Tare

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A thick, sweet-salty Japanese dipping/barbecue sauce made with soy sauce, mirin (sweet rice wine), sake, and sugar. Yakitori (chicken kebabs) are dipped twice in the tare—first when cooked about three-quarters of the way through, and again right before serving. Each dipped chicken kebab adds flavor to the sauce (the outside of the chicken is cooked, so there’s no danger of contamination). The ingredients are replenished as needed to keep the pot bubbling and full. Like the master sauce of China, yakitori sauce tastes good after a week, great after a month, and spectacular after a decade.

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