Compare The Best Japanese Soy Sauces
Rich Tasting Low Sodium Soy Sauce
Umakuchi Soy Sauce
Refined Flavor with a Crisp Saltiness That Enhances the Umami of Other Foods
Replete With a Strong Savoriness, a Mellow Fragrance, and Umami
Exquisite Balance Between Umami and Salty and Sweet Elements
Flavorful and Easy to Use but Lacks That Extra Oomph
Has a Depth of Flavor Similar to Stock and a Lingering Sweetness
Gentle Umami and Mild Flavor Means it Can be Used Anywhere
Strong Salty, Sweet, and Umami Profiles. A Peculiar Soy Sauce that Has a Kick to It
A Bit Too Lacking for Most Dinner Tables
A Dark Where Sweetness Pushes Its Way to the Forefront
Soy Sauce With Top Market Share In Japan Obtained Halal Certification
Soy sauce or shoyu is one of the most important seasonings in Japanese foods. It is extremely important as you can find all Japanese homes definitely have at least a bottle of it in their refrigerator!
Kikkoman, one of the most popular soy sauce brands in Japan, launched halal-certified soy sauce in 21 August 2017 after doing experiments of trial and error for over 4 years.
Following to the product launch, Kikkoman received a large number of sample inquiries from hotels, airports, restaurants and will move to the negotiation stage.
The company launches the halal soy sauce with the hope to everyone who comes to Japan can enjoy Japanese food culture at ease. The product is planned to be distributed to restaurants and hotels in Japan!
Test Utility And Compatible Foods
Savory and Full Soy Sauces Tasted Good in Any Form, with Any Dish
had a nice, simple savoriness
You can taste the soybeans and theres still a bit of sweetness within the spice and salt, but because the flavor profile is comparatively simple, it wont overpower or clash with other ingredients in your dish.
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Other Popular Soy Sauces
While many Asian countries have their own soy sauce styles and variants, another relatively commonly found style in the U.S. is Indonesian Kecap manis. Its a sweet soy sauce native to Indonesia made with fermented soy beans and flavored with palm sugar, star anise, galangal and other aromatics. Its widely used in many Indonesian dishes and is the primary flavoring in bami goreng, a popular stir-fried noodle dish. Kecap manis derives its name from the same Malay fish sauce that our tomato-based ketchup is distantly related to.
How Is It Used
Soy sauce is probably the most important condiment across Asia. It acts as a seasoning, as well as a color enhancer, darkening the color of dishes to a rich amber. Youll use it in stir-fries, sauces, soups, braises, fillings, noodle dishes, dumplings, and more.
Different types have different uses . In general, however, when cooking a particular dish from a particular Asian cooking tradition , always use the proper types of soyin this case, Chinese light soy sauce and dark soy sauce.
We dont mean to be snobby, but using Japanese soy in a Chinese dish or Chinese soy in a Japanese dish will yield different flavors!
Kikkoman is a great brand, and well use it when cooking Japanese dishes or enjoying sushi, but well rarely use it for Chinese cooking.
That said, if you enjoy the flavor of a particular type or brand over another, you can use whatever floats your boat. Thats the beauty of home-cookingyoure the boss!
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The Kikkoman Halal Soy Sauces Features
Halal and Gluten-Free
Kikkoman Halal Soy Sauce is a complete gluten-free soy sauce as it does not use any wheat in its ingredients.Besides Muslims, this soy sauce is also suitable for those who have restrictions on the intake of wheat and are health-oriented.
Most of the existing halal soy sauce products are available in super big sizes. On the other hand, Kikkoman Halal Soy Sauce is available in a relatively small volume of 1 L, so it is way easier to use without exceeding the expiry date.
Acquired Halal Certification That is Recognized by a Number of Countries
The product acquired Halal certification from the Dutch certification body HFFIA, which has mutual recognition with certification bodies of various countries including Malaysias JAKIM and Indonesias MUI.
Using Unique and Original Technology to Bring Out the Authentic Taste of Soy Sauce
Kikkoman uses special technology to produce halal soy sauce so that it has similar color, taste, and fragrance to the regular one. The soy sauce is great as a dip and also for cooking !
If you are a Japanese food freak, this halal soy sauce is a must-have item in your refrigerator!
Does Soy Sauce Contain Alcohol
Kikkoman Naturally Brewed SoySauce contains < 2% alcohol by volume. The alcohol is not added as aningredient, but is a result of the natural fermentation process whereby thewheat starches are broken down to sugars and part of the sugar is changed intoalcohol.
If you require a soy sauce withzero alcohol then you can use Kikkoman Tamari Gluten-free Soy Sauce which doesnt containwheat so no alcohol is produced. It is certified halal by the Halal Feed AndFood Inspection Authority and their logo is on the bottle label. TheSpirit Vinegar ingredient in this product is a natural acidic compound madefrom sugar cane and sugar beet. It is not an alcoholic intoxicant and istherefore accepted as halal.
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Soy Sauce: What To Avoid What To Buy
Soy sauce is a dark, rich, complex flavorful condiment that is good to just drizzle over rice or to add to a variety of dishes-that is, if you have the right soy sauce.
Like mentioned in my post Japanese Style Avocado, my husband is half Japanese. I was a little concerned over our different food likes and dislikes because you see, I didnt like soy sauce before we were married. How could we coexist when one loved and one hated soy sauce? I was going to want bread and butter, he, rice and soy sauce!
My husband to be soon found the problem. My family was buying these huge half gallon containers of cheap soy sauce from Costco, and then most of it was going rancid before we could go through it . No wonder we thought the stuff was awful! It was!
After we got married, we made to sure to buy naturally fermented soy sauce. WOW! What a difference! Most soy sauces are no longer made with a natural fermentation process, but are in fact chemically made. Look for soy sauces that are naturally fermented, sometimes they will even say something like aged on the bottle.
Our favorite soy sauce?
This soy sauce is made in Japan with the traditional fermentation process, aged in cedar wood kegs in small batches. Its also unpasteurized meaning that all of those lovely enzymes and beneficial bacteria are still alive.
All to say, dont settle for cheap soy sauce. Its nasty stuff.
Shota Nakajima Chef And Owner Of Adana In Seattle
Before opening his own restaurant, Shota Nakajima cut his teeth working at various Michelin-starred restaurants in Japan, and he picked up a lot of his soy sauce intel there. Ive tried making soy sauce Ive tried making miso. Its pretty good, but I cant make it as well as the people who have been making it for thousands of years, he says. Like many of the chefs he studied under, Nakajima uses soy sauces produced by Kikkoman.
He recommends seeking out soy sauce thats packaged in a squeeze bottle, which helps to protect the contents from oxidation. Many people dont realize how quickly soy sauce can oxidize, he says: You cant let soy sauce hit the air. If you go to the store and get two bottles of soy sauce, and open one and close it, and leave them in the fridge for like a week, the color and flavor will be different if you taste them side by side, he says. Its still usable, but the flavor changes very quickly. Some chefs he trained with would only serve soy sauce within the first few days that it was open anything older was jettisoned into pickling liquid.
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Is Soy Sauce A Healthy Choice
Guidelines from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest adults consume no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. According to VeryWellFit, a tablespoon of soy sauce contains 879 mg of sodium. Do the math: One tablespoon of soy sauce eats up more than one-third the daily recommended maximum of sodium. Heres a jaw-dropper. Consuming too much soy sauce can be deadly. In 2011, a Virginia student downed a quart of soy sauce on dare and barely survived. As reported by NPR, the 19-year-old males blood sodium was the highest ever recorded in an adult who survived without long-term neurological damage.
But thats extreme. Most of us wouldnt dream of ingesting more than a few drops at a time. For comparison, an average take-out packet contains about 2 teaspoons . Even in moderation, though, the high levels of sodium contained in soy sauce can adversely affect your health. Doctor NDTV lists increased risk of breast cancer related to the isoflavones in soy, thyroid issues due to goitrogens in fermented soy sauce, and risk of cardiovascular disease among the potential problems associated with consuming soy sauce. Low-sodium soy sauce is a readily available option. Kikkomans version contains 40 percent less salt than its regular soy sauce.
Lee Kum Kee Premium Dark
Moving inland from the islands of Japan to China, we have this delicious soy sauce from Lee Kum Kee.
If youre not interested in springing for the gourmet bottle, this is an excellent alternative with a friendlier price tag.
The manufacturer doesnt provide many details about their product, stating simply that they have used selected soybeans in their brew and that they have adhered to traditional methods in order to make it.
This is excellent for cooking or for adding a little flavor to your rice, salads or anything other bland dish that needs a little zap of flavor.
The difference between Lee Kum Kee and Kikkoman is night and day. We would choose this any day over Kikkoman!
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No Mirin Cooking Sake Dashi Where Are All The Japanese Ingredients
Theyre not on my essentials list because Japanese food is my mothers domain literally! Heres her Japanese food website RecipeTin Japan the home of authentic Japanese recipes.
These are my next priority items, things that make me feel insecure if Im out or running low. Mostly sold at everyday large grocery stores, but some of these items are MUCH cheaper at Asian stores, so I always stock up!
Chinese Chilli Paste Fuyun brand, my favourite! Only at Asian stores.
Rice vinegar Mizkan, Marukan or Kikkoman are my usual , but Ive never had a bad one .
Mirin the Japanese equivalent of Chinese cooking wine! Even just 1 teaspoon adds complexity and depth of dressings and sauces.
Fish sauce Squid Brand
Crispy fried shallots almost half the price at Asian stores, any brand.
Chinese five spice any brand
Maesri brand curry pastes red, green and massaman. For Asian Curry fans.
Fresh and dried noodleseverything and anything!
Bottle Size And Storage
Soy sauce will last a long time unopened. The best-by date on the bottle should be a good year to two years out. But oxygen is its enemy, so youre better off choosing a smaller bottle over the giant tin, Young said.
And once opened, keep it in a cool, dry place. Its not necessary to refrigerate soy sauce, but doing so will extend its flavor and freshness, Roberts said.
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Light Vs Dark Soy Sauce
As mentioned above Chinese soy sauce’s come in two varieties that are very different to Japanese Shoyu. These are light and dark soy sauces, but what are the differences?
Light soy sauce, as well as being lighter in colour has a thinner texture and is typically saltier. You may often find light soy sauce used in Cantonese style cooking.
Dark soy sauce is a thicker and sweeter sauce than it’s lighter alternative. This version of soy sauce is often used to coat meats and add colour to dishes.
Sohui Kim Chef And Owner Of Insa In Brooklyn Ny
Chef Sohui Kim emphasizes that you should always look at the ingredient list before buying any soy sauce: I grew up eating a lot of Korean food, so I grew up with the real stuff, but if something is made with a commercially produced, non-brewed soy sauce, you can tell the difference. Soy sauces that arent brewed or naturally fermented often contain added sweeteners, artificial colors, and flavors as well as preservatives to keep them shelf stable. The resulting product tastes quite different from the real thing Kim describes these as having an aftertaste that is bitter and not very smooth, or is sometimes too sweet.
At her Brooklyn restaurant, Insa, Kim uses Korean soy sauce, or ganjang, which she calls a foundational sort of mother sauce in Korean cooking. Its used both as a seasoning during cooking and as a tableside dipping sauce for dumplings and scallion pancakes. Traditional ganjang is a byproduct from producing doenjang, a fermented soy paste, meaning that its brewed differently than koji-inoculated soy sauces of Japan. Sohui uses the Sempio brand, which she describes as having a deep soy flavor that tastes clean and not-messed-with. There are several varieties of Sempio soy sauce, many of which can be found in Korean grocery stores like H-Mart the one Kim uses is the bottle bearing the naturally brewed label, which you can find here.
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Psa: Beware Of The Mushroom Dark Soy Sauce
We accidentally purchased a mushroom dark soy sauce once because the regular premium dark soy sauce from Lee Kum Kee was sold out. Alex ended up tossing the bottle once he discovered it tasted bitter and like chemicals.
Be careful when you see mushroom dark soy sauce or seafood dark soy sauce. Unless you know for certain you are looking for mushroom dark soy sauce, stick to the regular version.
Which soy sauce is your favorite? Are you a dark soy sauce lover ? Or do you prefer light soy sauce?
Varieties Of Soy Sauce
Once upon a time, way back in the 20th century, selecting soy sauce at a local grocery store was a simple process. The prevailing variety was what we now know as koikuchi. The choice boiled down to a few brands, not flavors. Peruse the Asian foods aisle at a mainstream supermarket today and the options are seemingly endless. Serious Eats breaks it down. In addition to Japanese-style all-purpose koikuchi, youll likely find lighter, richer, and slightly sweet usukuchi. Koikuchi and usukuchi are interchangeable in most recipes, but taste test to be sure youre not overdoing it with the richer blend. Tamari, made without wheat, is the best choice for gluten-free diets. Shiro, also known as white soy sauce, is blended with a higher percentage of wheat resulting in a lighter color and flavor.
According to The Woks of Life, Chinese soy sauce is saltier than its Japanese counterpart. Available in both light and dark blends, Sous Chef describes the light version as strong and pungent with notes of beans, while the dark blend is intense with a forward sour bitterness and strong umami flavor. Top brands of Chinese soy sauce include Koon Chun, Pearl River Bridge, and Lee Kum Lee .
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Light Soy Sauce Substitutes
There are many reasons why someone doesnt want to or cannot eat light soy sauce . Here are my favorite substitutes for light soy sauce that work for most recipes:
- Worcestershire sauce
- Tamari sauce: A gluten-free alternative to soy sauce
- Hoisin sauce: You may have to thin it out with some water. Its quite sweet, which makes it more like dark soy sauce than light.
- Teriyaki sauce: Teriyaki sauce is another option that offers a sweet and savory flavor. It often has soy sauce in it.
- Oyster sauce: Thin it with a bit of water. Its not vegetarian.
- Fish sauce: A good replacement for the umami of soy sauce if you like the pungent flavor of fish sauce.
TIP: Ultimately, if you need to replace light soy sauce, youre looking for ingredients that add salt and umami. This means you could get creative by substituting ingredients that dont resemble soy sauce at all, such as Parmigiano-Reggiano or Marmite.
Kikkoman Also Makes Other Soy Sauces
- Kikkoman Tamari Gluten-free Soy Sauce is a wheat-free soy sauce which contains just soybeans, water, salt and spirit vinegar and can be enjoyed by those avoiding wheat or with coeliac disease. The absence of wheat means that no alcohol is produced as a fermentation by-product and therefore is also suitable for halal diets.
- Kikkoman Less Salt has 43% less salt than the original but doesnt compromise on taste.
- Kikkoman Ponzu is a lemon seasoned soy sauce and has a delicate sweet-sharp taste. Try it sprinkled over fish and chips or as a salad dressing.
- Kikkoman Sweet Soy Sauce has added sugar and is great drizzled over rice or as a dip.
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Pour Thing: What Different Soy Sauces Are Used For And Which To Buy
If youve ever cooked Asian food and had the result go horribly wrong, you can probably blame your choice of soy sauce. But a little knowledge goes a long way
During the Han dynasty, more than 2,000 years ago, there was a great division: what had been a singular fermented condiment made of fish and soy, used to stretch out that precious commodity salt, became two.
One emerged as fish sauce and the other, soy sauce. From there they diverged dramatically according to culture, religion, demography and geography. The Buddhists, with their vegetarian practice, took soy sauce to East Asia. The Chinese merchants, who went on to sell their wares in the south, took both fish sauce and soy sauce with them because they could, and so they did.
This is a simplistic explanation of how south-east Asian cuisine tended to be dominated by the use of fish sauce, and soy sauce became more commonly used in naturalised versions of Chinese-influenced dishes, such as five-spice stewed pork, known variously as adobo, pah lo, tau yew bak, babi kecap and tht kho tàu.
In the east, soy sauce became another thing entirely. The production of soy-based products are unique to each geographical location like miso in Japan and doenjang in Korea.
Whether you call it shyu or sii ew or just old faithful soy sauce, we are referring to a condiment thats soybean-based. And that is where the similarity ends.
All right, lets break it down a bit.
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