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Making Soy Sauce At Home

Chinese Condiments

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#61 inigoaguirre

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Posted 20 October 2008 - 03:24 PM

Beautiful!! I would buy that in a heartbeat!


How does your temperature stabilizer thing work btw? What is it called and where can I get one?

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hi takadi,

great news! please let me know how you use it.
you can buy and see info re. the cooking temp controller here:

http://auberins.com/...&products_id=44

It’s a great device normally used for sous vide cooking (cooking a vacuum packed product at a very precise temp inside a water bath). There's a very interesting doc there on the basis on sv cooking.
The device it’s very easy to use. The rice cooker is plugged in to the temp cooking controller (which is plugged to the wall) in order to control the flow of electricity. It also has a thermometer that measures the temperature of the rice cooker pot so that you could set the temperature and program a timer.

You can find a better explanation at their site (copied from the page):

It can be used to precisely control the temperature of a cooking pot such as rice cooker, slow cooker or table top roaster. The temperature range of the cooking device can be controlled from 5 degree above the ambient to 250 F (140C) with one degree precision and stability.
Operating the temperature controller is easy: plug the cooker to the output socket of the controller on the back, drop the sensor into the pot from top and place the cover, turn on the controller and cooker, set the cooking temperature and timer. It will do the rest of job for you. When finished, the timer will display END and turn on the beeper to tell you the food is ready.

Edited by inigoaguirre, 20 October 2008 - 03:26 PM.

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#62 jackal10

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Posted 26 October 2008 - 02:29 AM

After straining through a chinois, then muslin, then coffee filter I have a jar of cloudy black/brown liquid, very salty, smelling powerfully of old socks and earthy tasting. I am currently pastaurising it.

What next? Not sure I want to use this for cooking...I have serious doubts about that earthy taste
Clarify using a little gelatin and freezing?
Throw away?

This year the weather was not that warm, and I am not sure the salt level was right. I think I started with too low salt, and although the brew smelled like soy sauce, I was not sure about other bugs in there, so I upped the salt and maybe overdid it.
Next year, if I do it again, I will wait for hot weather (late June), and watch the salt levels more closely..

#63 joakimlinden

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Posted 30 October 2008 - 03:15 AM

This is my first post at eGullet - looks like an awsome forum so far.

I found this thread through a blog, which caused me to start a soy-project of my own.

I have put up a blog documenting each step with photos, but for now it's written in Swedish. I might translate/recap the text if there is enough interest here.

I've used organic ingredients and a tiny tiny amount of Aspergillus Oryzae to get the mould going (ordered from Vision Brewing almost one year ago).

The grains used in this experiment are of two kinds:
Organic Wheat and organic Spelt (whole grains sold as a replacement for rice or bulgur in cooking). I roasted them slightly before crushing them in a stone mortar. Some grains where simply cracked and mashed, others turned into flour... I think this method will give a special touch to the whole process - instead of using machine-made flour.

Check out the photos in the blog if you want to know how it's working out (I might post the images here if someone requests that). I've gotten a lot of mould in just 30 hours, which surprised me.

#64 Nathan_Lim

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Posted 23 April 2009 - 08:24 PM

The grains used in this experiment are of two kinds:
Organic Wheat and organic Spelt (whole grains sold as a replacement for rice or bulgur in cooking). I roasted them slightly before crushing them in a stone mortar. Some grains where simply cracked and mashed, others turned into flour... I think this method will give a special touch to the whole process - instead of using machine-made flour.

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Hi joakimlinden. I looked up your blog but it's in Swedish. How did roasting affect the flavor of your soy sauce? I'm curious. I'm thinking of making my own soy sauce too and I'm trying to learn everything I can before I start, lest I end up poisoning myself :unsure:

Here's a question to everyone: is it okay to use those food-grade plastic containers that are used for food additives etc? I'm not sure if I can find a glass container large enough to hold 4 liters of liquid at a time. Is sunlight important for the soy sauce to brew up correctly or will opaque containers do equally well? I have this nagging worry that all the plastic we use for food is re-arranging our DNA this very moment. :laugh:

#65 joakimlinden

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Posted 25 April 2009 - 10:44 AM

How did roasting affect the flavor of your soy sauce? I'm curious. I'm thinking of making my own soy sauce too and I'm trying to learn everything I can before I start, lest I end up poisoning myself


Hi! I'm not sure at all what effects, if any, the roasting have had. I would believe it's having just as much impact on the color of the liquid as it has on taste.

But the more important matter is... And I'm sorry to say it; unless you get VERY specific instructions on how to do this, do not expect to get instant results (and when a batch takes at least 6 months to complete, it's not fun if you have to start over because it got ruined).

Here comes a few more notes about my experiences, read if you have the patience:

My jars of this slurry have been sitting in windows, in ovens and various other places (if I turn my head right now I can see them in my window) for about 6 months. About 4 months into the project, I started to get the feeling that all the fascinating "guides" I've been reading about this had somehow left out something crucial...

I read somewhere that stirring the mixture was not necessary everyday - perhaps just once a week. So after about a month of stirring (with a spoon, almost daily), I started to wait 4-6 days between stirs. About that time I also got a tip about thinning out the mixture - I was probably using too little water for the amount of soy&wheat. So I doubled the amount of water (and added extra salt to keep the salt levels approximately the same).

Soon after the was some surface mould in almost all jars... I had probably waited too long between stirrings, or thinned out the mixture too much, perhaps even contaminated the liquid. The mould has since come back a few times, but not if you keep stirring relatively often. It's a white furry mould that might simply be Aspergillus oryzae mould, but since I have no means of knowing...

One thing that I've been scratching my head about is the salt content. Many sources specify salt content in %. But it's not clear if it's percent by weight or volume, which could potentially make a lot of difference. I almost can't remember, but I'm pretty sure I calculated the salt level by weight.

Summer is soon kicking in here in Sweden so I'll give these jars a month or two more in REAL sunlight, perhaps outside. Wintertime here means it's only real sunlight between 10am and 3pm, the inverse is true in the summers so we have looong days.

So... Right now my soy sauce project is sort of neglected. Instead, I'm a few weeks into a miso paste project - and I have second miso batch planned, which uses an alternate approach. Miso is much more valuable for me, since organic soy sauce is easy to find here (and not too expensive), but real unpasturized organic miso is almost impossible to find (and it's quite expensive if I do find it). Actually, I've only been able to track down the dark misos from Clear Spring. I'm trying to accomplish the more yellow, sweet and quicker to make miso. Miso needs less attention once it's going, and can be fermented at around room temperatures.

This was a long post, but I hope it can make you think twice and do some more research before attempting to make shoyu. I'm not saying my batch is ruined, but it doesn't look and smell much like the different varieties I've tried - I'm not even sure I will use it. I can say though, that if I find a clear guide on how to make this work, I will surely try it! It's quite fun doing these experiments.

/ Joakim

Edited by joakimlinden, 25 April 2009 - 10:45 AM.


#66 Nathan_Lim

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 08:36 PM

Thanks very much for your input, Joakim. It's just the kind of advice I need. I live in the Philippines, and if there's something that's abundant here all year round is sun and heat. Hopefully, I will be able to mature my soy sauce in less time. I will study carefully all the procedures so far presented and try to condense everything into a master recipe. I will be probably try to use a 25% brine (ie. 250g salt for every liter of water), ferment in opaque containers, and skip the roasting. Could the roasting have disabled some wheat enzyme or protein crucial to the process?

Your miso project sounds interesting. I hope you will let us know how it turns out. I can buy miso (both the Japanese and Filipino styles) here but I'm curious to see how your home-based effort turns out. Like you, I find culinary experimentation fun and extremely fulfilling. Thanks very much again!

Nathan

#67 Nathan_Lim

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Posted 26 April 2009 - 08:39 PM

Thanks very much for your input, Joakim. It's just the kind of advice I need. I live in the Philippines, and if there's something that's abundant here all year round is sun and heat. Hopefully, I can mature my soy sauce in less time. I will study carefully all the procedures so far presented and try to condense everything into a master recipe. I will probably try to use a 25% brine (ie. 250g salt for every liter of water), ferment in opaque containers, and skip the roasting. Could the roasting have disabled some wheat enzyme or protein crucial to the process?

Your miso project sounds interesting. I hope you will let us know how it turns out. I can buy miso (both the Japanese and Filipino styles) here but I'm curious to see how your home-based effort turns out. Like you, I find culinary experimentation fun and extremely fulfilling. Thanks very much again!

Nathan

#68 inigoaguirre

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 10:15 AM

Thanks very much for your input, Joakim. It's just the kind of advice I need. I live in the Philippines, and if there's something that's abundant here all year round is sun and heat. Hopefully, I can mature my soy sauce in less time. I will study carefully all the procedures so far presented and try to condense everything into a master recipe. I will probably try to use a 25% brine (ie. 250g salt for every liter of water), ferment in opaque containers, and skip the roasting. Could the roasting have disabled some wheat enzyme or protein crucial to the process? 

Your miso project sounds interesting. I hope you will let us know how it turns out. I can buy miso (both the Japanese and Filipino styles) here but I'm curious to see how your home-based effort turns out. Like you, I find culinary experimentation fun and extremely fulfilling. Thanks very much again!

Nathan

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Hey Nathan, in case i'm not too late, try and roast the weat, all good qualities soy sauces are elaborated this way, producers say that it helps to darken the sauces andit also intensifies the taste

cheers and please keep post your process!!
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#69 Ce'nedra

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 05:12 AM

I recall my grandma had a very simple recipe for soy sauce (and from the taste of it, delicious too). Mum wrote it down while we were visiting in the US...will have to dig it up later.
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#70 joakimlinden

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 12:28 AM

I recall my grandma had a very simple recipe for soy sauce (and from the taste of it, delicious too). Mum wrote it down while we were visiting in the US...will have to dig it up later.

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That would be very interesting to read! Hope you have time to publish it here!

#71 Nathan_Lim

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 07:57 PM

Hi Iñigo. Thanks for the info. It has been unseasonably rainy in what is supposed to be the dry season, so I haven't started on the soy sauce project yet. Will probably try one batch with wheat flour and another with roasted wheat kernels (if I can find whole wheat kernels).

nathan


[/quote]

Hey Nathan, in case i'm not too late, try and roast the weat, all good qualities soy sauces are elaborated this way, producers say that it helps to darken the sauces andit also intensifies the taste

cheers and please keep post your process!!

View Post

[/quote]

#72 Johntodd

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 12:05 PM

Hi! I hate to turn threads into ZOMBIE THREADS, but I've been wondering what finally happened here? I've got some soy/flour cakes molding up right now, harvested from my own farm.

Thanks so much!

#73 radtek

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Posted 03 November 2012 - 05:40 PM

Such a great thread!

It's cooling down here but probably not like the rest of you guys are experiencing. I may just wait till April to start this process.

Anyway, my understanding is that the mold(s) are needed for their enzymatic actions upon the complex sugars in the soybeans so that they can then be fermented properly as mono and disaccharides. Obviously one could use enzymes such as present in beano or the like, however loss of complex flavor will most likely result. There is a reason for the lengthy process and the difference between quality and cheap mass produced soy-sauce.

Off the top of my head I seem to remember that barley is present in Miso so the use of ground barley malt would also lend the enzymatic effects at extremely warm temps- perhaps speeding up the entire process or circumventing the absolute need for aspergillus for saccharification. However, my thoughts are that the two enzymatic actions harmonize and complement each other. It'll be difficult to avoid fungi in this process as it will naturally occur.

Since I have plenty of barley malt on hand I will forego the wheat flour and use my own ground malt flour instead.

Edited by radtek, 03 November 2012 - 05:40 PM.


#74 Johntodd

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 01:16 PM

Interesting. My cakes have not molded yet, although they smell funny. Cooler weather?

#75 Alex Curran

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Posted 01 June 2014 - 11:41 AM

I'm hoping some of you are still watching this thread. I am planning on starting a batch of soy sauce in the next few weeks, and am ordering the various necessary ingredients now, but I couldn't find any detailed info on wheat. I was planning on purchasing whole grains and roasting/cracking them myself, but am at a loss regarding what sort I should purchase. Hard/soft? Winter/spring? Red/White? I could also use barley I guess... Not sure what different strains would mean for the final flavor. Anybody have any insight?

 

thanks!



#76 mother of pearl

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Posted 14 June 2014 - 10:48 PM

Hi Alex,
I just started a batch yesterday, my first one after reading all of this. I used comercially ground whole wheat flour mixed with home ground kamut, both raw, and I mixed them together.
Concurrently started a batch with brown rice flour, added a bit of koji, and layered the two batches together with a towel between them.
Also I started with fresh (from frozen) soybeans. I'll keep posting...
Have you started yet?

#77 Logs N Lounges Wood

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Posted 02 September 2014 - 11:53 AM

I have my first batch on the go, I am in South Africa(long very hot summer days). Spring is on the way and my first lot of cakes have moulded and busy drying for the brine. I will post pics soon. I am also growing my own soy beans that are non gmo and organic, but these wont be ready for a good while(my first batch is store bought) I want to do another batch in the mean time but this time I want to use rice flour(gluten free for my friends) what do you think will it work? 

 

I also have chocolate wheat for beer brewing that I was think of another batch, The salt I plan to use is sea salt it seas more salty than the table salt should I use less? any ideas would be greatly received. 



#78 Logs N Lounges Wood

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Posted 05 September 2014 - 01:31 AM

Hope people are still following this. Here is a pic of the lastest point where I am. The "cookies" are almost dry maybe in the next day or two I will place them in the brine solution. All my friends and family I have shown them to are disgusted with them lol
 
Please let me know what you think. I will add more pics as it progresses.

 

Can some one help me please I cant seem to add the pic? I have it saved on my desktop and dont know how to paste or add it here any help would be gratefuly recieved thanks in advance



#79 Logs N Lounges Wood

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Posted 06 September 2014 - 01:14 PM

DSC01718.JPG DSC01714 - Copy.JPG

Teething problems hopefully out the way with posting pics. one is a small scale of the "cookies" next is just after placing in the jar I will add more soon, they did have a funky smell while the mould set in but even after one day in the soak they smell kinda tastey ima


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#80 Smithy

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 05:38 AM

Logs N Lounges Wood, do keep us posted on this project, please.  It's intriguing!


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#81 Logs N Lounges Wood

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Posted 07 September 2014 - 06:29 AM

I will keep you folks updated as things progress. I am also very interested to see how it turns out. Its been sitting in the sun for a few days now and as you can see the colour of the liquid had changed quite a bit. At the moment I am stirring the mix twice a day some of the cakes have sunk to the bottom I am guessing the rest will follow in time. The cakes are still quite solid but some are breaking of little bits with each stirring. The white stuff on the out side of the jar is salt from where it bubbles over from time to time, I wipe this off when I put it away at night.

 

Now I need to find some other containers to make other batches. I plan to do a gluten free batch using brown rice flour and another with some roasted wheat and some malt wheat. At the moment the days are very nice and sunny with temps reaching 26C which I believe is around 78.8F. Its only the start of springs so I expect the temps to climb. Does any one know if there is such a thing as to hot?

 

In a week or so I will be planting lots of gmo free soybeans to harvest to make my "own" sauce as this batch I had to buy from a health shop but could not find any non gmo,we are having a big problem with gmo foods and seeds in South Africa,in fact I grow most of my own organic non gmo food with hierloom seeds. My rabbits must be the most healthiest ones over here eating all fresh organic veg straight from my garden.

 

I will update this as much as I can with out making it to boring.

DSC01742 - Copy.JPG


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#82 sambuckens

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 10:04 AM

Hello!

 

I've also started to ferment my own soy sauce, but I seem to be having some trouble.  About 2 weeks ago, on Sept. 7th, I mashed my cooked soybeans and unbleached whole wheat flour together (5 parts soybean : 3 parts wheat flour).  I then rolled out the 'dough' and sliced it into patty disks and placed those into Ziploc bags.  The patties were definitely moist, and I placed them in a warm, dark place in my closet.

 

Last week, I opened one bag to check on them and they were not moldy at all, but they had changed a darker brown color and stink horribly.  They smell like smelly feet mixed with rotten milk and blue cheese.  Today, I checked them out again, and I've found a few tiny spots of white mold on just a couple of patties.  They continue to get darker grayish/brown, but I'm not seeing them covered in mold like pictures I've seen on this thread.

 

I then thought that the Ziploc bags weren't a good environment to be in.  I kept the bags slightly open so that air could get in while moisture was still retained, but maybe this was a bad move.  I've since placed them on paper plates and lightly covered them in plastic wrap to see if this will work.  They're still very moist.  You can see bits of the white mold in the image below:

 

28k7sx0.jpg

 

What do you think I've done wrong to not see a lot of mold in 2 weeks!?  Is the bacteria that is on them now a variety that has taken over, not allowing Aspergillus mold to grow?  Please, please help me and give me some advice!

 

Thanks!


Edited by sambuckens, 20 September 2014 - 10:21 AM.


#83 Seitch

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Posted 20 September 2014 - 08:49 PM

Sambuckens, I think the problem is the plastic bags you stored the patties in.  The Aspergillus fungus comes from the ambient air.  By sealing the patties in plastic, you prevented the Aspergillus from getting on the patties.  

 

Stay away from plastic wrap.  It keeps the patties moist but it is impervious to the fungal spores that need to land on the patties.  Not sure what you can do at this point other than start over.

 

Next time, lay the patties on a woven bamboo mat and cover not with plastic wrap but with some leaves from unsprayed fruit trees or mulberry leaves if you have them.  You will see good fungal growth in 3-4 days.  Why do I say cover with leaves? Cause that's what the ancient Chinese texts say to do.

 

Good luck!


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#84 Logs N Lounges Wood

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 04:01 AM

Glad to see others are also trying this. I agree with Seitch yeah the plastic bags are not a good idea. Sambuckens I feel for you as its a lot that goes into it maybe its not to late to get the mould to take. I put my cookies in a bamboo steamer and covered with material and wet kitchen towels(the paper kind). But my next batch I am going to try the mulberry leaves that Seitch mentioned. I have loads of them as spring has just started to make all the trees and bushes start  to wake up from thier winter sleep. I have one big mulberry tree growing in my nieghbours yard and a small mulberry bush that I keep trimmed down in my front yard. Will be interesting to see how it turns out as last time I lined my streamer with wax paper so the mould did not mess it up. The wax paper stuck to the cakes really bad and when I tried to pull it of it was so wet and fragile it just broke and took ages to carefully take it all off.

 

Update on my batch I have been stirring once a day most of the cakes have broken up sinks to the bottom. I keep replacing the water level with brine solution of the same ratio as I started with. It is indoors to day as its been raining and looks like we will get more. I am going to make a "hat" for it so I can leave it out side and it will still breathe but no rain can get in. Its still fermenting away. DSC01759.JPG


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#85 sambuckens

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 05:21 AM

Thanks for the replies.  If the mold hasn't taken hold, does anyone have any idea what bacteria is active on my patties?  Again, they smell like funky blue cheese.  They actually smell very similar to thai fish sauce.



#86 Logs N Lounges Wood

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Posted 21 September 2014 - 06:20 AM

That I have no idea about. My patties also smelt pretty bad when they where moulding. As for the jar at the moment it kind of smells like a mild brahok (not sure how its spelt)a Cambodian paste of fermented fish. I lived in Cambodia for a few years and could not get used to that smell. It was really foul smelling you could smell it from many houses down when they cooked with it. But in dishes it was really good alone it could kill a army lol Please keep us posted with your adventure. I will start a new batch with brown rice flour as soon as I can get my hands on a suitable vessel(I am rather tight I dont like to spend money if I can beg or borrow)



#87 sambuckens

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 05:02 AM

So I'm going to try another batch to get some mold on them this time, but I'm still going to ferment the 'failed' batch.  I'm taking some inspiration from Korean style soy sauce and adding a few extra ingredients.  I've researched and found that Koreans will add chilies (helps keep bad bacteria out) and charcoal (filters water).  I've added some Japanese binchotan charcoal and some chilies from my garden.  The chillies had actually gone bad and were covered in white mold, so I'm hoping that might make-up for not having moldy soy patties.

2pzwdhx.jpg

This picture was taken 2 days ago right when I put the ingredients into the salt water brine.  The smell is still awful and makes me gag, but I'm going to stay optimistic.  The smell is putrid, just like fish sauce.  Is this endeavor worth continuing, or should I just rely on my new batch to redeem myself?



#88 dcarch

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 05:17 AM

Can any beans be used to make soy sauce?

 

dcarch



#89 takadi

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 08:02 AM

Don't hurt yourself Sambuckens!



#90 Logs N Lounges Wood

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Posted 26 September 2014 - 03:48 AM

Just a quick note on whats going on with my sauce. We have had some really hot days. I put a oven thermo next to the jar as I noticed at night when I brought it the jar was really warm. (still need to make a hat so I don't have to move it when there might be a chance of rain). During the peak of the day the thermo reaches just over 50C I think that is about 125F. In the shade its around 30C. I am still stirring once a day and have noticed as it warms up in the morning the sediment on the bottom very slowly rises like a lava lamp. It seems to follow the sun i am guessing the hottest/most active part of the jar. Also at night there is a dark line just above the sediment when it all settles. I am sure the liquid is getting darker its hard to tell by comparing the pictures as most have been taken in different places and light conditions. I will take some in a controlled repeatable setup ie same place and light source and see if any difference between the pics in a 10 period.  DSC01765.JPG


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