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Warishita: The Secret Ingredient in Sukiyaki You Need to Know About!

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Sukiyaki sauce, also known as warishita, is a Japanese sauce that defines the flavor of sukiyaki.

The main ingredients are sugar, Japanese soy sauce, mirin, and sake.

Although the recipe is simple and easy, this condiment leaves a big room to create different flavors between many sukiyaki dishes.

There are no actual rules on the proportion of each ingredient for warishita. Overall, the flavor of sukiyaki comes as a result of balancing sweetness and saltiness.

The sweetness comes from the sugar. Some people prefer using brown sugar while others prefer regular white sugar.

The sugar will get caramelized while cooking, enhancing its taste.

Japanese soy sauce (or shoyu) has a salty flavor. Sometimes, you don’t even need to add salt to the dish if you’re already using a generous amount of it.

Lastly, sake and mirin are what create the depth and complexity to the flavor. Mirin also adds sweetness to the flavor, while sake will add lightness to the sukiyaki stock.

What is warishita

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The Evolution of Warishita: A Tale of Tradition and Taste

Warishita (full recipe here) is a popular dish in Japan that has a rich history dating back to the Edo era. During this time, sliced meat was simmered and boiled with vegetables in a sauce to create a hot pot dish known as sukiyaki. However, the sauce used in sukiyaki was not the same as the warishita we know today. Instead, it was a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and mirin.

The Emergence of Warishita

Over time, the sukiyaki sauce evolved, and a new sauce known as warishita emerged. This sauce was made by combining soy sauce, sugar, sake, and dashi, a broth made from fish and kelp. The addition of sake and dashi gave the sauce a richer flavor and aroma, making it a popular choice for sukiyaki and other hot pot dishes.

The Popularity of Warishita

Today, warishita is a staple in many Japanese households and restaurants. It is commonly used in sukiyaki, but it can also be used in other hot pot dishes, such as shabu-shabu. Warishita is often served with tofu, ponzu, cabbage, fish, crabs, and raw egg. It is also a favorite among sumo wrestlers, who use it as a dipping sauce for their meals.

Warishita in the Kantō Region

In the Kantō region of Japan, warishita is a beloved tradition. It is often served during special occasions and celebrations, such as New Year’s Eve and festivals. The sauce is typically made with high-quality ingredients, such as premium soy sauce and sake, to create a rich and flavorful taste.

Overall, the history of warishita is a testament to the evolution of Japanese cuisine and the importance of tradition in shaping its flavors and tastes.

Store-bought Sukiyaki Sauce: A Lazy Way to Enjoy Authentic Japanese Flavor

Are you in the mood for a hot and sweet Japanese dish but don’t have the time or energy to prepare it from scratch? Don’t worry, you can find ready-made sukiyaki sauces in most Asian supermarkets and online stores. Some leading brands include Kikkoman, Yamasa, Ebara, and Senka.


So, that’s warishita! It’s a Japanese dish made with sliced meat and vegetables, simmered in a sauce. 

It’s a great way to enjoy a delicious meal with family and friends. Plus, it’s a great way to enjoy a delicious meal with family and friends. So, don’t be afraid to give it a try!

Check out our new cookbook

Bitemybun's family recipes with complete meal planner and recipe guide.

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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.