Traditional Yakitori Sauce

Recipe by Harold Fields, of Umami Kushi

June 24, 2011 Published in the July 2011 issue of Seattle Met

Fields makes his version of yakitori sauce, or tare with smoked chicken bones, for the faintest lick of burnt wood in the final flavor. This version skips that step, but if you use a good hardwood charcoal, you should be able to achieve a similar effect. Note: Tare should be used only on meats or mushrooms, never on other vegetables.

Active time: 15 minutes
Makes: 5 cups tare

    • 1 cup soy sauce (such as Yamasa brand)


    • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

    • 2 cups mirin

    • 6 cups cold water

    • 1/2 pound chicken bones (a mixture of feet and neck bones works best)

  • 1 large leek, chopped

Combine all ingredients in a large stockpot, bring to a simmer, and cook for 1 hour. Strain the sauce, refrigerate overnight, and skim any fat off the surface.
To use: Reheat, dip yakitori skewers in the sauce, then grill immediately over high heat.

*For a stronger flavor, simmer new bones in the prepared sauce for another hour, and repeat the chilling and defatting process again before using.

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