Are you a fan of Japanese cuisine? Have you ever tried eel sauce or sweet soy glaze?
These two condiments may seem similar at first glance, but are they really the same thing?
In this article, we’ll explore the differences and similarities between eel sauce and sweet soy glaze. Whether you’re a seasoned sushi lover or just looking to add some new flavors to your cooking repertoire, read on to find out more about these delicious sauces.
Is Sweet Soy Glaze Eel Sauce?
While both eel sauce and sweet soy glaze are commonly used in Japanese cuisine, they are not the same thing. Eel sauce is a sweet and savory glaze made from soy sauce, sugar, and mirin, while sweet soy glaze is made from traditionally brewed soy sauce and sweet rice wine.
Eel sauce is typically used as a condiment for sushi rolls or as a glaze for grilled eel (unagi). It has a thick, sticky consistency and a rich umami flavor. On the other hand, sweet soy glaze is a versatile finishing sauce that can be brushed onto all kinds of grilled and fried foods, such as burgers, steaks, poultry, seafood, and veggies. It has a lustrous glaze and a mouthwatering flavor that enhances the depth of other ingredients.
While eel sauce and sweet soy glaze have some similarities in terms of their sweet and savory flavor profiles, they are not interchangeable. Eel sauce has a distinct taste that is reminiscent of teriyaki sauce, while sweet soy glaze has a more subtle sweetness that complements a wider range of dishes.
What Is Eel Sauce?
Eel sauce, also known as nitsume or kabayaki sauce, is a popular Japanese condiment that is sweet and salty in taste. It is traditionally used as a drizzle over sushi or as a glaze over grilled eel (unagi) and eel rolls. However, it can also be used in other dishes such as chicken or noodles. The sauce is made by cooking down four basic ingredients: sugar, rice wine, mirin, and soy sauce. Some recipes may also include dashi, a Japanese stock that adds richness and authenticity to the sauce.
It’s important to note that despite its name, eel sauce does not contain any eel or animal products at all. The historic Japanese recipe used to include brine from eel and eel by-products, but modern store-bought versions do not contain any of these ingredients. Eel sauce can be found in the Asian foods aisle of major grocery stores or online, but it can also be made at home with just a few simple ingredients.
The Ingredients Of Eel Sauce
Eel sauce is made from a combination of four basic ingredients: soy sauce, sugar, mirin, and sake. Soy sauce provides the salty and umami flavors, while sugar and mirin balance out the sweetness and tartness. Sake is added to the mixture to help thicken the sauce and give it a richer flavor.
Soy sauce is a fermented condiment made from soybeans, wheat, water, and salt. It has a dark brown color and a rich umami flavor that is essential to many Japanese dishes. Sugar is added to the sauce to balance out the saltiness of the soy sauce and add sweetness. Mirin, a sweet rice wine, is used to give the sauce a slightly tangy flavor and a glossy finish. Finally, sake is added to the mixture to help thicken the sauce and give it a richer flavor.
It’s important to note that while traditional eel sauce used to include brine from eel and eel by-products, store-bought eel sauce products nowadays don’t contain any eel (or any animal products) at all. This makes it a vegan-friendly condiment that can be enjoyed by everyone.
While there are commercial brands of eel sauce available in grocery stores, making it at home is easy and allows for customization of the sweetness and thickness of the sauce. Simply combine the four ingredients in a small pot and let it simmer until it caramelizes and thickens to your desired consistency. Homemade eel sauce can be used not only for grilled eel but also for sushi, gyoza, beef negimaki, or as a dipping sauce for protein.
How To Make Eel Sauce
Making eel sauce is a simple process that requires only a few ingredients and minimal effort. To make eel sauce, you will need soy sauce, sugar, mirin, and sake or dry sherry. Here are the steps to follow:
1. In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup of soy sauce, 1/2 cup of mirin, and 1/4 cup of sugar.
2. Heat the mixture over medium heat until the sugar dissolves.
3. Add 1/4 cup of sake or dry sherry to the saucepan and stir to combine.
4. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to low.
5. Simmer the mixture for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it thickens to a syrupy consistency.
6. Remove the saucepan from the heat and let the eel sauce cool to room temperature.
7. Transfer the eel sauce to a container with a tight-fitting lid and store it in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Note that eel sauce will thicken as it sits, so if you want to use it as a glaze for sushi or grilled eel, you may need to thin it out with a little bit of water or sake before using it. Additionally, you can adjust the sweetness or saltiness of the eel sauce by adding more or less sugar or soy sauce, respectively. With this simple recipe, you can make your own delicious eel sauce at home and enjoy its rich umami flavor in all kinds of dishes!
What Is Sweet Soy Glaze?
Sweet soy glaze is a thick, sticky sauce that has a base of soy sauce and sweet rice wine. It is a reduction, which means that the water is reduced, leaving behind a concentrated and potent flavor. This Asian-inspired sauce is typically made by combining brown sugar, soy sauce, white sugar, water, white wine vinegar, rice vinegar, and ground ginger in a saucepan and boiling it until it is reduced by half. The resulting glaze is thick, syrupy, and stick-to-your-fingers good!
Sweet soy glaze is incredibly versatile and can be used as a condiment or a glaze for a variety of dishes. It pairs well with seafood, pork, poultry, tofu, and veggies. It can be used as a dipping sauce for dumplings or tempura if diluted with water for a lighter consistency. It has a sweet and savory flavor profile that adds depth to any dish it is paired with.
One of the best things about sweet soy glaze is how easy it is to make. It only requires about 10 minutes of cooking time and can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks. This makes it a great sauce to have on hand when you’re not sure what to make for dinner. Whether you’re brushing it onto grilled meats or using it as a dipping sauce, sweet soy glaze is sure to add deliciousness to your meal.
The Ingredients Of Sweet Soy Glaze
Sweet soy glaze is made with a combination of high fructose corn syrup, soy sauce (made from water, soybeans, wheat, and salt), sugar, corn syrup, water, salt, modified corn starch, monosodium glutamate, vinegar, caramel color, citric acid, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, and xanthan gum. It is important to note that the glaze does not contain any added MSG.
The use of traditionally brewed Kikkoman Soy Sauce and sweet rice wine gives the glaze its unique flavor and depth. The pre-thickened consistency of the glaze makes it easy to use as a glaze or condiment without the need for additional labor or preparation.
Sweet soy glaze is a zero-fat ingredient that is ideal for lighter and more healthful sauces and menu items. It is also versatile enough to be used as an ingredient in sauces or as a finishing touch for stir-fries and braised dishes.
Made in the USA under strict quality control programs such as GMP/HACCP, you can rely on the safety and reliability of sweet soy glaze with every order. It is available in lightweight half-gallon plastic bottles that are easy to pour and store.
How To Make Sweet Soy Glaze
If you’re looking to make your own sweet soy glaze at home, it’s surprisingly easy! All you need are a few simple ingredients and a small pot. Here’s how to do it:
– 1/2 cup soy sauce
– 1/2 cup sweet rice wine
– 1/4 cup brown sugar
– 1 tablespoon sesame oil
– 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
– 1 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
1. In a small pot, heat up sesame oil over medium-high heat.
2. Add the chopped garlic and ginger and sauté for about a minute until fragrant.
3. Pour in the soy sauce, sweet rice wine, and brown sugar and stir until combined.
4. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes until it has reduced by half.
5. Remove from heat and let it cool slightly before using.
Note: The glaze will thicken as it cools, so if you want a thinner consistency, remove from heat when it’s slightly thinner than you want it. You can store this sweet soy glaze in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several days.
This homemade sweet soy glaze recipe is perfect for brushing onto grilled meats or seafood, or as a dipping sauce for rolls or chicken. Experiment with different ingredients to make it your own – try adding red wine, chicken stock powder, or sesame seeds for extra flavor!