Soy Sauces

Soy Sauces

Soy sauce is an Asian speciality made from soy beans usually mixed with roasted grains such as wheat, rice, or barley. This mixture is fermented for several months before being strained and bottled. It comes in light and dark versions, the darker version being aged for a longer period. Tamari is a Japanese soy sauce that is made only from fermented soy beans; no grains are in the mix. Japanese white soy sauce reverses the usual ratio of wheat and soy bean, using 80 per cent or more wheat. They are all salty in taste. Sweet soy sauce is a speciality of Indonesia.

Sweet soy sauce

Known as kecap manis in Indonesia, sweet soy sauce is sweetened with palm sugar and sometimes flavoured with garlic and anise. The thick sauce is good for dipping and for stir-fries, noodles, or rice.

Tamari soy sauce

This Japanese soy sauce is thick, though still runny in texture, with a rich, savoury, and mildly salty taste. Use as dipping sauce, and to season and flvour all types of savoury Japanese food.

Chinese light soy sauce

This variety of soy sauce has a thin pouring texture and a salty taste, with complex tones of vanilla, citrus, and mature yeasts. Use as a condiment, a dipping sauce, and in stir-fries.

Chinese dark soy sauce

A darker version, which is aged longer and has molasses added to produce a thick and syrupy texture with a rich, mellow flvour. Use in cooking and to flvour Chinese “red” stews


Always check the label to ensure you are not buying synthetically manufactured soy sauce, which is produced in just a few days from corn syrup, caramel colouring, salt and water.


Store unopened at room temperature away from direct heat and light for up to 6 months. Once opened, soy sauce keeps its flavour better if it is stored in the fridge.


A small amount of soy sauce acts as a salt substitute and brings out the flavours of the other ingredients. Use as a marinade and as a flavouring; light soy sauces in stir-frying and dark soy sauces in stews. It is also good as a dipping sauce


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