This Japanese-styled sweet soy glaze is a versatile and tasty sauce oozing with umami flavors and is well-balanced between sweet and savory.
It’s extremely easy to make with kitchen staples and it pairs so well with all kinds of food to create delicious meals!
With soy sauce as the savory base and the addition of mirin and sugar to impart sweetness and depth, the flavor is made even more complex with aromatics, red wine, sesame oil, and chicken stock powder.
This sweet soy glaze recipe is amazingly simple and you just can’t believe it can taste this good!
You can use it as a glaze or sauce for almost any kind of protein and it’ll be extremely flavorful and delicious!
Ingredients For Sweet Soy Glaze
Here are the ingredients required to make the delicious glaze:
- Soy sauce: You can’t have a sweet soy glaze without some soy sauce! It forms the savory base of the sauce and is an essential ingredient. If you can find Japanese soy sauce, you can use it here but if not, regular soy sauce will work as well.
- Mirin: There is a subtle sweetness in mirin that really complements the rest of the ingredients and it helps to impart complexity to the final flavor. If you’re in a pinch, you can use sake or Chinese cooking wine if that’s all you have. Rice wine vinegar is not recommended as an alternative due to its acidity.
- Garlic: Garlic really adds to the final flavor of the glaze and makes it really fragrant. The garlicky taste of the glaze is part of the reason why it tastes so good.
- Onion: Similar to garlic, the onion imparts its aroma to the glaze and gives it an awesome flavor.
- Water: Helps to dilute and give volume to the sauce.
- Red wine: Any red wine works and it helps to give depth to the flavor. This is optional and the sauce still tastes exceptional without adding any wine.
- Olive oil: You can substitute olive oil with other cooking oil in your kitchen. Just make sure it’s a neutral oil so that it doesn’t affect the flavor. Grapeseed oil, canola oil, and peanut oil are all good alternatives that you can use.
- Sugar: The main sweetness of the glaze comes from the sugar added and it’s well-balanced between sweet and savory to deliver a great taste that’s super versatile. White or brown sugar can be used here.
- Chicken stock powder: Chicken stock adds a ton of savory and umami flavors to the sauce and is an essential ingredient. A little goes a long way here so make sure to keep to the measurement.
- Sesame oil: Sesame oil is a star ingredient that makes the final sauce extremely fragrant and delicious. It’s added at the end so that it retains its flavor without having to add too much to overwhelm the rest of the ingredients.
The equipment required to make the sweet soy glaze is very simple:
- Saucepan: You’ll need to combine the ingredients in the saucepan and heat it up so that the sugar is fully dissolved and everything is mixed well.
- Bowl: The bowl will be used to store the combined sauce.
- Grater (optional): To grate the garlic and onion. However, you can also substitute with finely minced garlic and onion as well.
Instructions To Make Sweet Soy Glaze
The Sweet Soy Glaze recipe is quick and easy to follow:
- Prepare ingredients
Grate or finely mince the garlic and onion.
- Mix ingredients
Mix the ingredients (soy sauce, mirin, grated garlic, grated onion, water, red wine, olive oil, sugar, and chicken stock powder) in a saucepan, except for sesame oil. Red wine is optional and can be left out depending on preference.
- Boil and simmer sauce
Heat the saucepan over medium-high heat, let it boil, and simmer for around a minute until everything is combined well and sugar is fully dissolved. If you want a thicker consistency, you can cook longer to reduce it further. Once done, transfer to a separate bowl.
- Add sesame oil
Add sesame oil to the mixture and stir to mix well. This helps to give it a fragrance that makes the sauce even more delicious. Use it as a glaze or dip as desired.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long can the sweet soy glaze be stored?
If you have any excess sauce, you can store the leftovers in an air-tight container and place it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
What to pair with the sweet soy glaze?
This delicious glaze has a well-balanced flavor which is very versatile and pairs exceptionally well with many other items. Some suggestions to get you started:
- Steak: It makes an excellent glaze or dipping sauce for steak. Add some garlic chips and it’s almost like you’re having quality steak in a high-end Japanese restaurant!
- Butadon (Japanese pork rice bowl): Stir-fry pork slices with this sauce and pour some more of the glaze over the pork slices to enjoy a delicious pork rice bowl!
- Chicken wings: Glaze it over the wings and grill them for Asian-styled chicken wings!
- Stir-fry sauce: You can use it as a stir-fry sauce with any protein to make tasty meals easily! Chicken thighs, pork loins, and beef cubes are great options to cook together with this sauce.
- Seafood glaze: It’s excellent as a seafood glaze as well and pairs really well with fish and shrimps!
- Tofu or Pumfu (vegetarian and vegan): If you’re on a vegetarian or vegan diet, this sweet soy glaze goes really well with tofu as well as the soy-free Pumfu!
What can mirin be substituted with?
Mirin might be the only ingredient that you are missing if you haven’t tried your hands on Japanese cuisine but we strongly encourage you to use this inexpensive ingredient as part of your culinary adventure.
It is sweeter than sake with a lower alcohol content, hence the reason why sake or Chinese cooking wine should only be used as an alternative if you’re in a pinch.
Rice wine vinegar is not a good substitute as it’s acidic and the final taste will be totally different.
You can also try dry sherry or sweet Marsala wine as an alternative.
How to make the glaze sweeter?
The glaze is predominantly savory but if you prefer it sweeter, you can increase the amount of sugar accordingly.
You can also substitute sugar with honey for a different kind of sweetness but just a heads up, it will also be stickier so it depends on the kind of taste and texture that you’re aiming for.
This sweet soy glaze recipe is very versatile and you can easily tweak the proportions of the ingredients to suit your palette!
What are some ways to modify the recipe?
We recommend giving the base recipe a try before you do any tweaks or modifications to create your own unique sauce.
Once you’ve tried the sauce for the first time, you can experiment with adding more ingredients or tweaking the proportions to give the sauce another dimension of flavor.
Grated or minced ginger is a popular option to add to the saucepan and cook together with the rest of the ingredients to give it additional depth.
If you like it spicy, you can also add some chili powder to get a kick out of the sauce!
Sweet Soy Glaze Recipe
- 5 tbsp soy sauce
- 5 tbsp mirin
- 6 cloves garlic, grated
- 3 tbsp onion, grated
- 3 tbsp water
- 3 tbsp red wine (optional)
- 1½ tbsp olive oil
- ¾ tbsp sugar
- ¾ tsp chicken stock powder
- ¾ tsp sesame oil
- Grate or finely mince the garlic and onion.
- Mix the ingredients (soy sauce, mirin, grated garlic, grated onion, water, red wine, olive oil, sugar, and chicken stock powder) in a saucepan, except for sesame oil. Red wine is optional and can be left out depending on preference.
- Heat the saucepan over medium-high heat, let it boil, and simmer for around a minute until everything is combined well and sugar is fully dissolved. If you want a thicker consistency, you can cook longer to reduce it further. Once done, transfer to a separate bowl.
- Add sesame oil to the mixture and stir to mix well. This helps to give it a fragrance that makes the sauce even more delicious. Use it as a glaze or dip as desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 92Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 735mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 0gSugar: 7gProtein: 1g
Nutrition information is only an estimate and can vary depending on ingredients used.
This simple glaze is extremely easy to make and tastes so good with everything!
Let us know how your sweet soy glaze turned out in the comments below!
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