Shio Tare (Salt Seasoning Sauce for Ramen) Recipe

Shio tare basically translates to "salt seasoning," and this simple solution of lemon, salt, and dried kelp makes an incredibly versatile flavoring agent.

Photograph: Vicky Wasik

Why It Works

  • Tossing spent lemon rinds with salt draws out any latent liquid, creating a lightly lemon-flavored salt solution.
  • Squeezing the lemon rinds in a ricer increases yield and expresses essential oils present in the fruit's skin, heightening the lemon aroma in the tare.
  • Soaking kombu in the lemon-salt solution adds glutamates to the mixture.
  • Making a kombu dashi with the fully hydrated kombu extracts as much flavor as possible from the kelp.
  • Mixing the dashi with the lemon-salt solution dissolves any solid salt, dilutes the salt levels, and increases the potency of flavor of the shio tare.

The soup in most bowls of ramen consists of three components: broth, an aromatic oil, and the tare, or seasoning. The tare is what gives the soup its character, and it's mostly used as a way to introduce both salinity and a punch of flavor, usually from ingredients that are extremely rich in glutamates. That includes kombu (dried kelp) and other flavorful compounds, like dried-fish products and mushrooms.

This tare, made from just leftover lemon rinds, salt, and kombu, keeps it pretty simple. While it does take a couple of days to make, the vast majority of that time is spent passively (and patiently!) waiting.

The tare can, of course, be used to season ramen, but it's incredibly versatile: Use it to season other soups, stews, stir-fries, and even salad dressings. It works particularly well in dishes that have a meaty or fishy component, such as a chicken stock–based pan sauce or an anchovy-heavy salad dressing.

Recipe Facts

Active: 20 mins
Total: 24 hrs
Serves: 16 servings
Makes: 1 cup shio tare

Rate & Comment


  • 24 ounces (680g) "used" lemon rinds, cut into eighths (see note)

  • 5 ounces (140g) kosher salt (see note)

  • 1/4 ounce kombu, or dried kelp (7g; about one 7- by 2-inch piece)


  1. Cut each lemon rind into a few chunks and toss with salt in a large glass, ceramic, or stainless steel mixing bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator for 12 hours or overnight.

  2. Using a cheesecloth-lined or fine-mesh stainless steel strainer set over a nonreactive bowl, strain the liquid that has collected at the bottom of the bowl. Working in batches, transfer rinds to a stainless steel or plastic potato ricer and squeeze to release any extra liquid, allowing it to pass through strainer into bowl. (You can also twist the rinds in a doubled-over sheet of cheesecloth, wrapping the ends of the cheesecloth around a spoon for torque to help express the liquid; see our article on making latkes for photos and a fuller description of the technique.) Discard rinds and any salt left in the strainer.

  3. Scrape liquid and any solid salt in bottom of bowl into a small plastic or glass container; there should be about 1/2 cup (120ml) liquid. Submerge kombu in liquid, cover, and place in refrigerator for 12 hours or overnight.

  4. Remove kombu from liquid and place in a small saucepan along with 1/2 cup (120ml) water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat; do not allow to come to a boil. Once the mixture comes to a simmer, shut off the heat.

  5. When kombu dashi is cool, strain it into salt-lemon solution, stirring to dissolve any solid salt at the bottom of the container; discard kombu. Refrigerate tare for up to 2 months.

Special equipment

Ricer, fine-mesh strainer


The amount of salt used in this recipe is 20% of the total weight of the "used" lemon rinds, so if you have a larger or smaller amount of lemon rinds on hand, adjust the quantity of salt accordingly. We do not recommend making this with less than 1 pound (450g) lemon rinds, as otherwise the yield is too small for the amount of effort involved.

Make-Ahead and Storage

In a tightly sealed glass or plastic container, shio tare will keep for up to 2 months in the refrigerator.

This Recipe Appears In

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
2 Calories
0g Fat
1g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16
Amount per serving
Calories 2
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 1697mg 74%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 2%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 5mg 27%
Calcium 7mg 1%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 8mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)