Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Recommended Posts

When is the best time of year to make it, or can it be made anytime?

I noiced the original post was in June, so I guess some sun is needed.

You don't say how much water is in the brine,

Making soy sauce definitely needs sun - the soybean brine needs to cook out in under hot sunny weather. In Vancouver, that means the window to make soy is pretty short.

Let me check the concentration of the brine for you.

fmed - thanks for the heads up on the spores at Fujiya - your food knowledge is genuinely impressive. So far - my uncle has just let wild molds take hold - so it would be intresting to see what a proper culture would produce. Not sure how to incorporate it into the soybean disks. Perhaps at the same time flour is kneaded into the soy. I suspect using a true culture would allow you to not have to use wheat flour - thus resulting in a truly wheat free product.

Cool!

And I'll second the hope that there are other home soy brewer's out there who will share some more pictures.


Edited by canucklehead (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm thinking that simulating a sunny climate using fluorescent lights and an aquarium heater will help. Not very eco-friendly, though :hmmm:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm thinking that simulating a sunny climate using fluorescent lights and an aquarium heater will help. Not very eco-friendly, though  :hmmm:

Would you need a sun lamp (for UV rays?) - That's a lot of engineering for home made soy sauce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really want to try to make this during the summer. What type of climate/weather is ideal? Also, how much salt was in your brine?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I really want to try to make this during the summer. What type of climate/weather is ideal? Also, how much salt was in your brine?

You need warm sunny weather to cook out the soybean miso.

Start out with 4lbs of water with 4 oz of salt to the above the proportions. But this is up to your taste - obviously, it should be quite salty. The water will evaporate as the soy sits out in the sun (in a container protected by a mesh cover - you don't wan things falling in, I think traditionally, it was bamboo lids that covered the containers) - add cold boiled water to loosen the mixture. Again - this is up to you, how salty and rich do you want the soy sauce?

Sorry to be so vague - one of the pit falls af trying to translate home cooking into a usable recipe.


Edited by canucklehead (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interesting project. I have a few questions.

How much is 4 lbs of water in volume measure? I'm guessing it's around 2 quarts or 2 liters?

Is that the smallest amount one would reasonable make?

How much soy sauce do you end up with after evaporation?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
How much is 4 lbs of water in volume measure?  I'm guessing it's around 2 quarts or 2 liters?

Give or take, yes: ~1.8 L or ~0.48 US gallons. I'll leave it to any SSBs wandering by to explain how specific gravity changes with temperature.

"A pint's a pound the world around" is still a decent estimating tool, even with the inaccuracy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Very interesting project.  I have a few questions.

How much is 4 lbs of water in volume measure?  I'm guessing it's around 2 quarts or 2 liters?

Is that the smallest amount one would reasonable make?

How much soy sauce do you end up with after evaporation?

How much you end up with depends on your taste. You can dilute it by adding cold boiled water.

But generally - it seemed like a lot. It takes my uncle and aunt a good year to get through it all. I'm guessing a couple of litres at least.

Ack - sorry to be so vague! If he makes another batch - I promise to take better notes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fascinating. Thanks for starting such a great thread.

Are the bean/flour slices added to the brine whole?

After they're soaked in brine what steps remain? Your last pictures don't look like soy sauce. How do you separate the soy sauce and the miso? Is anything left over after those are extracted? Is there anything that needs to be discarded?

Thank you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Are the bean/flour slices added to the brine whole?

yes

After they're soaked in brine what steps remain?

The whole thing sits out in the sun for a number of weeks - as long as it is sunny.

Your last pictures don't look like soy sauce. How do you separate the soy sauce and the miso?

They soy sauce is quite light - and has a sharper tang to it. My uncle theorizes that this is because that we don't get enough hot sun here in Vancouver. So the mash does not 'cook out' as long as it should. I think he just pours off the liquid - obviously, the filtration is not 100% - but given the light color and short period in the sun - he did not want to filter off to much of the flavors.

Is anything left over after those are extracted?

The solids left over is the miso. I don't think that you discard anything. The miso has better flavor if you let it evaporate down and not extract the liquid as soy sauce.


Edited by canucklehead (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for your patience with my slow speed at grasping this.

How is the liquid extracted? Is it just spooned out? Filtered? Is that final picture exactly what it looks like when you use it?

Are the bean/flour slices added to the brine whole?

yes

After they're soaked in brine what steps remain?

The whole thing sits out in the sun for a number of weeks - as long as it is sunny.

Your last pictures don't look like soy sauce. How do you separate the soy sauce and the miso?

They soy sauce is quite light - and has a sharper tang to it. My uncle theorizes that this is because that we don't get enough hot sun here in Vancouver. So the mash does not 'cook out' as long as it should. I think he just pours off the liquid - obviously, the filtration is not 100% - but given the light color and short period in the sun - he did not want to filter off to much of the flavors.

Is anything left over after those are extracted?

The solids left over is the miso. I don't think that you discard anything. The miso has better flavor if you let it evaporate down and not extract the liquid as soy sauce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

[

yes, the difference between soy sauce making and miso making is the quantity of water you put and the ingredients. for the japanese soyzu you sould use soy beans and flour on aprox the same proportion. chinese normally use less quantities of flour.

miso has very little water content (then again depends very much on the miso, for instance, hatcho miso is very solid and has hardly any water)

the brine should have around 25% salt (you sould heat at least a part of the water in order to dissolve the salt otherwise you would end up with all the cristals in the bottom)

kikkoman uses for their classic soyzu 23% salt; you can also find soy sauce with low salt content, but the proportion should still be quite high

re. filtering: you can filter the soy sauce (i still have to work out how to filter it, I havent jet reached that stage, but i'll try it with a shive and a weight). traditionally in japan villages you could get someone to filter for a more pure and clear product. you can also not filter it, as they do with traditional north vietnammese soy sauce.

re. pasteurization the best possible way to pasturize soy sauce is 4 hours at 70ºC (158º F)... but you can have it not pasterized and the final product would have a richer and more complex aroma. i am currently doing soy sauce at home and will pasteurize only a part of it in order to have lasting longer.

you could see the photos on the process on by blog (it's in spanish, sorry). the soy sauce have only been in the sun for around 2 weeks. will post pictures as it brews in the brine. click below to go to the article:

umami madrid's weblog


Edited by inigoaguirre (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Inigo, in what container do you ferment your soy sauce, and how often do you stir its contents? Do you have to cover the container at night or bring it inside? Or do you put a piece of glass on top of the container like canucklehead? That's a great blog btw. How did you learn all the nuances of soy sauce making?

Btw here's a great link to traditionally made soy sauce. They extract the soy sauce by pressing down on the mixture with a bamboo strainer and siphoning out what seeps through at the top

http://chubbyhubby.net/blog/?p=271


Edited by takadi (log)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hi takadi,

i use a plastic container for food use to ferment soy sauce and i stir it (rather than stirring it i close the container and move it around so that the soy paste doesnt crumble) twoice a day (first thing in the morning when i open the containter in order to sun the content and at night when i close it). when the temperature is not too high i just stir once every 2-3 days. mind you, i just do it for safety, i have read other recepies there the product is stirred every 3 days.

i also tried to inoculate it with aspergillus orizae but got no result out of it (it works with rice, and it's great for miso making, but not with soy) if you want to inoculate with its proper mold you should try aspergillus sojae, or like the corean do, you could also try inoculating it with dried rice plant.

if you're also interested on making miso, you can buy aspergillus orizae at: asperguillus orizae- for miso making

(its the same mold used for sake making)

i have some very interesting doc's on soy making and soy history. send me your email and i'll forward them over to you. my mail is: inigoaguirrep@hotmail.com

there's also very useful information on The Book of Miso... highly recomendable book. will soon start making miso at home. (they have a recepie on soy sauce, which you can look up at google books for free and the rest of historical information and many of the processes also apply to soy sauce making

thanks for the link, very interesting indeed (though i already knew of its existance)

for historical info and proceedure you can check out this site:

soy info center

hope it helps,

cheers,

íñigo


Edited by inigoaguirre (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm glad this thread has been resurrected. I'm certainly keen to make this as a future project (although I'll have to wait until I can spend some time in Spain).

I was wondering if the superbags mentioned here

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=104404

would provide a suitable way of filtering the liquid.

The whole process does seem much more straightforward than I would have imagined. It's lovely to have the chance to share the results... especially this late on when my curiosity about each stage was quickly satisfied by scrolling down :smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hi,

very good idea... yes, i had it on the "bag" of my mind as one of the options. i have a cheaper (and very good) alternative at home under another brand, but much smaller, it holds about 1 liter, and it would definetly be a heck of a job to do filter all the soy sauce it through this bag (i will have aprox about 6 liters worth of soy sauce). will try a shieve and wheight, but i really want to get a perfecly clear soy sauce, so might end up using it... anyway, will post pictures and method as it happens- wich will probably be by mid july... in madrid the temp in july is about an average of 100F/40ºC so things might speed up and hopefully the soy sauce will be much darker and tasteful

i'm glad you gained back your interest on the subject! :laugh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
you could see the photos on the process on by blog (it's in spanish, sorry). the soy sauce have only been in the sun for around 2 weeks. will post pictures as it brews in the brine. click below to go to the article:

umami madrid's weblog

Very intrested in seeing how the differences in sunlight effects the final product.

I apologize if I was not able to give specific measurements - my pictures were centered around watching what my Uncle does and not repelicating the results myself. Much of his process is done by taste and feel.

I am very excited to see how others approach making soy sauce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder, is there a certain point in the fermentation process where it doesn't require anymore sun and you can just close off the container and leave it to ferment somewhere?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very intrested in seeing how the differences in sunlight effects the final product.

I apologize if I was not able to give specific measurements - my pictures were centered around watching what my Uncle does and not repelicating the results myself. Much of his process is done by taste and feel.

I am very excited to see how others approach making soy sauce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I wonder, is there a certain point in the fermentation process where it doesn't require anymore sun and you can just close off the container and leave it to ferment somewhere?

i supposse i will be trying until the taste seems good enough to stop fermenting. for me it will be a question of trying and and error (or not!)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you guys also have a recommendation for what types of soy beans or flour should be used?

Also, how much solid ingredients should be used in proportion to the water?

I actually have an old bottle of unpasteurized soy sauce that I haven't opened yet, but is it possible to introduce the strain of yeast used in the production of this soy sauce into this new batch?


Edited by takadi (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i have new pictures after 3 weeks sunning... the weather has not been too good, but apparently it will improove from now onwards.

the liquid is getting much darker, and hopefully the weather will help with the process.

as you can see, a part of the soy and flour mix is dissolving and sinking at the bottom.

will post more pictures soon.

i'm not sure you can see the pictures... i'm new at egullet. in case you cant, you could see it on my blog:

umami madrid

sorry cant upload them. can anyone help me uploading the pictures?

cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do you guys also have a recommendation for what types of soy beans or flour should be used?

Also, how much solid ingredients should be used in proportion to the water?

I actually have an old bottle of unpasteurized soy sauce that I haven't opened yet, but is it possible to introduce the strain of yeast used in the production of this soy sauce into this new batch?

i just used normal soy beans and flour.

re: ratio solid ing in proportion to the water: i used just enough water to cover the solid ingredients.

i don't think that using old soy sauce would help much. the mold develops on its own... and its killed when introduced into the salt brine. the yeast will naturally ocurr with the addition of wheat flour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm, what's the point of introducing mold if it's killed in the brine? I would have thought that a certain strain would survive in the brine and help the fermentation process

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By liuzhou
      Note: This follows on from the Munching with the Miao topic.
       
      The three-hour journey north from Miao territory ended up taking four, as the driver missed a turning and we had to drive on to the next exit and go back. But our hosts waited for us at the expressway exit and lead us up a winding road to our destination - Buyang 10,000 mu tea plantation (布央万亩茶园 bù yāng wàn mǔ chá yuán) The 'mu' is  a Chinese measurement of area equal to 0.07 of a hectare, but the 10,000 figure is just another Chinese way of saying "very large".
       
      We were in Sanjiang Dong Autonomous County, where 57% of the inhabitants are Dong.
       
      The Dong people (also known as the Kam) are noted for their tea, love of glutinous rice and their carpentry and architecture. And their hospitality. They tend to live at the foot of mountains, unlike the Miao who live in the mid-levels.
       
      By the time we arrived, it was lunch time, but first we had to have a sip of the local tea. This lady did the preparation duty.
       

       

       
      This was what we call black tea, but the Chinese more sensibly call 'red tea'. There is something special about drinking tea when you can see the bush it grew on just outside the window!
       
      Then into lunch:
       

       

      Chicken Soup
       

      The ubiquitous Egg and Tomato
       

      Dried fish with soy beans and chilli peppers. Delicious.
       

      Stir fried lotus root
       

      Daikon Radish
       

      Rice Paddy Fish Deep Fried in Camellia Oil - wonderful with a smoky flavour, but they are not smoked.
       

      Out of Focus Corn and mixed vegetable
       

      Fried Beans
       

      Steamed Pumpkin
       

      Chicken
       

      Beef with Bitter Melon
       

      Glutinous (Sticky) Rice
       

      Oranges
       

      The juiciest pomelo ever. The area is known  for the quality of its pomelos.
       
      AFter lunch we headed out to explore the tea plantation.
       

       

       

       

       
      Interspersed with the tea plants are these camellia trees, the seeds of which are used to make the Dong people's preferred cooking oil.
       

       
      As we climbed the terraces we could hear singing and then came across this group of women. They are the tea pickers. It isn't tea picking time, but they came out in their traditional costumes to welcome us with their call and response music. They do often sing when picking. They were clearly enjoying themselves.
       

       
      And here they are:
       
       
      After our seranade we headed off again, this time to the east and the most memorable meal of the trip. Coming soon.
       
       
    • By liuzhou
      Last week, Liuzhou government invited a number of diplomats from Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar/Burma, Poland, and Germany to visit the city and prefecture. They also invited me along. We spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday introducing the diplomats to the culture of the local ethnic groups and especially to their food culture.
       
      First off, we headed two hours north into the mountains of Rongshui Miao Autonomous County. The Miao people (苗族 miáo zú), who include the the Hmong, live in the mid-levels of mountains and are predominantly subsistence farmers. Our first port of call was the county town, also Rongshui (融水 róng shuǐ, literal meaning: Melt Water) where we were to have lunch. But before lunch we had to go meet some people and see their local crafts. These are people I know well from my frequent work trips to the area, but for the diplomats, it was all new.
       
      So, I had to wait for lunch, and I see no reason why you shouldn't either. Here are some of the people I live and work with.


       
      This lovely young woman is wearing the traditional costume of an unmarried girl. Many young women wear this every day, but most only on festive occasions.
       
      Her hat is made from silver (and is very heavy). Here is a closer look.
       

       
      Married women dispense with those gladrags and go for this look:
       

       
      As you can see she is weaving bamboo into a lantern cover.
       
      The men tend to go for this look, although I'm not sure that the Bluetooth earpiece for his cellphone is strictly traditional.
       

       
      The children don't get spared either
       

       
      This little girl is posing with the Malaysian Consul-General.
       
      After meeting these people we went on to visit a 芦笙 (lú shēng) workshop. The lusheng is a reed wind instrument and an important element in the Miao, Dong and Yao peoples' cultures.
       

       

       
      Then at last we headed to the restaurant, but as is their custom, in homes and restaurants, guests are barred from entering until they go through the ritual of the welcoming cup of home-brewed rice wine.
       


      The consular staff from Myanmar/Burma and Malaysia "unlock" the door.
       
      Then you have the ritual hand washing part.
       

       
      Having attended to your personal hygiene, but before  entering the dining room, there is one more ritual to go through. You arrive here and sit around this fire and wok full of some mysterious liquid on the boil.
       

       
      On a nearby table is this
       

       
      Puffed rice, soy beans, peanuts and scallion. These are ladled into bowls.
       

       
      with a little salt, and then drowned in the "tea" brewing in the wok.
       
      This is  油茶 (yóu chá) or Oil Yea. The tea is made from Tea Seed Oil which is made from the seeds of the camellia bush. This dish is used as a welcoming offering to guests in homes and restaurants. Proper etiquette suggests that three cups is a minimum, but they will keep refilling your cup until you stop drinking. First time I had it I really didn't like it, but I persevered and now look forward to it.
       

      L-R: Director of the Foreign Affairs Dept of Liuzhou government, consuls-general of Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos.
       
      Having partaken of the oil tea, finally we are allowed to enter the dining room, where two tables have been laid out for our use.
       

       
      Let the eating, finally, begin.
       
      In no particular order:
       

      Steamed corn, taro and sweet potato
       

      Bamboo Shoots
       

      Duck
       

      Banana leaf stuffed with sticky rice and mixed vegetables and steamed.
       

      Egg pancake with unidentified greenery
       

      Stir fried pork and beans
       

      Stir fried Chinese banana (Ensete lasiocarpum)
       

      Pig Ears
       

      This may not look like much, but was the star of the trip. Rice paddy fish, deep fried in camellia tree seed oil with wild mountain herbs.
      We ate this at every meal, cooked with slight variations, but never tired of it.
       

      Stir fried Greens
       
      Our meal was accompanied by the wait staff singing to us and serving home-made rice wine (sweetish and made from the local sticky rice).
       
       
       
       
      Everything we ate was grown or reared within half a kilometre of the restaurant and was all free-range, organic. And utterly delicious.
       
      Roll on dinner time.
       
      On the trip I was designated the unofficial official photographer and ended up taking 1227 photographs. I just got back last night and was busy today, so I will try to post the rest of the first day (and dinner) as soon as I can.
    • By liuzhou
      These have been mentioned a couple of times recently on different threads and I felt they deserved one of their own. After all, they did keep me alive when I lived in Xi'an.
       
      Rou jia mo (ròu jiá mò; literally "Meat Sandwich") are Chinese sandwiches which originated in Shaanxi Province, but can be found all over China. Away from their point of origin, they tend to be made with long stewed pork belly. However in Xi'an (capital of Shaanxi), there is a large Muslim population so the meat of choice is more usually beef. In nearby Gansu Province, lamb or mutton is more likely.
       
      When I was living in Xi'an in 1996-1997, I lived on these. I was living on campus in North-West University (西北大学) and right outside the school gate was a street lined with cheap food joints, most of which would serve you one. I had one favourite place which I still head to when I visit. First thing I do when I get off the train.
       
      What I eat is Cumin Beef Jia Mo (孜然牛肉夹馍 zī rán niú ròu jiá mò). The beef is stir fried or BBQd with cumin and mild green peppers. It is also given a bit of a kick with red chill flakes.
       
      Here is a recipe wrested from the owner of my Xi'an favourite. So simple, yet so delicious.
       

      Lean Beef
       
      Fairly lean beef is cut into slivers
       

      Chopped Beef (sorry about the picture quality - I don't know what happened)
       

      Chopped garlic
       
      I use this single clove garlic from Sichuan, but regular garlic does just fine.
       
      The beef and garlic are mixed in a bowl and generously sprinkled with ground cumin. This is then moistened with a little light soy sauce. You don't want to flood it. Set aside for as long as you can.
       

      Mild Green Chilli Pepper
       
      Take one or two mild green peppers and crush with the back of a knife, then slice roughly. You could de-seed if you prefer. I don't bother.
       

      Chopped Green Pepper
       
      Fire up the wok, add oil (I use rice bran oil) and stir fry the meat mixture until the meat is just done. 
       

      Frying Tonight
       
      Then add the green peppers and fry until they are as you prefer them. I tend to like them still with a bit of crunch, so slightly under-cook them
       

      In with the peppers
       
      You will, of course, have prepared the bread. The sandwiches are made with a type of flat bread known as 白吉饼 (bái jí bǐng; literally "white lucky cake-shape"). The ones here are store bought but I often make them. Recipe below.
       

      Bai Ji Bing
       
      Take one and split it. Test the seasoning of the filling, adding salt if necessary. It may not need it because of the soy sauce. 
       

      Nearly there
       
      Cover to make a sandwich  and enjoy. You will see that I have used a bunch of kitchen paper to hold the sandwich and to soak up any escaping juices. But it should be fairly dry.
       

      The final product.
       
      Note: I usually cook the meat and pepper in batches. Enough for one sandwich per person at a time. If we need another (and we usually do) I start the next batch. 
       
       
      Bread Recipe
       
       
      350g plain flour
      140ml water
      1/2 teaspoon instant yeast

      Mix the yeast with the flour and stir in the water. Continue stirring until a dough forms. Knead until smooth. Cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and leave to rise by about one third. (maybe 30-40 minutes).
       
      Knead again to remove any air then roll the dough into a log shape around 5cm in diameter, then cut into six portions. Press these into a circle shape using a rolling pin. You want to end up with 1.5cm thick buns. 
       
      Preheat oven to 190C/370F.
       
      Dry fry the buns in a skillet until they take on some colour about a minute or less on each side, then finish in the oven for ten minutes. Allow to cool before using.
    • By Chris Hennes
      I just got a copy of Grace Young's "Stir-Frying to the Sky's Edge"—I enjoyed cooking from "Breath of a Wok" and wanted to continue on that path. Does anyone else have this book? Have you cooked anything from it?

      Here was dinner tonight:

      Spicy Dry-Fried Beef (p. 70)

      I undercooked the beef just a bit due to a waning propane supply (I use an outdoor propane-powered wok burner), but there's nothing to complain about here. It's a relatively mild dish that lets the flavors of the ingredients (and the wok) speak. Overall I liked it, at will probably make it again (hopefully with a full tank of gas).


    • By liuzhou
      We are all used to unami now. Maybe it's time to consider gan. Particularly found in teas, but also in other foods. An interesting article from a great magazine.
       
      Going, going gan
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×