What is Soy Sauce?

TELL ME MORE: Soy Sauce Varieties

What is Soy Sauce?

All soy sauce is made from soybeans. It’s either fermented (naturally brewed) or chemically made. There are Japanese and Chinese varieties (among others) with light and dark styles. Light Japanese soy sauce is used sparingly in Japanese cooking. It’s thinner and saltier than dark Japanese soy sauce (classic Kikkoman is considered a dark soy sauce). There’s also tamari, a Japanese soy sauce made with little or no wheat. Chinese soy sauce also comes in light and dark versions and contains little or no wheat. The light sauce is thinner and the most commonly used type of soy sauce in Chinese cooking, while the dark is thicker and sweeter. What you’ll find in most U.S. markets is likely made here or in Japan, typically contains wheat, and is sweeter than Chinese soy sauce. Another variety, sweet soy sauce, is known as kecap manis in Indonesia. It’s flavored with palm sugar, galangal, and aromatics.

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