese dark soy sauce, on the other hand, is very commonly used every day. Kikkoman brand soy sauce is often found in most restaurants across the United States and is considered a “dark soy sauce” in Japanese cuisine.
The tare will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few months.
Shoyu Tare (Soy Sauce Seasoning for Ramen)
- Use a spice grinder to grind the dried fish and dried shiitake mushroom into a powder.
- Put the water in a large stockpot and add the konbu. Bring it to a boil. Simmer for 2 minutes, then remove and discard the konbu.
- Add the fish-and-mushroom powder to the simmering water and bring it to a boil again. When it boils, remove from the heat and strain the liquid through a paper or cloth filter (a coffee filter works well for this).
- If measuring the salt by weight, measure the weight of the liquid using a kitchen scale. Add 17% of this weight in salt.
- Alternatively, measure out exactly 2 cups of the liquid and add 1⁄3 cup plus 1 teaspoon of salt. You will discard some of the liquid you made and thus have less tare in the end. (Again, it’s best to use the weight measurement.)
- Mix the salt in well.
- Pour the liquid-and-salt mixture into a measuring cup, then transfer to a large bowl. Measure out the same amount of soy sauce and add it to the bowl. Mix well.
- The tare will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few months.