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 a free account.

Soy sauce


Fat Guy
 Share

Recommended Posts

Yesterday I bought a new soy sauce, it is called shijimi shoyu and is made with shijimi extract, katsuo, and konbu. Shijimi are tiny (fingernail sized) freshwater clams that are quite popular in miso soup.

It has a great "seaofod", mostly konbu flavor that I think would be a great match with sashimi, it also has a nice clean salt kick but in no way is it salty.

I don't think I would use it in simmered foods, its subtleties would be lost, definitely much better as a dipping sauce/topping.

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...

Pearl River and Amoy here --- and Mushroom. I also use regular and lower or light Kikkoman.

I do like the San-J lower sodium Tamari.

FatGuy asked about soy deteriorating. I used to find salt crystals in Koon Chun brand. They were not small specks, and did not affect the taste, and only occurred after a time. They melted when heated. Koon Chun sometimes turned bad with a white mold ------ in bottles that had been opened for a long time. I haven't bought that brand for years, so don't know if there are improvements. I know the brand was off the shelves for quite a while, until they improved to US standards.

Funny story (I wish I had kept the article)----- Years ago there was a blind taste testing by soy sauce gourmets -- people who really knew their soys. The top soy sauce turned out to be Kikkoman low-sodium!! These people couldn't believe that they had chosen the lowly Kikkoman over the 'more superior' Chinese and Japanese soys-- and especially low sodium! Their comments were on record and were there for all to see. No mistakes ---- they had chosen Kikkoman!

As a kid, I grew up on La Choy and Chung King. When I started expirimenting, I dropped them for the 'new' Kikkoman, even tho the Kikkoman tasted strange to me. It took some getting used to.

I have to confess, when I see La Choy on someones shelf, I simply have to taste it. It brings me back!! LOL!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Awhile back I bought a jug of mushroom soy, but after a while I realized that the attraction was the deep, rich color. I couldn't seem to add enough to give food any soy sauce flavor.

Now I buy nama shoyu in the natural food store. It's worth the extra money to me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My wife is from Shanghai, which is probably the world capital of dark soy sauce use (think red-cooked everything) and she seems to have gravitated to the Kimlan "lou chau" over here. She also uses the regular Kikkoman (perhaps for its saltiness) for some dishes, plus Chinese "light" soy sauces (brand doesn't seem to matter).

B0000D17OV.01-A3VQDI8PVLV39O.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The standard soy sauce used for cooking and on the table here in Hong Kong is the light variety. This is what most of the world just calls 'soy sauce'. Dark soy, which is basically light soy with caramel and sugar, is used mainly in cooking where you want to darken something - for example, in braised or stewed dishes - as opposed to where you just want to just add flavour. Light and dark are often used together in cooking, but for Cantonese cooking, if you're going to have one soy sauce on your shelf, it would be light.

I think the best way to taste test a soy sauce is to use it as a dip for, say, a big plate of steamed shrimp. There's nothing hiding the flavour that way.

The big regional brands (available worldwide now) are Lee Kum Kee, Amoy, and Pearl River Bridge. All have a higher-end 'Gold Label' or 'Premium' labels (or both - Amoy has 8 different 'light' soys alone), which usually indicates no additives and natural brewing. Those are definitely the way to go. These brands claim to have stopped using GM soy, for those that are concerned about that. Buy these only from reputable stores, there have been cases of counterfeit Pearl River soy sauce appearing locally and in foreign countries.

Before the days of these big brands there were hundreds of small local brewers of soy sauce. Only one survives in Hong Kong - Kowloon Soy Co Ltd. Despite the name, they are not in Kowloon. Their only shop is at 9 Graham Street, Central, Hong Kong (tel 2544 3695 but don't expect any English), and their plant is out in the New Territories, where they still age sauce in ceramic urns out in the open. Here's a photo:

factory-1s.jpg

The one to get is their Gold Label Light Soy Sauce, and it's delicious. I think it sets the standard for light soy. We also keep a small bottle of Amoy Gold Label Dark Soy in the fridge for cooking.

While you're at the Kowloon Soy shop, pick up a bottle of another great hard-to-find HK sauce: Yu Kwen Yick Chili Sauce. This sweet potato and chili based sauce is the perfect thing on many Asian fried noodle dishes. It's still made in a tiny old shop in Sheung Wan (G/F, 3 David Lane if you're really curious - good luck even finding it!), and has a label that was probably fashionable about 50 years ago.

You can also find both these sauces at old style rice shops in HK - the kind where the rice is still sold from wooden bins by a 100 year old guy in his undershirt, and there's invariably a cat hanging around to keep the rats away. But there are not many of those shops still around, and even fewer of these small local sauce brands that make the world a interesting and tasty place. Let's support the local stuff while we can still get it.

Hong Kong Dave

Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi!

I like to stick to the products that are naturally brewed. Most of the mass-producted soy sauces from Taiwan are nonnaturally brewed and contain preservatives, chemicals ect.,... things that you don't want in your body.

Those really good ones are impossible to be found in US. Japanese naturally brewed soy sauces become my savers here. And I like to try any kind of them.

Recently I bought a bottle called "Sai-Shikomi Shodoshima Shoyu" produced by Marushima Shoyu Co in Japan from Mizuwa market, NJ.

Description says: it is blended soybeans, wheat, natural salt and clear mountain water. Fermented for 3 years in cedar barrels then are added the same amount of Kouji prepared of soybeans and wheat, and fermented for another year. Good for seasoning and sahimi.

It costs a fortune but I liket to give it a try. Has anyone ever taste it before?

I would like to post a photo of this bottle but do not know how. Could anyone kindly teach me how to do it? Thank you very much! :raz:

Achai

(spoiled by 98 year-old grandmother who used to brew soy souce for our family till her seventies.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was weaned on Kikkoman. My Korean grandmother (who immigrated to Hawaii in the 1920s as a 'picture bride') used only Kikkoman. It's like milk from a mother's breast. NO OTHER WILL DO. Here in Britain, there are two types on offer (not the eight so eloquently outlined above), the normal, which is the same as I grew up with, and a 'sweet' version that is quite disgusting and to be avoided at all costs (as horrendous as the little bottles of cheap 'chinese' soy sauce on offer in supermarkets).

Kikkoman normal may not be a 'boutique' or premium product, it may not be the best, but for many of us, soy sauce is one of those basic staples that have over the years percolated into our very souls and in the process become a very part of who we are. That is why for me, no soy sauce tastes quite right unless it's Kikkoman.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My wife is from Shanghai, which is probably the world capital of dark soy sauce use (think red-cooked everything) and she seems to have gravitated to the Kimlan "lou chau" over here.  She also uses the regular Kikkoman (perhaps for its saltiness) for some dishes, plus Chinese "light" soy sauces (brand doesn't seem to matter).

If you're going to use Amazon's picture (which is copyrighted), you need to include a link to buy the product:

B0000D17OV.01-A3VQDI8PVLV39O.LZZZZZZZ.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The year that I met my wife, I was living in a small residential enclave in a mostly-industrial part of East Vancouver; kind of a border zone between the mostly-asian Chinatown area and the more-caucasian Commercial Drive area. I was the only caucasian on my block.

After a few months, I came to notice that my neighbours were, without exception, buying Pearl River Bridge; so I started buying it myself. Now my taste buds are attuned to it, and most others don't taste right. I do like mushroom soy from time to time, though.

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Dear Marco-Polo,

"like milk from mother's breast", no wonder my search never will be ended.

There is just no "Granny" brand soy souce for me any more.

BTW, long long time ago, one of my dad's Japanese friend who was the

branch manager of Kikkoman in Taiwan told him that all the Kikkoman soy souces produced in N. America are naturally brewed. Don't know about current situation but I think they only get better not worse. As long as they are naturally brewed, it is no problem for me to drip. Enjoy! :smile:

Achai

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
:smile:

We like Pearl River Bridge Superior Light Soy Sauce best. They make a dark and a mushroom, but the lighter salt factor seems less intense to us.

Charlie

I'm just wondering why your username is Brittany while you sign off as Charlie.

Anyway, welcome to Egullet!

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I bought some soy sauce at Wegmans in New Jersey tonight: Hatsu Shibori.

Does soy sauce deteriorate if it's stored for too long? A year? Five years? Is refrigeration recommended?

I didn't know that you can get Marukin's soy sauce in the US! I looked at a Japanese Marukin website and said that the expiration of Hatsu Shibori Shoyu or their shoyu products is 2 years. It does not recommend for refrigeration, but you should keep the soy sauce in at a cool place. I usually put in my refrigerator, though. Shodoshima is famous for somen noodle, and their soy sauce is also well known in Kagawa.

The soy sauce I recently acquired is Kinbue Shoyu from Saitama. The ingredients listed are soybeans, wheat, and sea salt. This one also says that the expiration is 2 years. It has such a nice flavor that the small amount does a big job.

Check out the latest meal!

Itadakimasu

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...