Whether it’s used for dipping, drizzling or seasoning, this traditional fermented sauce forms the very foundation of Japanese cooking.
Originating in an ancient Chinese sauce called hishio, it was perfected into its current form during the Muromachi period. Shoyu is an excellent seasoning that contains the five basic tastes of sweetness, sourness, saltiness, bitterness, and umami.
Fermenting and maturing the raw ingredients of steamed soybean, roasted wheat, salt, and koji-kin (koji mold) produces moromi — soy sauce is what’s extracted from moromi.
Lengthening the fermentation time produces darker soy sauce.
Variations range from white soy sauce to tamari, each kind offering a different thickness, aroma, and flavor.
Gourmet soy sauce has recently debuted on shelves, such as those exclusively tailored to egg raw over rice, sashimi, or meat.
Generally the most popular soy sauce, koikuchi has a rich aroma and color, which is suitable for the browning seen in simmered dishes.
This is a light soy sauce used in the Kansai region. It contains a lot of salt, which slows down the fermentation and aging process and prevents the color from darkening too deeply. Usukuchi is suitable for maintaining the ingredients’ color when cooking.
Originating in Aichi prefecture, shiro is made mainly with wheat and a smaller amount of soybeans. As the most light-colored soy sauce, shiro is used for cooking.
A think and rich soy sauce used in the central Chubu region such as Aichi.
Although made almost entirely of soybeans, tamari has quite a sweet flavor for its color.
A condiment based on soy sauce. It is made with citrus fruits and vinegar. Used for one-pot meals and grilled foods.
Filipinos have toyomansi + suka. Japanese have ponzu.
A local seasoning also called fish soy sauce. Made by salting, fermenting, and aging fish.
Akita prefecture’s Shottsuru and Noto Peninsula’s Irushi are well-known.