Versatile Japanese sauce recipe: Chinese chives + soy sauce

There are several popular home-made sauces using soy sauce among Japanese foodies and this sauce “Nira-joyu (soy sauce with Chinese chives)” is one of them. Actually it’s really simple – just chop Chinese chives, mix with soy sauce and other ingredients you like, such as mirin, sesame oil, red pepper, sliced garlic etc., and let it sit overnight in the fridge. This time, I added boiled down mirin so the ratio of soy sauce to mirin would be 3:1.

I made this because I wanted to take more Chinese chives for the prevention of colds. I’m apt to catch cold when the cold season sets in and I don’t really want to reply on medicines and supplements. Another reason is that Chinese chives go bad quickly. By pickling in soy sauce, they will last longer.

How to use

You can use it in place of plain soy sauce, for the dishes like hiyayakko (cold tofu), tamago-kake gohan (rice with raw egg) – see below picture), sashimi (raw fish) and hot pot.
*Talking abut eating raw eggs, the quality control of eggs is extremely strict in Japan to minimize the risk of salmonella poisoning, considering that we eat uncooked eggs very frequently. I don’t recommend it in the countries where eating raw eggs is not popular – the quality standards may differ.

You can make a simple instant soup. Prepare hot broth, and add 1tbsp of this sauce, some sesami seeds and sesami oil.

Boiled chicken – it’s awesome! Sprinkle a pinch of salt and rub over the chicken thigh. Cook it in boiled water for 12-13 minutes and leave it in the broth to cool. Cut in bite sizes and top with this sauce.

Using the broth boiling chicken, you can make a delicious rice porridge. Heat the broth, add cooked rice and beaten egg, then flavor with this sauce. Very simple!


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