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Soy sauce (also called simply soy in
American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of variety (linguistics), varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, American English is the m ...
and sometimes soya sauce in
British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergone substantial codification of grammar and usage and is employed by a populatio ...
) is a liquid
condiment A condiment is a sauce In , a sauce is a , , or semi- food, served on or used in preparing other s. Most sauces are not normally consumed by themselves; they add flavor, moisture, and visual appeal to a dish. ''Sauce'' is a word taken fro ...
of Chinese origin, traditionally made from a
fermented Fermentation is a metabolic Metabolism (, from el, μεταβολή ''metabolē'', "change") is the set of life Life is a characteristic that distinguishes physical entities that have biological processes, such as signaling ...
paste of
soybean The soybean, soy bean, or soya bean (''Glycine max'') is a species of legume A legume () is a plant in the family Fabaceae (or Leguminosae), or the fruit or seed of such a plant. When used as a dry grain, the seed is also called a pulse. Leg ...

soybean
s, roasted
grain A grain is a small, hard, dry seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. The band's first double album ...

grain
,
brine Brine is a high-concentration solution of salt (NaCl) in water (H2O). In different contexts, ''brine'' may refer to salt solutions ranging from about 3.5% (a typical concentration of seawater, on the lower end of solutions used for brining food ...

brine
, and ''
Aspergillus oryzae ''Aspergillus oryzae'', also known as , is a filamentous The word filament, which is descended from Latin ''filum'' meaning "Thread (yarn), thread", is used in English for a variety of thread-like structures, including: In commerce * Fiber or, ...

Aspergillus oryzae
'' or '' Aspergillus sojae''
molds Mold A mold () or mould () is a fungus A fungus (plural: fungi or funguses) is any member of the group of Eukaryote, eukaryotic organisms that includes microorganisms such as yeasts and Mold (fungus), molds, as well as the more familiar ...
. It is considered to contain a strong
umami Umami ( from ja, 旨味 ), or savoriness, is one of the five . It has been described as savory and is characteristic of broths and cooked meats. People taste umami through s that typically respond to and , which are widely present in meat b ...

umami
flavor. Soy sauce in its current form was created about 2,200 years ago during the
Western Han dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynas ...
of ancient China, and it has spread throughout East and
Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical United Nations geoscheme for Asia#South-eastern Asia, southeastern subregion of Asia, consisting of the regions ...

Southeast Asia
where it is used in cooking and as a condiment.


Use and storage

Soy sauce can be added directly to food, and is used as a dip or
salt Salt is a mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific crystal structure that occurs naturally in pure fo ...

salt
flavor in cooking. It is often eaten with
rice Rice is the seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. The band's first double album, it was relea ...

rice
,
noodles Noodles are a type of food made from unleavened dough which is rolled flat and cut, stretched or extruded, into long strips or strings. Noodles can be refrigerated for short-term storage or dried and stored for future use. Noodles are usually ...
, and
sushi is a traditional Japanese dish of prepared , usually with some sugar and salt, accompanied by a variety of , such as seafood Seafood is any form of sea life regarded as food by humans, prominently including fish Fish are Aquatic an ...

sushi
or
sashimi is a Japanese delicacy consisting of fresh raw fish Raw is an adjective usually describing: * Raw materials, basic materials from which products are manufactured or made * Raw food, uncooked food Raw or RAW may also refer to: Computing * .RA ...

sashimi
, or can also be mixed with ground
wasabi Wasabi (Japanese language, Japanese: , , or , ; ''Eutrema japonicum'' or ''Wasabia japonica'') or Japanese horseradish is a plant of the family Brassicaceae, which also includes horseradish and Mustard plant, mustard in other genus, genera. A Pa ...

wasabi
for dipping. Bottles of soy sauce for salty seasoning of various foods are common on
restaurant A restaurant is a business Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling products (such as goods and services). Simply put, it is "any activity or enterprise entered into for profit." ...

restaurant
tables in many countries. Soy sauce can be stored at room temperature.


History


East Asia


China

Soy sauce (, ) is considered almost as old as soy paste—a type of fermented paste (, ) obtained from soybeans—which had appeared during the
Western Han dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynas ...
(206 BC – 220 AD) and was listed in the bamboo slips found in the archaeological site
Mawangdui Mawangdui () is an archaeological site An archaeological site is a place (or group of physical sites) in which evidence of past activity is preserved (either prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of hu ...
().調料文化:醬油的由來
/ref> There are several precursors of soy sauce that are associated products with soy paste. Among them the earliest one is () that appeared in AD 40 and was listed in (). Others are (), () and () which were recorded in the () in AD 540. By the time of the
Song dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
(960–1279 AD), the term ''soy sauce'' () had become the accepted name for the liquid condiment, documented in two books: () and '' Pujiang Wushi Zhongkuilu'' () during the
Song dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
(960–1279 AD). Like many salty condiments, soy sauce was originally a way to stretch
salt Salt is a mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific crystal structure that occurs naturally in pure fo ...

salt
, historically an expensive commodity. During the
Zhou dynasty The Zhou dynasty ( ; Old Chinese Old Chinese, also called Archaic Chinese in older works, is the oldest attested stage of Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China ...
of ancient China, fermented fish with salt was used as a condiment in which soybeans were included during the fermentation process. By the time of the
Han dynasty#REDIRECT Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second Dynasties in Chinese history, imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynas ...

Han dynasty
, this had been replaced with the recipe for soy paste and its by-product soy sauce, by using soybeans as the principal ingredient, with fermented fish-based sauces developing separately into
fish sauce Fish sauce is a liquid condiment A condiment is a sauce In cooking, a sauce is a liquid, cream, or semi-solid food, served on or used in preparing other foods. Most sauces are not normally consumed by themselves; they add flavor, moist ...

fish sauce
. The 19th century Sinologist
Samuel Wells Williams Samuel Wells Williams (22 September 1812 – 16 February 1884) was a linguist, official, missionary and Sinologist Sinology or Chinese studies, is an academic discipline that focuses on the study of China China, officially the People's Rep ...

Samuel Wells Williams
wrote that in China, the best soy sauce was "made by boiling beans soft, adding an equal quantity of wheat or barley, and leaving the mass to ferment; a portion of salt and three times as much water are afterwards put in, and the whole compound left for two or three months when the liquid is pressed and strained".


Japan

Originally, a common Japanese condiment was , which was fish based. When
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
came to Japan from China in the 7th century, they introduced vegetarianism and brought many soy-based products with them, such as soy sauce, which is known as in Japan. exportation began in 1647 by the
Dutch East India Company The Dutch East India Company, officially the United East India Company ( nl, Vereenigde Oost Indische Compagnie; VOC), was a multinational corporation A multinational company (MNC) is a corporate A corporation is an organization—u ...

Dutch East India Company
.


Korea

The earliest soy sauce brewing in
Korea Korea is a region In geography, regions are areas that are broadly divided by physical characteristics (physical geography), human impact characteristics (human geography), and the interaction of humanity and the environment (environmental ...

Korea
seems to have begun prior to the era of the
Three Kingdoms The Three Kingdoms () from 220 to 280 AD was the tripartite division of China among the states of Cao Wei, Wei, Shu Han, Shu, and Eastern Wu, Wu. The Three Kingdoms period started with the End of the Han dynasty, end of the Han dynasty#East ...
. The ''
Records of the Three Kingdoms The ''Records of the Three Kingdoms'' is a Chinese historical text which covers the history of the late Eastern Han dynasty (c. 184–220 CE) and the Three Kingdoms The Three Kingdoms () from 220 to 280 AD was the tripartite divisio ...
'', a
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...
historical text written and published in the 3rd century, mentions that "
Goguryeo Goguryeo (; , 37 BC–668 AD), also called Goryeo (; ), was a Korean kingdom located in the northern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula Korea is a region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally ...
people are good at brewing fermented soy beans", in the section named (Eastern foreigners), in the ''
Book of Wei The ''Book of Wei'', also known by its Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by popula ...
''. Jangdoks used for soy sauce brewing are found in the
mural 350px, Prehistoric Egyptian mural painted on a Nekhen tomb wall c. 3,500 B.C. with aspects in the Gerzeh culture style">Gerzeh_culture.html" ;"title="Nekhen tomb wall c. 3,500 B.C. with aspects in the Gerzeh culture">Nekhen tomb wall c. 3,500 ...

mural
paintings of Anak Tomb No. 3 from the 4th century
Goguryeo Goguryeo (; , 37 BC–668 AD), also called Goryeo (; ), was a Korean kingdom located in the northern and central parts of the Korean Peninsula Korea is a region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally ...
. In , a historical record of the
Three Kingdoms era The Three Kingdoms () from 220 to 280 AD was the tripartite division of China among the states of Wei, Shu Shu may refer to: China * Sichuan, China, officially abbreviated as Shu (蜀) * Shu (state) (conquered by Qin in 316 BC), an ancien ...
, it is written that (soy sauce) and (soybean paste) along with (soybean block) and (salted seafood) were prepared for the
wedding ceremony A wedding is a ceremony A ceremony (, ) is a unified ritual A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, actions, or objects, performed according to a set sequence. Rituals may be prescribed by the traditions of a c ...
of the King Sinmun in February 683. , a section from (History of Goryeo), recorded that and were included in the relief supplies in 1018, after a Khitan invasion, and in 1052, when a
famine A famine is a widespread scarcity of food Food is any substance consumed to provide nutritional support for an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual con ...

famine
occurred.
Joseon Joseon (also transcribed as Chosŏn, ko, 대조선국; 大朝鮮國, ) was a Korean dynastic kingdom that lasted for approximately five centuries. It was the last dynastic kingdom of Korea. It was founded by Yi Seong-gye Taejo of Joseon ...
texts such as and contain the detailed procedures on how to brew good quality and . explains how to pick a date for brewing, what to forbear, and how to keep and preserve and .


Europe

Records of the
Dutch East India Company The Dutch East India Company, officially the United East India Company ( nl, Vereenigde Oost Indische Compagnie; VOC), was a multinational corporation A multinational company (MNC) is a corporate A corporation is an organization—u ...

Dutch East India Company
list soy sauce as a commodity in 1737, when seventy-five large barrels were shipped from
Dejima was a Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Por ...

Dejima
, Japan, to Batavia (present-day
Jakarta Jakarta (; ), officially the Special Capital Region of Jakarta ( id, Daerah Khusus Ibukota Jakarta), is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the lette ...

Jakarta
) on the island of
Java Java ( id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 147.7 million people, Java is the world's List of ...

Java
. Thirty-five barrels from that shipment were then shipped to the Netherlands. In the 18th century, diplomat and scholar
Isaac Titsingh Isaac Titsingh FRS ( January 1745 – 2 February 1812) was a Dutch scholar, merchant-trader and ambassador.Nussbaum, Louis-Frédéric. (2005). "Isaak Titsingh" in . During a long career in East Asia, Titsingh was a senior official of the Dutch Ea ...
published accounts of brewing soy sauce. Although earlier descriptions of soy sauce had been disseminated in the West, his was among the earliest to focus specifically on the brewing of the Japanese version. By the mid-19th century, Japanese soy sauce gradually disappeared from the European market, and the condiment became synonymous with the Chinese product. Europeans were unable to make soy sauce because they did not understand the function of ''
Aspergillus oryzae ''Aspergillus oryzae'', also known as , is a filamentous The word filament, which is descended from Latin ''filum'' meaning "Thread (yarn), thread", is used in English for a variety of thread-like structures, including: In commerce * Fiber or, ...

Aspergillus oryzae
'', the fungus used in its brewing.Tanaka, p. 7. Soy sauce made from ingredients such as were disseminated in European cookbooks during the late 18th century. A Swedish recipe for was published in the 1770 edition of Cajsa Warg's and was flavored with
allspice Allspice, also known as Jamaica pepper, myrtle pepper, pimenta, or pimento, is the dried unripe berry A berry is a small, pulpy, and often edible fruit In botany, a fruit is the seed-bearing structure in flowering plants (also known ...
and
mace Mace may refer to: Arts and entertainment * Mace (G.I. Joe), a fictional character in the G.I. Joe universe * Mace, a fictional character in the 1995 film ''Strange Days (film), Strange Days'' * Mace, a fictional character in the 2007 film ''Sunsh ...

mace
.


United States

The first soy sauce production in the United States began in the
Territory of Hawaii The Territory of Hawaii or Hawaii Territory was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from April 30, 1900 until August 21, 1959, when most of its territory, excluding Palmyra Island alt=Palmyra in the mi ...
in 1908 by the Hawaiian Yamajo Soy Company.
La Choy La Choy (stylized La Choy 東) is a brand name of canned and prepackaged American Chinese cuisine, American Chinese food ingredients. The brand was purchased in 1990 from Beatrice Foods by ConAgra Foods during the Leveraged buyout, LBO firm Kohlber ...
started selling hydrolyzed vegetable protein based soy sauce in 1933.


Production

Soy sauce is made either by fermentation or by
hydrolysis Hydrolysis (; ) is any chemical reaction in which a molecule of water breaks one or more chemical bonds. The term is used broadly for substitution Substitution may refer to: Arts and media *Chord substitution, in music, swapping one chord fo ...

hydrolysis
. Some commercial sauces have both fermented and chemical sauces. Flavor, color, and aroma developments during production are attributed to non-enzymatic
Maillard browning The Maillard reaction ( ; ) is a chemical reaction between Amino acid, amino acids and Reducing sugar, reducing sugars that gives browned food its distinctive flavor. Searing, Seared steaks, fried dumplings, cookies and other kinds of biscuits, b ...
. Variation is usually achieved as the result of different methods and durations of
fermentation Fermentation is a metabolism, metabolic process that produces chemical changes in organic Substrate (chemistry), substrates through the action of enzymes. In biochemistry, it is narrowly defined as the extraction of energy from carbohydrates in ...
, different ratios of water,
salt Salt is a mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific crystal structure that occurs naturally in pure fo ...

salt
, and fermented soy, or through the addition of other ingredients.


Traditional

Traditional soy sauces are made by mixing soybeans and grain with mold cultures such as ''
Aspergillus oryzae ''Aspergillus oryzae'', also known as , is a filamentous The word filament, which is descended from Latin ''filum'' meaning "Thread (yarn), thread", is used in English for a variety of thread-like structures, including: In commerce * Fiber or, ...

Aspergillus oryzae
'' and other related
microorganism A microorganism, or microbe,, ''mikros'', "small") and ''organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes ...
s and yeasts (the resulting mixture is called in Japan; the term is used both for the mixture of soybeans, wheat, and mold as well as for the mold itself). Historically, the mixture was fermented naturally in large urns and under the sun, which was believed to contribute extra flavors. Today, the mixture is placed in a temperature and humidity controlled incubation chamber. Traditional soy sauces take months to make: # Soaking and cooking: The soybeans are soaked in water and boiled until cooked. Wheat is roasted, crushed. # culturing: Equal amounts of boiled soybeans and roasted wheat are mixed to form a grain mixture. A culture of Aspergillus spore is added to the grain mixture and mixed or the mixture is allowed to gather spores from the environment itself. The cultures include: #* ''
Aspergillus ''Aspergillus'' () is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), c ...

Aspergillus
'': a
genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology, taxonomy () is the scientific study of naming, defining (Circumscription (taxonomy), circumscribing) and classifying gr ...
of fungus that is used for fermenting various ingredients (the cultures are called in Japanese). Three species are used for brewing soy sauce: #** '''': Strains with high
proteolytic Proteolysis is the breakdown of proteins into smaller polypeptides or amino acids. Uncatalysed, the hydrolysis of peptide bonds is extremely slow, taking hundreds of years. Proteolysis is typically catalysed by cellular enzymes called proteases, bu ...

proteolytic
capacity are used for brewing soy sauce. #** '' A. sojae'': This fungus also has a high proteolytic capacity. #** '' A. tamarii'': This fungus is used for brewing , a variety of soy sauce. #* ''
Saccharomyces cerevisiae ''Saccharomyces cerevisiae'' () is a species of yeast Yeasts are eukaryotic Eukaryotes () are organism In biology, an organism () is any organic, life, living system that functions as an individual entity. All organisms are ...

Saccharomyces cerevisiae
'': the yeasts in the culture convert some of the sugars to ethanol which can undergo secondary reactions to make other flavor compounds #* Other microbes contained in the culture: #** ''Bacillus spp''. (genus): This organism is likely to grow in soy sauce ingredients, and to generate odors and ammonia. #** ''Lactobacillus species'': This organism makes a lactic acid that increases the acidity in the feed. # Brewing: The cultured grain mixture is mixed into a specific amount of salt
brine Brine is a high-concentration solution of salt (NaCl) in water (H2O). In different contexts, ''brine'' may refer to salt solutions ranging from about 3.5% (a typical concentration of seawater, on the lower end of solutions used for brining food ...

brine
for wet fermentation or with coarse salt for dry fermentation and left to brew. Over time, the Aspergillus mold on the soy and wheat break down the grain proteins into free amino acid and protein fragments and starches into simple sugars. This amino-glycosidic reaction gives soy sauce its dark brown color. Lactic acid bacteria ferments the sugars into lactic acid and yeast makes ethanol, which through aging and secondary fermentation makes numerous flavor compounds typical of soy sauce. # Pressing: The fully fermented grain slurry is placed into cloth-lined containers and pressed to separate the solids from the liquid soy sauce. The isolated solids are used as fertilizer or fed to animals while the liquid soy sauce is processed further. # Pasteurization: The raw soy sauce is heated to eliminate any active yeasts and molds remaining in the soy sauce and can be filtered to remove any fine particulates # Storage: The soy sauce can be aged or directly bottled and sold.


Acid-hydrolyzed vegetable protein

Some brands of soy sauce are made from acid-
hydrolyzed Hydrolysis (; ) is any chemical reaction in which a molecule of water breaks one or more chemical bonds. The term is used broadly for substitution, elimination, and solvation reactions in which water is the nucleophile In chemistry, a nucleop ...

hydrolyzed
soy protein Soy protein is a protein Proteins are large biomolecules or macromolecules that are comprised of one or more long chains of amino acid residue (biochemistry), residues. Proteins perform a vast array of functions within organisms, including Enzym ...
instead of brewed with a traditional culture. This takes about three days. Although they have a different flavor, aroma, and texture when compared to brewed soy sauces, they can be produced more quickly and cheaply, and also have a longer shelf life and are usually made for these reasons. The clear plastic packets of dark sauce common with Chinese-style take-out food typically use a hydrolyzed vegetable protein formula. Some higher-priced hydrolyzed vegetable protein products with no added sugar or colorings are sold as low-sodium soy sauce alternatives called "liquid aminos" in health food stores, similar to the way
salt substitute Salt substitutes are low-sodium Edible salt, table salt alternatives marketed to circumvent the risk of Hypertension, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease associated with a high intake of sodium chloride while maintaining a similar taste. ...
s are used. These products are, however, not necessarily low in sodium.


High-salt liquid-state fermented soy sauce

High-salt liquid-state fermentation (HLF) of soybeans depends heavily on microbial activity, metabolism and enzymatic hydrolysis of macro-nutrients. *During HLF, -infused soybeans are exposed to air so that hydrolytic enzymes of the mold can continuously break down macro-nutrients within the soybean. *Ample water, usually about 2 to 2.5 times the weight of the feed, is required to support sufficient microbial growth. *High amount of salt concentration (17–20%) is required to selectively inhibit microbial activity. * HLF is generally carried out under , and requires long ageing period, usually from 90–180 days. In the aging period, constant stirring of (a mash/mixture of wheat (optionally), salt, soy beans, water, and fermenting yeast) is required for distributing nutrients, as well as flavoring compounds evenly. In some cases, moromi is exposed to direct sunlight to facilitate the decomposition of macro-nutrients. *Due to the high salinity of HLF moromi, only anaerobic halophile can survive in the medium. Beside the temperature range narrows down the growth condition to allow only the growth of mesophiles. Similar to the fermentation of pickle, the primary lactic acid fermentation of sugars by halophiles reduces the pH of moromi down to acidic range. Lowered pH further limited the growth of undesirable microbes, but favors the growth of fermentative yeast which contributes to secondary fermentation that generate various flavoring compounds and odorants.


Low-salt solid-state fermented soy sauce

LSF, also referred as rapid fermenting, is a modern fermentation method invented in response to high market demand. *Compared to HLF, LSF employs pure cultures at a relatively higher temperature () and lower brine solution concentrations (13–15%). In LSF, koji is mixed with the equivalent weight of brine to form solid moromi. *The elevated temperature accelerates the fermentation process significantly. Due to the short aging (15–30 days) period of LSF, and low production cost, LSF soy sauce accounts for more share of the Chinese soy sauce market.


Chemical composition

The chemical composition of soy sauce is affected by proportions raw materials, fermentation methodologies, fermenting molds and strains, and post-fermentation treatments. Although the formation mechanism of chemical composition in soy sauce is complex, it has been widely accepted that free amino acids, water-soluble peptides and
Maillard reaction The Maillard reaction ( ; ) is a chemical reaction A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the chemical transformation of one set of chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general ...
products in soy sauce are considered as essential chemical composition and to provide core sensory effects. The primary fermentation of lowers the pH of the , and this directly results in the acidic pH range (4.4–5.4) of soy sauce products. The secondary fermentation conducted by heterofermentative microbes provides soy sauce with a wide range of flavor and odorant compounds by breaking down macro-nutrients. Soy proteins and grain proteins are
hydrolyzed Hydrolysis (; ) is any chemical reaction in which a molecule of water breaks one or more chemical bonds. The term is used broadly for substitution, elimination, and solvation reactions in which water is the nucleophile In chemistry, a nucleop ...

hydrolyzed
into short peptide chains and free amino acids, which adds umami to the product. Based on the result of free amino acid analysis, the most abundant amino acids in Chinese soy sauce product are
glutamic acid Glutamic acid (symbol Glu or E; the ionic form is known as glutamate) is an α-amino acid Amino acids are organic compound , CH4; is among the simplest organic compounds. In chemistry, organic compounds are generally any chemical compound ...
, aspartic acid,
alanine Alanine (symbol Ala or A) is an α-amino acid Amino acids are organic compound In , organic compounds are generally any s that contain - . Due to carbon's ability to (form chains with other carbon s), millions of organic compounds are ...

alanine
and
leucine Leucine (symbol Leu or L) is an essential amino acid An essential amino acid, or indispensable amino acid, is an amino acid Amino acids are organic compounds that contain amino (–NH2) and Carboxylic acid, carboxyl (–COOH) functional gro ...

leucine
.
Starch Starch or amylum is a polymeric A polymer (; Greek '' poly-'', "many" + '' -mer'', "part") is a substance Substance may refer to: * Substance (Jainism), a term in Jain ontology to denote the base or owner of attributes * Chemical substance ...
is hydrolyzed into simple sugars which contribute to the sweet flavor in soy sauce. Legume fats may also be decomposed into
short chain fatty acidsShort-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) are fatty acids with fewer than six carbon atoms. Derived from intestine, intestinal microbe, microbial fermentation of indigestible foods, SCFAs are the main energy source of Gastrointestinal_tract#Mucosa, colonocytes ...
, and the interactions among lipids and other macronutrients also result in a richer flavor in the final product. Non-enzymatic browning also contributes significantly to the development of the properties of soy sauce. The hydrolysis of proteins and large carbohydrates also provides free amino acids and simple sugars as reagents for the
Maillard reaction The Maillard reaction ( ; ) is a chemical reaction A chemical reaction is a process that leads to the chemical transformation of one set of chemical substance A chemical substance is a form of matter In classical physics and general ...
. Soy sauce may contain more than 1% alcohol and may run afoul of liquor control legislation.


Sensory profile

The taste of soy sauce is predominated by saltiness, followed by moderate umami, sweet taste, and finally slight bitterness, which is hard to perceive due to the masking effect of other tastes. The overall flavor of soy sauce is a result of the balance and interaction among different taste components. The saltiness is largely attributed to the presence of (common salt) in brine. The sugars hydrolyzed from starch add sweetness into soy sauce. Umami is largely caused by the presence of free amino acids. Additionally, the interaction between glutamine and sodium cation may have given rise to sodium glutamate (MSG), which can further contribute to the umami flavor. Basic tastes can also be attributed to amino acid groups arranged in specific sequence. In soy sauce, it was found that "amino acids were grouped as MSG-like (monosodium glutamate-like) (Asp+Glu), sweet (Ala+Gly+Ser+Thr), bitter (Arg+His+Ile+Leu+Met+Phe+Trp+Try+Val), and tasteless (Cys+Lys+Pro)". Despite a large variety of volatile and odorant compounds that have been identified in soy sauce, the food product ''per se'' does not present a strong aroma. Alcohols, acids, esters, aldehydes, ketones, phenols, heterocyclic compounds, alkynes and benzenes have been identified in Chinese soy sauces. An explanation for this observation is that the aroma of soy sauce does not depend largely on the aroma-active compounds. The subtle aroma is a result of a "critical balance" achieved among all volatile and odorant compounds, whose respective concentrations are relatively low.


Variations by country

Soy sauce is widely used as an important flavoring and has been integrated into the traditional cuisines of many East Asian and Southeast Asian cultures. Despite their rather similar appearance, soy sauces made in different cultures and regions are different in taste, consistency, fragrance and saltiness. Soy sauce retains its quality longer when kept away from direct sunlight.


Burmese

Burmese soy sauce production is dated back to the Bagan Era in the 9th and 10th century. Scripts written in praise of ''pe ngan byar yay'' (, literally "bean fish sauce") were found. Thick soy sauce is called ''kya nyo'' (, from Chinese ''jiàngyóu'').


Chinese

Chinese soy sauces (; or alternatively, ; ) are primarily made from
soybean The soybean, soy bean, or soya bean (''Glycine max'') is a species of legume A legume () is a plant in the family Fabaceae (or Leguminosae), or the fruit or seed of such a plant. When used as a dry grain, the seed is also called a pulse. Leg ...

soybean
s, with relatively low amounts of other grains. Chinese soy sauce can be roughly split into two classes: brewed or blended. Chinese soy sauces can also be classified into Low-Salt Solid-State fermented soy sauce (LSF), and High-Salt Liquid-State fermented soy sauce (HLF).


Brewed

Soy sauce that has been brewed directly from a fermentation process using wheat, soybeans, salt, and water without additional additives. * Light or fresh soy sauce (; or ; ): is a thin (low viscosity), opaque, lighter brown soy sauce, brewed by first culturing steamed wheat and soybeans with ''Aspergillus'', and then letting the mixture ferment in brine. It is the main soy sauce used for seasoning, since it is saltier, has less noticeable color, and also adds a distinct flavor. ** ''Tóu chōu'' (): A light soy sauce made from the first pressing of the soybeans, this can be loosely translated as "first soy sauce" or referred to as premium light soy sauce. ''Tóu chōu'' is sold at a premium because, like extra virgin olive oil, the flavor of the first pressing is considered superior. Due to its delicate flavor it is used primarily for seasoning light dishes and for dipping. ** ''Shuāng huáng'' (): A light soy sauce that is double-fermented by using the light soy sauce from another batch to take the place of brine for a second brewing. This adds further complexity to the flavor of the light soy sauce. Due to its complex flavor this soy sauce is used primarily for dipping. * Yìn yóu (): A darker soy sauce brewed primarily in Taiwan by culturing only steamed soybeans with ''Aspergillus'' and mixing the cultured soybeans with coarse rock salt before undergoing prolonged dry fermentation. The flavor of this soy sauce is complex and rich and is used for dipping or in red cooking. For the former use, yìn yóu can be thickened with starch to make a thick soy sauce.


Blended

Additives with sweet or umami tastes are sometimes added to a finished brewed soy sauce to modify its taste and texture. * (; ), a darker and slightly thicker soy sauce made from light soy sauce. This soy sauce is made through prolonged aging and may contain added
caramel color Caramel color or caramel coloring is a water-soluble food coloring. It is made by heat treatment of carbohydrate is a disaccharide found in animal milk. It consists of a molecule of D-galactose and a molecule of D-glucose bonded by beta-1-4 g ...
and/or
molasses Molasses () or black treacle Treacle () is any uncrystallised syrup In cooking Cooking or cookery is the art, science, and craft of using heat to Outline of food preparation, prepare food for consumption. Cooking techniques and ingredi ...

molasses
to give it its distinctive appearance. It has a richer, slightly sweeter, and less salty flavor than light soy sauce. This variety is mainly used during cooking, since its flavor develops during heating. Dark soy sauce is mainly used to add color and flavor to a dish after cooking. One of the strongest varieties is known as "double black" (双老头抽) ** ''Mushroom dark soy'' ( ''cǎogū lǎochōu''): In the finishing and aging process of making dark soy sauce, the broth of '' Volvariella volvacea'' (straw mushroom) is mixed into the soy sauce and is then exposed to the sun to make this type of dark soy. The added broth gives this soy sauce a richer flavor than plain dark soy sauce. ** ''Thick soy sauce'' ( ''jiàng yóu gāo''), is a dark soy sauce that has been thickened with heat and sugar, occasionally a starch thickener and are used. This sauce is often used as a
dipping sauce A dip or dipping sauce is a common condiment Image:Salt, sugar and pepper shakers.jpg, Salt, black pepper, pepper, and sugar are commonly placed on Western restaurant tables. A condiment is a spice, sauce, or preparation that is added to food, a ...
or finishing sauce and poured on food as a flavorful addition. However, due to its sweetness and caramelized flavors from its production process the sauce is also used in red cooking. * Shrimp soy sauce ( ''Xiā zǐ jiàngyóu''): Fresh soy sauce is simmered with fresh shrimp and finished with sugar,
baijiu ''Baijiu'' (), also known as ''shaojiu'' (/), is a colourless liquor Liquor or spirit (also hard liquor, or distilled alcohol) is an alcoholic drink An alcoholic drink is a drink A drink (or beverage) is a liquid A liquid ...
(type of distilled liquor, 白酒), and spices. A specialty of
Suzhou Suzhou (; ; , Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucrat is a member of a bureaucracy and c ...

Suzhou
.


Filipino

In the Philippines, soy sauce is called ''toyo'' in the
native languages A first language, native tongue, native language, or mother/father/parent tongue (also known as arterial language or L1), is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), ...
, derived from ''tau-yu'' in
Philippine Hokkien Philippine Hokkien is a dialect of the Hokkien Hokkien () is a Southern Min Southern Min (), Minnan (Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extensi ...
. Philippine soy sauce is usually a combination of soybeans, wheat, salt, and caramel color. It is thinner in texture and has a saltier taste than its Southeast Asian counterparts. It is most similar to the Japanese ''koikuchi shōyu'' in terms of consistency and the use of wheat, though ''toyo'' is a bit saltier and darker in color. ''Toyo'' is used as a marinade, an ingredient in cooked dishes, and most often as a table condiment, usually alongside other sauces such as
fish sauce Fish sauce is a liquid condiment A condiment is a sauce In cooking, a sauce is a liquid, cream, or semi-solid food, served on or used in preparing other foods. Most sauces are not normally consumed by themselves; they add flavor, moist ...

fish sauce
(''patís'') and sugar cane vinegar (''sukà''). It is often mixed and served with the juice of the
calamansi Calamansi (''Citrus'' × ''microcarpa''), also known as calamondin, Philippine lime, or Philippine lemon, is an economically important citrus fruit, citrus hybrid (biology), hybrid predominantly cultivated in the Philippines. It is native to the ...
( × ''Citrofortunella microcarpa''; also called calamondin, ''limonsito''). The combination is known as ''toyomansî'', which can be comparable to the Japanese ''
ponzu is a citrus ''Citrus'' is a of trees and s in the family, . Plants in the genus produce citrus fruits, including important crops such as , , s, s, and . The genus ''Citrus'' is native to , , , , and . Various citrus species have been ...
'' sauce (soy sauce with
yuzu Yuzu (''Citrus junos'', from Japanese or ) is a citrus ''Citrus'' is a of trees and s in the family, . Plants in the genus produce citrus fruits, including important crops such as , , s, s, and . The genus ''Citrus'' is native to , ...

yuzu
). ''Toyo'' is also a main ingredient in
Philippine adobo Philippine ''adobo'' (from Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River ...
, one of the more famous dishes of Filipino cuisine.


Hawaiian

Soy sauce is a very popular condiment and marinade for many dishes in the
Hawaiian cuisine The cuisine of Hawaii incorporates five distinct styles of food, reflecting the diverse food history of settlement and immigration in the Hawaiian Islands. In the pre-contact period of Ancient Hawaii (300 AD-1778), Polynesian navigation, Pol ...
. ''Aloha shoyu'' is soy sauce made on the Islands. Soy sauce is known by its Japanese name (less commonly ), in Hawaii.


Indonesian

In
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indonesia
, soy sauce is known as ''kecap'' (old spelling: ''ketjap''), which is a catch-all term for fermented
sauces In cooking Cooking or cookery is the art, science, and craft of using heat to Outline of food preparation, prepare food for consumption. Cooking techniques and ingredients vary widely across the Earth, world, from grilling food over an open ...

sauces
, and
cognate In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Itali ...
to the English word "
ketchup Ketchup or catsup is a type of table condiment Image:Salt, sugar and pepper shakers.jpg, Salt, black pepper, pepper, and sugar are commonly placed on Western restaurant tables. A condiment is a spice, sauce, or preparation that is added to fo ...

ketchup
". The most popular type of soy sauce in Indonesian cuisine is ''kecap manis'' or
sweet soy sauce Sweet soy sauce ( id, kecap manis) is a sweetened aromatic soy sauce, originating in Indonesia, which has a darker color, a viscous syrupy consistency and a molasses-like flavor due to the generous addition of palm sugar. ''Kecap manis'' is widely ...

sweet soy sauce
. The term ''kecap'' is also used to describe other non-soy-based sauces, such as ''kecap ikan'' (
fish sauce Fish sauce is a liquid condiment A condiment is a sauce In cooking, a sauce is a liquid, cream, or semi-solid food, served on or used in preparing other foods. Most sauces are not normally consumed by themselves; they add flavor, moist ...

fish sauce
) and ''kecap Inggris'' (
worcestershire sauce Worcestershire sauce ( ) is a Fermentation in food processing, fermented liquid condiment created in the city of Worcester, England, Worcester in Worcestershire, England, during the first half of the 19th century. The creators were the pharmacis ...
; lit. "English sauce", due to Worcestershire sauce originating in England). Three common varieties of soy-based ''kecap'' exist in
Indonesian cuisine Indonesian cuisine is a collection of various regional culinary Culinary arts, in which ''wikt:culinary, culinary'' means "related to cooking", are the cuisine arts of outline of food preparation, food preparation, cooking, and presentatio ...
, used either as ingredients or
condiment A condiment is a sauce In , a sauce is a , , or semi- food, served on or used in preparing other s. Most sauces are not normally consumed by themselves; they add flavor, moisture, and visual appeal to a dish. ''Sauce'' is a word taken fro ...
s: * ''Kecap manis'': Sweetened soy sauce, which has a thick syrupy consistency and a unique, pronounced, sweet somewhat
treacle Treacle () is any uncrystallised syrup In cooking Cooking, cookery, or culinary arts is the art, science, and craft of using heat In thermodynamics, heat is energy in transfer to or from a thermodynamic system, by mechanisms othe ...

treacle
-like flavor due to generous addition of
palm sugar Palm sugar is a sweetener A sugar substitute is a food additive that provides a sweetness, sweet taste like that of sugar while containing significantly less food energy than sugar-based sweeteners, making it a zero-calorie (non-nutritive ...
. Regular soy with brown sugar and a trace of molasses added can substitute. It is by far the most popular type of soy sauce employed in
Indonesian cuisine Indonesian cuisine is a collection of various regional culinary Culinary arts, in which ''wikt:culinary, culinary'' means "related to cooking", are the cuisine arts of outline of food preparation, food preparation, cooking, and presentatio ...
, accounts for an estimated 90 percent of the nation's total soy sauce production. ''Kecap manis'' is an important sauce in Indonesian signature dishes, such as ''
nasi goreng ''Nasi goreng'' (English pronunciation: ) is a Southeast Asian fried rice Fried rice is a dish of cooked rice that has been stir frying, stir-fried in a wok or a frying pan and is usually mixed with other ingredients such as egg (food), egg ...

nasi goreng
'', ''
mie goreng Mie goreng ( id, mie goreng or mi goreng; meaning "fried noodles"), also known as bakmi goreng, is an Indonesian Indonesian is anything of, from, or related to Indonesia, an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. It may refer to: * Indonesia ...

mie goreng
'',
satay Satay ( , in USA also ), or sate in Indonesian Indonesian is anything of, from, or related to Indonesia, an archipelagic country in Southeast Asia. It may refer to: * Indonesians, citizens of Indonesia ** Native Indonesians, diverse groups ...

satay
, '''' and '' semur''. ''Sambal kecap'' for example is type of ''
sambal Sambal is a chilli sauce Chili sauce and chili paste are condiment A condiment is a sauce In cooking, a sauce is a liquid, cream, or semi-solid food, served on or used in preparing other foods. Most sauces are not normally consumed ...
'' dipping sauce of kecap manis with sliced chili, tomato and shallot, a popular dipping sauce for ''sate kambing'' (goat meat satay) and ''ikan bakar'' (grilled fish/seafood). Since soy sauce is of Chinese origin, ''kecap asin'' is also an important seasoning in
Chinese Indonesian cuisine Chinese Indonesian cuisine ( id, Masakan Tionghoa-Indonesia) is characterized by the mixture of Chinese cuisine, Chinese with local cuisine of Indonesia, Indonesian style. Chinese Indonesians, mostly descendant of Han chinese, Han ethnic Hokkie ...
. * ''Kecap manis sedang'': Medium sweet soy sauce, which has a less thick consistency, is less sweet and has a saltier taste than ''kecap manis''. * ''Kecap asin'': Regular soy sauce derived from the Japanese ''shoyu'', but are usually more concentrated, thicker, darker color and stronger flavor; it can be replaced by Chinese light soy sauce in some recipes. Salty soy sauce was first introduced into Indonesia by
Hokkien people The Hoklo people are Han Chinese The Han Chinese (), or the Han people (), is an East Asian East Asia is the east East is one of the four cardinal direction The four cardinal directions, or cardinal points, are the direction ...
so its taste resembles that of Chinese soy sauce.
Hakka The Hakka (), sometimes also referred to as Hakka Han, or Hakka Chinese, are a Han Chinese The Han Chinese (), or the Han people (), is an East Asian East Asia is the east East is one of the four cardinal direction The fou ...
soy sauce made from black beans is very salty and large productions are mainly made in
Bangka Island Bangka (or sometimes Banka) is an island lying east of Sumatra Sumatra is one of the Sunda Islands of western Indonesia. It is the largest island that is fully within Indonesian territory, as well as the list of islands by area, sixth-largest ...
.


Japanese

is traditionally divided into five main categories depending on differences in their ingredients and method of production. Most, but not all, Japanese soy sauces include wheat as a primary ingredient, which tends to give them a slightly sweeter taste than their Chinese counterparts. They also tend towards an alcoholic
sherry Sherry ( es, jerez ) is a fortified wine , a fortified wine Fortified wine is a wine Wine is an alcoholic drink typically made from fermented grape juice. Yeast Yeasts are eukaryotic, single-celled microorganisms classified as me ...

sherry
-like flavor, sometimes enhanced by the addition of small amounts of alcohol as a natural
preservative A preservative is a substance or a chemical that is added to products such as food products, beverages, pharmaceutical drugs A medication (also referred to as medicine, pharmaceutical drug, medicinal drug or simply drug) is a drug File: ...
. The widely varying flavors of these soy sauces are not always interchangeable, some recipes only call for one type or the other, much as a white wine cannot replace a red's flavor or beef stock does not make the same results as
fish stock Fish stock or stock fish may also refer to: *Fish stocks Fish stocks are population, subpopulations of a particular species of fish, for which intrinsic parameters (growth, recruitment, mortality and fishing mortality) are traditionally regarded ...
. Some soy sauces made in the Japanese way or styled after them contain about 50% wheat.


Varieties

* : Originating in the
Kantō region The is a geography, geographical area of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. In a common definition, the region includes the Greater Tokyo Area and encompasses seven Prefectures of Japan, prefectures: Gunma Prefecture, Gunma, Tochigi Prefe ...
, its usage eventually spread all over Japan. Over 80% of the Japanese domestic soy sauce production is of , and can be considered the typical Japanese soy sauce. It is made from roughly equal quantities of soybean and wheat. This variety is also called or when it is not
pasteurized Pasteurization or pasteurisation is a process in which packaged and non-packaged foods (such as milk Milk is a nutrient-rich liquid food produced by the mammary gland A mammary gland is an exocrine gland in humans and other mammal ...
. * : Almost 14% of soy sauce production is . It is particularly popular in the
Kansai The or the , lies in the southern-central region of Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or ...
region of Japan. It matures for less time than and is both saltier and lighter in color. It is paler due to the use in its production of , a sweet liquid made from fermented rice. is commonly used in cooking as it does not alter the color and taste of the ingredients. * : Made mainly in the
Chūbu region The , Central region, or is a region in the middle of Honshū , historically called , is the largest and most populous main island of Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or ...
of Japan, is darker in appearance and richer in flavor than . It contains little or no wheat. Wheat-free can be used by people with
gluten intolerance Gluten-related disorders is the term for the diseases triggered by gluten Gluten is a group of seed storage protein Proteins are large biomolecules or macromolecules that are comprised of one or more long chains of amino acid residue (biochem ...
. Tamari is more viscous than . Of soy sauce produced in Japan, 1.5% is . It is the "original" Japanese soy sauce, as its recipe is closest to the soy sauce originally introduced to Japan from China. Technically, this variety is known as , as this is the liquid that runs off
miso is a traditional Japanese cuisine, Japanese seasoning produced by fermentation (food), fermenting soybeans with salt and ''kōji'' (the fungus ''Aspergillus oryzae'') and sometimes rice, barley, seaweed, or other ingredients. The result is a ...

miso
(a soybean-based seasoning and soup base) as it matures. The Japanese word is derived from the verb , referring to the fact that was traditionally a liquid byproduct made during the fermentation of miso. Japan remains the leading producer of , though it has also become popular in the United States. is often used for sashimi. Oftentimes, other varieties of soy sauce for sashimi are inaccurately referred to as tamari shoyu. The back label in Japan, by law, will clarify whether or not it is actually tamari. * : In contrast to soy sauce, uses mostly wheat and very little soybean, lending it a light appearance and sweet taste. It is more commonly used in the Kansai region to highlight the appearances of food, for example
sashimi is a Japanese delicacy consisting of fresh raw fish Raw is an adjective usually describing: * Raw materials, basic materials from which products are manufactured or made * Raw food, uncooked food Raw or RAW may also refer to: Computing * .RA ...

sashimi
. used to be used a lot in high-class cookery and is generally not available abroad. Its main use is for pickles. Of soy sauce production in Japan, 0.7% is . * : This variety substitutes previously made ''koikuchi'' for the brine normally used in the process. Consequently, it is much darker and more strongly flavored. This type is also known as . Of soy sauce production in Japan, 0.8% is . * is a variety of soy sauce made exclusively in Yanai, a city in
Yamaguchi Prefecture is a prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. T ...
. It is handmade and is less salty and less sweet than . Newer varieties of Japanese soy sauce include: * : This version contains 50% less salt than regular soy sauce for consumers concerned about heart disease. * : This version contains 20% less salt than regular soy sauce. All of these varieties are sold in three different grades according to how they were made: * : Contains 100% genuine fermented product * : Contains genuine fermented mash mixed with 30–50% of chemical or
enzymatic Enzymes () are protein Proteins are large biomolecules and macromolecules that comprise one or more long chains of amino acid residue (biochemistry), residues. Proteins perform a vast array of functions within organisms, including Enzyme ...
hydrolysate of plant protein * : Contains or mixed with 30–50% of chemical or enzymatic hydrolysate of plant protein All the varieties and grades may be sold according to three official levels of quality: * : standard grade, contains more than 1.2% total nitrogen * : upper grade, contains more than 1.35% of total nitrogen * : special grade, contains more than 1.5% of total nitrogen


Korean

In South Korea, soy sauces or ''ganjang'' (, "seasoning sauce") can be roughly split into two categories: ''hansik ganjang'' ('Korean-style soy sauce') and ('modernized soy sauce'). The term can also refer to non-soy-based salty condiments, such as
fish sauce Fish sauce is a liquid condiment A condiment is a sauce In cooking, a sauce is a liquid, cream, or semi-solid food, served on or used in preparing other foods. Most sauces are not normally consumed by themselves; they add flavor, moist ...

fish sauce
''.


''Hansik ganjang''

(, 'Korean-style soy sauce') is made entirely of fermented soybean (
meju ''Meju'' () is a brick of dried fermented soybean The soybean, soy bean, or soya bean (''Glycine max'') is a species of legume A legume () is a plant in the family Fabaceae (or Leguminosae), or the fruit or seed of such a plant. When use ...
) and
brine Brine is a high-concentration solution of salt (NaCl) in water (H2O). In different contexts, ''brine'' may refer to salt solutions ranging from about 3.5% (a typical concentration of seawater, on the lower end of solutions used for brining food ...

brine
. It is a byproduct of ''
doenjang ''Doenjang'' (; "thick sauce") or soybean paste is a type of fermented bean paste A bowl of ''doenjang'', Korean fermented soybean paste Fermented bean paste is a category of Fermentation (food), fermented foods typically made from ground so ...

doenjang
'' (fermented soybean paste) production, and has a unique fermented soybean flavour. Both lighter in colour and saltier than other Korean ganjang varieties, ''hansik ganjang'' is used mainly in
guk ''Guk'' (), also sometimes known as ''tang'' (), is a class of soup-like dishes in Korean cuisine Korean cuisine has evolved through centuries of social and political change. Originating from ancient agricultural and nomadic tradition ...
(soup) and
namul Namul ( ko, 나물) refers to either a variety of edible grass or leaves or seasoned herbal dishes made of them. Wild greens are called ''san-namul'' (, "mountain namul"), and spring vegetables are called ''bom-namul'' (, "spring namul"). On th ...
(seasoned vegetable dish) in modern
Korean cuisine Korean cuisine has evolved through centuries of social and political change. Originating from ancient agricultural and nomadic traditions in Korea Korea is a region in East Asia. Since 1945, it has been divided between two countries at ...

Korean cuisine
. Common names for ''hansik ganjang'' include ''jaeraesik ganjang'' (, "traditional soy sauce"), ''
Joseon Joseon (also transcribed as Chosŏn, ko, 대조선국; 大朝鮮國, ) was a Korean dynastic kingdom that lasted for approximately five centuries. It was the last dynastic kingdom of Korea. It was founded by Yi Seong-gye Taejo of Joseon ...
-ganjang'' (, "
Joseon Joseon (also transcribed as Chosŏn, ko, 대조선국; 大朝鮮國, ) was a Korean dynastic kingdom that lasted for approximately five centuries. It was the last dynastic kingdom of Korea. It was founded by Yi Seong-gye Taejo of Joseon ...
soy sauce"), and ''guk-ganjang'' (, "soup soy sauce"). The homebrewed variety is also called ''jip-ganjang'' (, "home soy sauce"). Depending on the length of aging, ''hansik ganjang'' can be divided into three main varieties: clear, middle, and dark. * ''Haet-ganjang'' (, "new soy sauce") – soy sauce aged for a year. Also called ''cheongjang'' (, "clear soy sauce"). * ''Jung-ganjang'' (, "middle soy sauce") – soy sauce aged for three to four years. * ''Jin-ganjang'' (, "dark soy sauce") – soy sauce aged for more than five years. Also called ''jinjang'' (, "aged soy sauce"), ''nongjang'' (, "thick soy sauce"), or ''jingamjang'' (, "aged mature soy sauce"). Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety's Food Code classifies ''hansik-ganjang'' into two categories by their ingredients. * ''Jaerae-hansik-ganjang'' (, "traditional Korean-style soy sauce") – made with traditional style
meju ''Meju'' () is a brick of dried fermented soybean The soybean, soy bean, or soya bean (''Glycine max'') is a species of legume A legume () is a plant in the family Fabaceae (or Leguminosae), or the fruit or seed of such a plant. When use ...
and brine. * ''Gaeryang-hansik-ganjang'' (, "modernized Korean-style soy sauce") – made with nontraditional
meju ''Meju'' () is a brick of dried fermented soybean The soybean, soy bean, or soya bean (''Glycine max'') is a species of legume A legume () is a plant in the family Fabaceae (or Leguminosae), or the fruit or seed of such a plant. When use ...
(which can be made of regular
soybean The soybean, soy bean, or soya bean (''Glycine max'') is a species of legume A legume () is a plant in the family Fabaceae (or Leguminosae), or the fruit or seed of such a plant. When used as a dry grain, the seed is also called a pulse. Leg ...

soybean
,
rice Rice is the seed A seed is an embryonic ''Embryonic'' is the twelfth studio album by experimental rock band the Flaming Lips released on October 13, 2009, on Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. The band's first double album, it was relea ...

rice
, barley, wheat, or soybean meal, and ripened using traditional method or ''Aspergillus'') and brine.


''Gaeryang ganjang''

''Gaeryang-ganjang'' (, "modernized soy sauce"), referring to varieties of soy sauces not made of
meju ''Meju'' () is a brick of dried fermented soybean The soybean, soy bean, or soya bean (''Glycine max'') is a species of legume A legume () is a plant in the family Fabaceae (or Leguminosae), or the fruit or seed of such a plant. When use ...
, is now the most widely used type of soy sauce in modern
Korean cuisine Korean cuisine has evolved through centuries of social and political change. Originating from ancient agricultural and nomadic traditions in Korea Korea is a region in East Asia. Since 1945, it has been divided between two countries at ...

Korean cuisine
. The word ''ganjang'' without modifiers in bokkeum (stir-fry), jorim (braised or simmered dishes), and jjim (steamed dishes) recipes usually mean ''gaeryang-ganjang''. Another common name of ''gaeryang-ganjang'' is ''jin-ganjang'' (, "dark soy sauce"), because ''gaeryang-ganjang'' varieties are usually darker in appearance compared to traditional ''hansik ganjang''. Having been introduced to Korea during the Korea under Japanese rule, era of Japanese forced occupation, ''garyang ganjang'' is also called ''Wae-ganjang'' (, "Wa (Japan), Wae soy sauce"). Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety's Food Code classifies ''gaeryang-ganjang'' into four categories by their method of production. * Brewed soy sauce (, ''yangjo-ganjang'') – made by fermenting soybean, soybean meal, or other grains with saline solution. * Acid-hydrolyzed soy sauce () – made by hydrolyzing raw materials containing protein with acid. * Enzyme-hydrolyzed soy sauce () – made by hydrolyzing raw materials containing protein with enzyme. * Blended soy sauce () – Also called mixed soy sauce, blended soy sauce can be made by blending ''hansik-ganjang'' (Korean-style soy sauce) or ''yangjo-ganjang'' (brewed soy sauce) with acid-hydrolyzed soy sauce or enzyme-hydrolyzed soy sauce.


Other

* ''Eo-ganjang'' (, "
fish sauce Fish sauce is a liquid condiment A condiment is a sauce In cooking, a sauce is a liquid, cream, or semi-solid food, served on or used in preparing other foods. Most sauces are not normally consumed by themselves; they add flavor, moist ...

fish sauce
"): Made mainly in Jejudo, Jeju island, ''eo-ganjang'' is a soy sauce substitute made of ''jeotgal'' (fermented fish).


Malaysian and Singaporean

Malays from Malaysia, using the Malay dialect similar to Indonesian, use the word ''kicap'' for soy sauce. ''Kicap'' is traditionally of two types: ''kicap lemak'' (lit "fat/rich soy sauce") and ''kicap cair''. ''Kicap lemak'' is similar to Indonesian ''kecap manis'' but with very much less sugar while ''kicap cair'' is the Malaysian equivalent of ''kecap asin''.


Sri Lankan

Soy sauce ( si, සෝයා සෝස්) is a popular food product used in Sri Lanka and is a major ingredient used in the nationally popular street food dish, Kottu. Soy sauce has largely been produced by the Chinese people in Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan Chinese community but its production has also spread to other communities in Sri Lanka. Soy sauce production in Sri Lanka is the same as the production of soy sauce in Indonesia. Fermentation occurs over a period of three months. The soy beans which are steeped in brine are then pressed to obtain a liquid sauce.


Taiwanese

The history of soy sauce making in Taiwan can be traced back to southeastern China, in the provinces of Fujian and Guangdong. Taiwanese soy sauce is known for its douchi, black bean variant, known as black bean soy sauce (黑豆蔭油), which takes longer to make (about 6 months). Most major soy sauce makers in Taiwan make soy sauce from soybeans and wheat, and are widely popular, and are available in many Oriental Foods and Grocery Stores. Some make black bean soy sauce, which is very widely used in Chinese and Oriental cooking as an excellent flavor enhancer.


Thai

In Thailand, soy sauce is called ''sii-íu'' ( th, ซีอิ๊ว). ''Sii-íu kǎao'' ( th, ซีอิ๊วขาว, 'white soy sauce') is used as regular soy sauce in Thai cuisine, while ''sii-íu dam'' ( th, ซีอิ๊วดำ, 'black soy sauce') is used primarily for colour. Another darker-coloured variety, ''sii-íu wǎan'' ( th, ซีอิ๊วหวาน, 'sweet soy sauce') is used for dipping sauces. ''Sɔ́ɔt prung rót'' ( th, ซอสปรุงรส, 'seasoning sauce') is also commonly used in modern Thai cuisine.


Vietnamese

In Vietnam, Chinese-style soy sauce is called ''xì dầu'' (derived from the Cantonese name 豉油) or ''nước tương''. The term "soy sauce" could also imply other condiments and soy bean paste with thick consistency known as ''tương''. Both are used mostly as a seasoning or dipping sauce for a number of dishes. Vietnamese cuisine itself favors
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in cooking but ''nước tương'' has a clear presence in vegetarian cuisine.


Nutrition

A study by the National University of Singapore showed that Chinese dark soy sauce contains 10 times the antioxidants of red wine. Unpasteurized soy sauce is rich in lactic acid bacteria and of excellent anti-allergic potential. Soy sauce does not contain the level of isoflavones associated with other soy products such as tofu or edamame. It can also be very edible salt, salty, having a salt content between 14–18%. Low-sodium soy sauces are made, but it is difficult to make soy sauce without using some quantity of salt as an antimicrobial agent. A serving of of soy sauce contains, according to the USDA: * Energy : 60 kcal * Fat: 0.1 g * Carbohydrates: 5.57 g * Fibers: 0.8 g * Protein: 10.51 g * Sodium: 6 g


Carcinogens

Soy sauce may contain ethyl carbamate, a List of IARC Group 2A carcinogens, Group 2A carcinogen. In 2001, the United Kingdom Food Standards Agency found in testing various soy sauces manufactured in mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Thailand (made from hydrolyzed soy protein, rather than being naturally fermented) that 22% of tested samples contained a chemical carcinogen named 3-MCPD (3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol) at levels considerably higher than those deemed safe by the EU. About two-thirds of these samples also contained a second carcinogenic chemical named 1,3-Dichloropropan-2-ol, 1,3-DCP (1,3-dichloropropane-2-ol) which experts advise should not be present at any levels in food. Both chemicals have the potential to cause cancer, and the Agency recommended that the affected products be withdrawn from shelves and avoided. The same carcinogens were found in soy sauces manufactured in Vietnam, causing a 2007 Vietnam food scare, food scare in 2007. In Canada, the Canadian Cancer Society writes,


Allergies

Soy sauce allergy not caused by soy or wheat allergy is rare. Most varieties of soy sauce contain wheat, to which some people have a medical intolerance. However, some naturally brewed soy sauces made with wheat may be tolerated by people with a specific Gluten intolerance, intolerance to gluten because gluten is not detectable in the finished product. Japanese tamari soy sauce is traditionally wheat-free, and some tamari available commercially today is wheat- and gluten-free.


See also

* List of Chinese sauces * List of condiments * List of fermented soy products


References


Further reading

* —on the production of soy sauce


External links

* {{Authority control Soy sauces, Chinese condiments Chinese inventions Chinese sauces East Asian cuisine Fermented soy-based foods Han dynasty Japanese condiments Korean condiments Korean cuisine Sauces Taiwanese cuisine Umami enhancers