Asian Taste: Love of Soy

Asian countries have been fortunate enough to make such as enormous and constant craze in the culinary world with its many varieties and degrees of spices and sauces. The most common sauce known for its origin is soy sauce; also know as Soya sauce by the Brits. This salty, but flavorful sauce is made from fermented soy beans with added grains such as wheat and rice. The sauce’s consistency can range from very thin to very thick. Flavors, too, vary by type and have very subtle differences. Today, soy sauce is not only made in the traditional manner; it is synthesized artificially as well, which results in a chemical-flavored, but inexpensive product. Soy sauce is one liquid seasoning that will ignite many dishes that need a boost in sharpness and acidity. Known by few, soy sauce is available in more that one degree of color and flavor; in any case, the unique color and refined flavor is undoubtedly a sensation and spark to all victuals. The understanding of this sauce and its many versions is critical to culinarians and those in accordance with such and should be understood to truly enjoy and pleasure the mouths of many.


The most know and commonly used is dark soy sauce. Dark soy is used throughout Asia and is a bit richer and thicker than the lighter varieties. It tends to have a chocolate brown color, and a pungent, rather than overly salty, flavor. This sauce is the most traditional of them all, but in some cases the sauce is altered slightly. Nowadays, Dark sauce is added an American usual, molasses. This gives a slightly altered flavor and texture with a dark, deep brown color. This variety is mainly used as a table top seasoning, but is also used in cooking. It has a richer flavour than light soy sauce, but is less salty (Wikipedia).

Two other types of dark soy sauce that stem from the original is Mushroom soy sauce, and Tamari sauce. Mushroom soy sauce is a dark soy sauce from China which adds straw mushroom essence to the sauce’s brew. It has a deep, rich flavor and can be used in place of other types of soy sauce in most recipes. Mushroom soy sauce is used generally, but not limited to, a table condiment. The other type of dark soy sauce is Tamari. In 1254, a Zen monk called Kakushin, brought back Miso (soybean paste) from China, and while teaching locals how to make Miso, accidentally found a liquid residue in the bottom of the container. This is how the thick soy sauce called Tamari, was found (Japanese Food & Restaurant Guide). This is a deeply colored Japanese soy sauce which has a rich texture and intense flavor. It can be used anywhere regular soy sauce is called for, and is especially good to use as a table condiment and dipping sauce. Both of these other dark soy sauces can complement dishes the same as the original dark soy, but in most cases, better. The unique blends of the two gives soy-lovers a little more excitement to their meals, proving and bypassing their expectations allowing their irresistible essence to emerge as its own. Another dark soy sauce includes Saishikomi, a soy sauce that is fermented twice which gives it a much thicker consistency.

Another type of Soy sauce is Light soy sauce. Originated and most commonly found in Japan, light soy sauce has a thinner consistency and a saltier flavor than the darker varieties. It is preferred when a darker sauce will ruin the appearance of a dish, or when a lighter flavor is sought, especially when serving seafood. Light soy accents, but doesn’t alter the color of the product. When used in Seafood, which is usually lighter in color already, a light sauce will show the true appearance in the way the finished product should be with the added flavor of soy. Not to be confused with white soy sauce, which is light in color, White soy sauce uses larger ratio of wheat : soybeans and requires more salt water than others. Used for cooking white fish, vegetables and soup base for noodles. Mainly made and consumed in Nagoya (Japanese Food & Restaurant Guide). There is always ‘something else’ which contributes to outstanding flavor or deliciousness. In soy sauce, the “something else” comes from various Amino acids which make up a harmony and a fine balance of natural ingredients. Soy sauce contains the essence of peach, apple, pineapple, rose and hyacinths to make a unique symphony of aromas to bring out the natural taste of the ingredients (Japanese Food & Restaurant Guide).

Soy sauce, no matter what type, or distinction, is a delectable treat that Asian history has birthed, and allowed to make its place in the world of all things culinary. Its amazing blend of flavors has tantalized many people for many years and will continue to do so for more to come. Soy sauce is one ingredient that will not only increase the desire to devour sushi, steamed rice, or even soups; but this remarkable “liquid happiness” will accent those dull, bland, and learned flavors and create a burst of zest that no person can deny distinction or sensibility.

Works Cited

CuisineNet. Dine Core, Inc. www.cuisinenet.com

Japanese Food & Restaurant Guide. Japan Web Publishing.

Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. GNU Documentation License. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soy_sauce


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