Information about Soy Sauce
Ingredient - Canton
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sauce is made from soybeans and has been used by the Chinese and Japanese for
2,000 years. Originally a paste, it has developed into two products - the liquid
(sauce) and miso (paste). Whilst both are used in Japanese cuisine, China mainly
uses the sauce.
A good soy sauce is made by mixing the soybeans with a roasted grain - usually
wheat, rice, or barley. This mixture is then fermented for many months after
which it is strained and bottled. Unfortunately, the addition of grains makes it
unsuitable for people who are or wheat intolerant.
Today, synthetically manufactured soy sauce is also produced in very little
time, often a matter of days by way of a hydrolytic reaction with additions such
as corn syrup, caramel colouring and salt however these are inferior to the
fermented types and often have a metallic taste.
Both light and dark soy sauce is used in Chinese cooking. The difference is that
dark soy is fermented for a much longer period resulting in an almost black
colour and a thicker consistency. It is not used in general dishes and is mainly
reserved for marinating meats and in “red-cooked” dishes. Light soy sauce is
thinner and tends to have a saltier flavour and this is the type which is used
in most everyday dishes such as stir-fries.
You can find recipes using Soy Sauce in the
main Chinese Section
as well as on the
Canton Cooking by County page and throughout the site.