• 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.

canucklehead

Making Soy Sauce At Home

138 posts in this topic

Hello hummingbirdkiss, welcome to the DIY club :)

thanks so much Danielkumiadi it is a disease isn't it ..if it can be made I have to try 

I make fish sauce and my husband almost moved out but he now understands why! it is so good! 


why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hai Takadi, can you tell me why we need to weight the actual soybean and flour?

 

The total salinity of the end product should be at least 18 percent, not just the brine. This number was derived from reverse calculations done from sodium levels from the nutritional facts label on the back of the kikkoman soy sauce bottle, as well as some numbers I found during some research I did (inlcuding recommended numbers from the company itself).  If you put just the soy cakes in without accounting for extra salt, the salt will redistribute into the soy cakes out of the brine and lower the total salt density and make it a more inviting environment for other microbes. This had happened to me while my soy sauce was out in the hot sun so it was starting to form a skin of yeast or bacteria on top, and it started to smell a little funky (a smell that reminded me of parmesan cheese, a little like vomit, lol). Anyways it didn't smell horrible or rotten and it got better after I added more salt, but unfortunately, I had to totally redo my batch because an animal had actually gotten into it and ate all the soycakes!  :wacko: Had to dump the whole thing out

 

Redoing my batch, I used about twice the amount of soy, 10 lbs of soy beans and 15 liters of water. Measured out 18 percent of total weight of soybeans cakes and water for salt. The soybean cakes were weighed after the mold had taken hold to account for any weight change. It's been almost three weeks and the soy sauce has already gotten considerably darker and is starting to smell like a strong miso, with something extra that I can't describe (it smells like caramelized or cured meat for some reason). It has gotten considerably colder outside where I am so I brought it back inside and am stirring it every 1-2 days. Not sure what the lack of sun and warmth will do for the end product but I am planning to age this for at least 6 months to 2 years, taking out samples every six months. Hopefully the long aging times will more than make up for it. 

IMG_0937.JPG

 

 

IMG_0937.JPG


Edited by takadi (log)
3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks so much Danielkumiadi it is a disease isn't it ..if it can be made I have to try 

I make fish sauce and my husband almost moved out but he now understands why! it is so good! 

 

If you've already made fish sauce, soy sauce should be a piece of cake! I would be evicted if I tried that lol. 

 

If you are interested in making korean style soy sauce and doenjang, I found a really awesome documentary on youtube that explains the basics of making it

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtbgUYBRRp8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SafxD279uFI


Edited by takadi (log)
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, Takadi, i must weight my soycake, my water, and then weight 18% salt (from total weight cake + water) and put into the water?

Hummingbirdkiss:

No, its not desease, maybe it just came from our DNA. Lol

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup you got it...although the salt percentage is really up to your discretion. It can go as low as <16 percent although that is more risky and probably requires more purposeful innoculation and a more sterile environment. It can go as high as 25 to 30 percent.  From what I've seen however, 18-20 percent seems to be the usual number.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, i decide to dip my meju / soy cake after... errrr.. (i forgot the first date i fermented my soy cake.. wait.. I'll count it from my last post :raz:) owww its 5 september 2015 and today is 5 October, exactly a month then.. its completely dried with not so much mold, you can see in the photo. has a little "meaty" and soy smell, plus little bit of bamboo smell. i just leave it in direct sunlight day and night and about 2 weeks i just leave it in warm warehouse / closet upstairs (actually almost forget about it hehe).

 

jt14hx.jpg

 

and what i found in the room, an old 30 years glass jar, i remembered this jar on my dining table back in 80's, i've measured it and it contains 3,7 liters of water, so its 1 US gallon volume. marked it.

 

2rnj1aq.jpg

imnn9z.jpg

 

my tap water and well water are about 250 ppm, so its rather hard water, and must be boiled first (well, its Indonesia lol), or can i use reversed osmosis water as well? and how much water needed to ferment 370 grams of dried meju?

 

thanks. will dip the meju right wafter i got water level suggestion.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After calculating from http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Soy-Sauce, 370gr of meju only use 800gr of water. dang.. i must find smaller container. then i found clay pot for boil Chinese herbal medicine, can hold 1 litre ++.

 

4utoqq.jpg

 

still sterilizing with boiling some water directly on stove.

 

PS:

forget about the clay pot. it got crack, water drip out.. how unlucky :sad:


Edited by danielkurniadi (log)
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Divide meju to 4 pieces, then here is how it looks, get some mold inside too.

33yt9gy.jpg

 

Finally, fermenting time! got a 2 litres plastic container.

2nl5ngw.jpg

 

Today is 9 October 2015 (as my reminder) :raz:

This brine contain 20% kosher salt. (without iodine).


Edited by danielkurniadi (log)
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is it about soybeans in particular that seem to make it the only bean one can use to make a sauce with the taste, etc. we associate with 'soy sauce'?

I know one can make soy sauce substitutes from things like mushrooms, but why does there seem to be no information about making it with any other bean? Adzuki beans may produce a much sweeter sauce - I can understand that since they are made into 'sweet red bean paste' so something in them must be 'sweeter' - but is there another fairly commonly available bean which would ferment and produce a sauce that is similar to soy? It is much harder to find but one can now buy miso which is made with chickpeas and other beans so why not a 'chickpea' or 'black eyed pea' sauce that tastes very much like a 'soy sauce'?

edited because I thought that I was resurrecting an old thread - but apparently didn't read to the end of that thread (since I found the thread through an outside search).


Edited by Deryn (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Deryn, see the following links

 

http://products.momofuku.com/bonji/

 

http://products.momofuku.com/hozon/

 

Your hunches are correct. I'm currently fermenting a chickpea "miso" or a hozon in David Chang's terminology. But pretty much anything with significant amounts of protein can be fermented to make a soy sauce/miso like product, particularly nuts and legumes and certain grains. Of course different sources are more conducive to different types of molds and bacteria...it would be interesting to see what a koji fermented cheese would look like

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, Takadi.

I don't think I am in a position to make my own due to where I live, not to mention that while it is obviously a very interesting process, it is probably above my pay grade. But, I am fascinated with what you and Daniel are doing.

I can only hope that eventually Momofuku might sell the bonji - currently I see they do but on a 'wholesale only' basis. I would love to try it.

I have to avoid soy as much as possible but Asian type dishes are my favorite foods it seems so I wish that a reasonable 'sauce' similar in taste, etc. made from other common beans was also readily available. When a recipe only calls for a bit it is easy to just leave it out but some require a fair amount of soysauce and that is trickier.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After 4 months and going very well, somebody put my container below birdcage. The result is: something from that bird felldown into my container, bird food or maybe its feces. And grow another mold on my soycake. So consider it spoiled. RIP my Soy Sauce.

 

Maybe i must stop this. Before i kill somebody LOL.. AAARRRGGHH!!!

1451121236821326661036.jpg


Edited by danielkurniadi (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I've submerged the dried soy cakes in the water, what do I do regarding the lid? Is it meant to be left open? Covered with a cheese cloth to get air in but keep insects out? Or can I leave a lid completely on? I hope it can be left on so that there's no smell and no insects coming in. I have a balcony and can leave it in the sun all day, so would that help fermentation?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By liuzhou
      An old friend from England contacted me yesterday via Facebook with a couple of questions about Five Spice Powder.

      Thought there me be some interest here, too.

      Is there anything more typically Chinese than five spice powder (五香粉 - wǔ xiāng fěn)?
       
      Well, yes. A lot.
       
      Many years ago, I worked in an office overlooking London’s China town. By around 11 am, the restaurants started getting lunch ready and the smell of FSP blanketed the area for the rest of the day. When I moved to China, I didn’t smell that. Only when I first visited Hong Kong, did I find that smell again.
       
      In fact, FSP is relatively uncommon in most of Chinese cuisine. And if I ever see another internet recipe called “Chinese” whatever, which is actually any random food, but the genius behind it has added FSP, supposedly rendering it Chinese, I’ll scream.

      I get all sorts of smells wafting through the neighbourhood. Some mouth-watering; some horrifying. But I don't recall ever that they were FSP.
       
      But what is it anyway? Which five spices?
       
      Today, I bought four samples in four local supermarkets. I would have would have preferred five, but couldn’t find any more. It's not that popular.
       
      First thing to say: none of them had five spices. All had more. That is normal. Numbers in Chinese can often be vague. Every time you hear a number, silently added the word ‘about’ or ‘approximately’. 100 km means “far”, 10,000 means “many”.
       
      Second, while there are some common factors, ingredients can vary quite a bit. Here are my four.

      1.


       
      Ingredients – 7
       
      Star Anise, Fennel Seed, Orange Peel, Cassia Bark, Sand Ginger, Dried Ginger, Sichuan Peppercorns.
       
      2.
       

       
      Ingredients – 6
       
      Cassia Bark, Star Anise, Fennel Seed, Coriander, Sichuan Peppercorn, Licorice Root.

      3.
       

       
      Ingredients – 15
       
      Fennel Seeds, Sichuan Peppercorns, Coriander, Tangerine Peel, Star Anise, Chinese Haw, Cassia Bark, Lesser Galangal, Dahurian Angelica, Nutmeg, Dried Ginger, Black Pepper, Amomum Villosum, Cumin Seeds, Cloves.

      4.
       

       
      Ingredients – 6
       
      Pepper (unspecified – probably black pepper), Sichuan Peppercorns, Star Anise, Fennel Seeds, Nutmeg, Cassia.
       
      So, take your pick. They all taste and smell almost overwhelmingly of the star anise and cassia, although there are subtle differences in taste in the various mixes.
       
      But I don’t expect to find it in many dishes in local restaurants or homes. A quick, unscientific poll of about ten friends today revealed that not one has any at home, nor have they ever used the stuff!
       
       
      I'm not suggesting that FSP shouldn't be used outside of Chinese food. Please just don't call the results Chinese when you sprinkle it on your fish and chips or whatever. They haven't miraculously become Chinese!

      Like my neighbours and friends, I very rarely use it at all.

      In fact, I'd be delighted to hear how it is used in other cultures / cuisines.
    • By liuzhou
      For the last several years Cindy's* job has been to look after me. She takes care of my residence papers, my health insurance, my travel, my housing and associated repairs. She makes sure that I am supplied with sufficient cold beer at official banquets. And she does it all with terrific efficiency and great humour.
       
      This weekend she held her wedding banquet.
       
      Unlike in the west, this isn't held immediately after the marriage is formalised. In fact, she was legally married months ago. But the banquet is the symbolic, public declaration and not the soul-less civil servant stamping of papers that the legal part entails.
      So tonight, along with a few hundred other people, I rolled up to a local hotel at the appointed time. In my pocket was my 'hong bao' or red envelope in which I had deposited a suitable cash gift. That is the Chinese wedding gift protocol. You don't get 12 pop-up toasters here.
       
      I handed it over, then settled down, at a table with colleagues, to a 17 or 18 course dinner.
       
      Before we started, I spotted this red bedecked jar. Shaking, poking and sniffing revealed nothing.
       
       
      A few minutes later, a waitress turned up and opened and emptied the jar into a serving dish. Spicy pickled vegetables. Very vinegary, very hot, and very addictive. Allegedly pickled on the premises, this was just to amuse us as we waited for the real stuff to arrive.
       
       
      Then the serious stuff arrived. When I said 17 courses, I really meant 17 dishes. Chinese cuisine doesn't really do courses. Every thing is served at roughly the same time. But we had:
       
      Quail soup which I neglected to photograph.
       
      Roast duck
       
      Braised turtle
       
      Sticky rice with beef (the beef is lurking underneath)
       
      Steamed chicken
       
      Spicy, crispy shell-on prawns.
       
      Steamed pork belly slices with sliced taro
       
      Spicy squid
       
      Noodles
       
      Chinese Charcuterie (including ducks jaws (left) and duck hearts (right))
       
      Mixed vegetables
       
      Fish
       
      Cakes
       
      Fertility soup! This allegedly increases your fertility and ensures the first born (in China, only born) is a son. Why they are serving to me is anyone's guess. It would make more sense for the happy couple to drink the lot.
       
      Greenery
       
      Jiaozi
       
      There was a final serving of quartered oranges, but I guess you have seen pictures of oranges before.
       
      The happy couple. I wish them well.
       
      *Cindy is the English name she has adopted. Her Chinese name is more than usually difficult to pronounce. Many Chinese friends consider it a real tongue-twister.
    • By liuzhou
      A few days ago, I was given a lovely gift. A big jar of preserved lemons.
       
      I know Moroccan preserved lemons, but had never met Chinese ones. In fact, apart from in the south, in many parts of China it isn't that easy to find lemons, at all.
       
      These are apparently a speciality of the southern Zhuang minority of Wuming County near Nanning. The Zhuang people are the largest ethnic minority in China and most live in Guangxi. These preserved lemons feature in their diet and are usually eaten with congee (rice porridge). Lemon Duck is a local speciality and they are also served with fish. They can be served as a relish, too. They are related to the Vietnamese Chanh muối.
       
      I'm told that these particular lemons have been soaking in salt and lemon juice for eleven years!
       

       

       
      So, of course, you want to know what they taste like. Incredibly lemony. Concentrated lemonness. Sour, but not unpleasantly so. Also a sort of smoky flavour.
       
      The following was provided by my dear friend 马芬洲 (Ma Fen Zhou) who is herself Zhuang. It is posted with her permission.
       
      How to Make Zhuang Preserved Lemons
      By 马芬洲
       
      Zhuang preserved lemons is a kind of common food for the southern Zhuang ethnic minority who live around Nanning Prefecture of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in China. The Zhuang people like to make it as a relish for eating with congee or congee with corn powder. This relish is a mixture of chopped preserved lemons, red chilli and garlic or ginger slice in soy sauce and peanut oil or sesame oil.
       

       
      Sometimes the Zhuang people use preserved lemons as an ingredient in cooking. The most famous Zhuang food in Guangxi is Lemon Duck, which is a common home cooked dish in Wuming County, which belongs to Nanning Prefecture.
       
      The following steps show you how to make Zhuang preserved lemons.
       
      Step 1 Shopping
      Buy some green lemons.
       
      Step 2 Cleaning
      Wash green lemons.
       
      Step 3 Sunning
      Leave green lemons under the sunshine till it gets dry.
       
      Step 4 Salting
      If you salt 5kg green lemons, mix 0.25kg salt with green lemons. Keep the salted green lemons in a transparent jar. The jar must be well sealed. Leave the jar under the sunshine till the salted green lemons turn yellow. For example, leave it on the balcony. Maybe it will take months to wait for those salted green lemons to turn yellow. Later, get the jar of salted yellow lemons back. Unseal the jar. Then cover 1kg salt over the salted yellow lemons. Seal well the jar again.
       
      Step 5 Preserving
      Keep the sealed jar of salted yellow lemons at least 3 years. And the colour of salted yellow lemons will turn brown day by day. It can be dark brown later. The longer you keep preserved lemons, the better taste it is. If you eat it earlier than 2 years, it will taste bitter. After 3 years, it can be unsealed. Please use clean chopsticks to pick it. Don’t use oily chopsticks, or the oil will make preserved lemons go bad. Remember to seal the jar well after picking preserved lemons every time.
    • By HoneyMustard
      Pennstation's Honey Mustard taste so good, but they don't sell it in stores like Big Boy Frisch's sells their tartar sauce.

      I am assuming they buy it in bulk from a certain name brand. Does anyone know what that brand is or at least a similar Honey Mustard recipe?
    • By liuzhou
      Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southern China, where I live, is sugar central for the country. Over two-thirds of China's output of sugar is grown right here, making it one of the largest sugar production areas on the planet. I have a second home in the countryside and it is surrounded by sugar cane fields.

      Much of this is produced by small time farmers, although huge Chinese and international companies have also moved in.
       
      Also, sugar is used extensively in Chinese cooking, not only as a sweetener, but more as a spice. A little added to a savoury dish can bring out otherwise hidden flavours. It also has medicinal attributes according to traditional Chinese medicine.
       
      Supermarkets have what was to me, on first sight, a huge range of sugars, some almost unrecognisable. Here is a brief introduction to some of them. Most sugar is sold loose, although corner shops and mom 'n pop stores may have pre-packed bags. These are often labelled in English as "candy", the Chinese language not differentiating between "sugar" and "candy" - always a source of confusion. Both are 糖 (táng),

      IMPORTANT NOTE: The Chinese names given here and in the images are the names most used locally. They are all Mandarin Chinese, but it is still possible that other names may be used elsewhere in China. Certainly, non-Mandarin speaking areas will be different.

      By the far the simplest way to get your sugar ration is to buy the unprocessed sugar cane. This is not usually available in supermarkets but is a street vendor speciality. In the countryside, you can buy it at the roadside. There are also people in markets etc with portable juice extractors who will sell you a cup of pure sugar cane juice.


       
      I remember being baffled then amused when, soon after I first arrived in China, someone asked me if I wanted some 甘蔗 (gān zhè). It sounded exactly like 'ganja' or cannabis. No such luck! 甘蔗 (gān zhè) is 'sugar cane'.
       
      The most common sugar in the supermarkets seems to be 冰糖 (bīng táng) which literally means 'ice 'sugar' and is what we tend to call 'rock sugar' or 'crystal sugar'. This highly refined sugar comes in various lump sizes although the price remains the same no matter if the pieces are large or small. Around ¥7/500g. That pictured below features the smaller end of the range.


       
      Related to this is what is known as 冰片糖 (bīng piàn táng) which literally means "ice slice sugar". This is usually slightly less processed (although I have seen a white version, but not recently) and is usually a pale brown to yellow colour. This may be from unprocessed cane sugar extract, but is often white sugar coloured and flavoured with added molasses. It is also sometimes called 黄片糖  (huáng piàn táng) or "yellow slice sugar". ¥6.20/500g.
       


      A less refined, much darker version is known as 红片糖 (hóng piàn táng), literally 'red slice sugar'. (Chinese seems to classify colours differently - what we know as 'black tea' is 'red tea' here. ¥7.20/500g.


       
      Of course, what we probably think of as regular sugar, granulated sugar is also available. Known as 白砂糖 (bái shā táng), literally "white sand sugar', it is the cheapest at  ¥3.88/500g.



      A brown powdered sugar is also common, but again, in Chinese, it isn't brown. It's red and simply known as 红糖 (hóng táng). ¥7.70/500g


       
      Enough sweetness and light for now. More to come tomorrow.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.