Soy sauce
Overview
 
Soy sauce is a condiment
Condiment
A condiment is an edible substance, such as sauce or seasoning, added to food to impart a particular flavor, enhance its flavor, or in some cultures, to complement the dish. Many condiments are available packaged in single-serving sachets , like mustard or ketchup, particularly when supplied with...

 produced by fermenting
Fermentation (food)
Fermentation in food processing typically is the conversion of carbohydrates to alcohols and carbon dioxide or organic acids using yeasts, bacteria, or a combination thereof, under anaerobic conditions. Fermentation in simple terms is the chemical conversion of sugars into ethanol...

 soybean
Soybean
The soybean or soya bean is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean which has numerous uses...

s with Aspergillus oryzae
Aspergillus oryzae
Aspergillus oryzae is a filamentous fungus . It is used in Chinese and Japanese cuisine to ferment soybeans. It is also used to saccharify rice, other grains, and potatoes in the making of alcoholic beverages such as huangjiu, sake, and shōchū...

 or Aspergillus sojae
Aspergillus sojae
Aspergillus sojae is a mold species in the genus Aspergillus.In Japan it is used to make the ferment of soy sauce, the mirin and other lacto-fermented condiments like tsukemono...

 molds, along with water and salt. After the fermentation, which yields fermented soybean paste, the paste is pressed, and two substances are obtained: a liquid, which is the soy sauce, and a cake of (wheat and) soy residue, the latter being usually reused as animal feed. Most commonly, a grain
Cereal
Cereals are grasses cultivated for the edible components of their grain , composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran...

 is used together with the soybeans in the fermentation process, but not always.
Encyclopedia
Soy sauce is a condiment
Condiment
A condiment is an edible substance, such as sauce or seasoning, added to food to impart a particular flavor, enhance its flavor, or in some cultures, to complement the dish. Many condiments are available packaged in single-serving sachets , like mustard or ketchup, particularly when supplied with...

 produced by fermenting
Fermentation (food)
Fermentation in food processing typically is the conversion of carbohydrates to alcohols and carbon dioxide or organic acids using yeasts, bacteria, or a combination thereof, under anaerobic conditions. Fermentation in simple terms is the chemical conversion of sugars into ethanol...

 soybean
Soybean
The soybean or soya bean is a species of legume native to East Asia, widely grown for its edible bean which has numerous uses...

s with Aspergillus oryzae
Aspergillus oryzae
Aspergillus oryzae is a filamentous fungus . It is used in Chinese and Japanese cuisine to ferment soybeans. It is also used to saccharify rice, other grains, and potatoes in the making of alcoholic beverages such as huangjiu, sake, and shōchū...

 or Aspergillus sojae
Aspergillus sojae
Aspergillus sojae is a mold species in the genus Aspergillus.In Japan it is used to make the ferment of soy sauce, the mirin and other lacto-fermented condiments like tsukemono...

 molds, along with water and salt. After the fermentation, which yields fermented soybean paste, the paste is pressed, and two substances are obtained: a liquid, which is the soy sauce, and a cake of (wheat and) soy residue, the latter being usually reused as animal feed. Most commonly, a grain
Cereal
Cereals are grasses cultivated for the edible components of their grain , composed of the endosperm, germ, and bran...

 is used together with the soybeans in the fermentation process, but not always. Also, some varieties use roasted grain. Soy sauce is a traditional ingredient in East and Southeast Asian cuisine
Asian cuisine
Asian cuisine styles can be broken down into several tiny regional styles that have roots in the peoples and cultures of those regions. The major types can be roughly defined as East Asian with its origins in Imperial China and now encompassing modern Japan and the Korean peninsula; Southeast Asian...

s, where it is used in cooking and as a condiment. It originated in China 2,800 years ago and spread throughout Asia. In more recent times, it is also being used in Western cuisine and prepared foods. All varieties of soy sauce are salty, earthy, brownish liquids intended to season food while cooking or at the table.

History

Soy sauce originated in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 2,800 years ago and its use later spread to East and Southeast Asia. Like many salty condiments, soy sauce was probably originally a way to stretch salt
History of salt
Salt's ability to preserve food was a foundation of civilization. It eliminated the dependence on the seasonal availability of food and it allowed travel over long distances. However, salt was difficult to obtain, and so it was a highly valued trade item...

, historically an expensive commodity. In Ancient China, fermented fish with salt was used as a condiment in which soybeans was included during the fermentation process. Eventually, this was replaced and the recipe for soy sauce, jiangyou , was created with soybeans as principal ingredient.

Records of the Dutch East India Company
Dutch East India Company
The Dutch East India Company was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia...

 list soy sauce as a commodity in 1737, when seventy-five large barrels were shipped from Dejima
Dejima
was a small fan-shaped artificial island built in the bay of Nagasaki in 1634. This island, which was formed by digging a canal through a small peninsula, remained as the single place of direct trade and exchange between Japan and the outside world during the Edo period. Dejima was built to...

, Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

, to Batavia (present-day Jakarta
Jakarta
Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Officially known as the Special Capital Territory of Jakarta, it is located on the northwest coast of Java, has an area of , and a population of 9,580,000. Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political centre...

) on the island of Java
Java
Java is an island of Indonesia. With a population of 135 million , it is the world's most populous island, and one of the most densely populated regions in the world. It is home to 60% of Indonesia's population. The Indonesian capital city, Jakarta, is in west Java...

. Thirty-five barrels from that shipment were then shipped to the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

. In the 18th century, Isaac Titsingh
Isaac Titsingh
Isaac Titsingh FRS was a Dutch surgeon, scholar, merchant-trader and ambassador.During a long career in East Asia, Titsingh was a senior official of the Dutch East India Company . He represented the European trading company in exclusive official contact with Tokugawa Japan...

 published accounts of brewing soy sauce. Although earlier descriptions of soy sauce had been disseminated in the West, this was among the earliest to focus specifically on the brewing of the Japanese version. By the mid-19th century, the Japanese soy sauce gradually disappeared from the European market, and soy sauce became synonymous with the Chinese product. Europeans were unable to make soy sauce because they did not understand the function of Aspergillus oryzae
Aspergillus oryzae
Aspergillus oryzae is a filamentous fungus . It is used in Chinese and Japanese cuisine to ferment soybeans. It is also used to saccharify rice, other grains, and potatoes in the making of alcoholic beverages such as huangjiu, sake, and shōchū...

, the fungus used in its brewing.

One 19th century writer records that in China, the best soy sauce is "made by boiling beans soft, adding an equal quantity of wheat or barley, and leaving the mass to ferment; a portion of salt and three times as much water are afterwards put in, and the whole compound left for two or three months when the liquid is pressed and strained".

Production

Soy sauce may be made either by fermentation or by hydrolysis
Hydrolysis
Hydrolysis is a chemical reaction during which molecules of water are split into hydrogen cations and hydroxide anions in the process of a chemical mechanism. It is the type of reaction that is used to break down certain polymers, especially those made by condensation polymerization...

; some commercial sauces contain a mixture of fermented and chemical sauces.

Traditional

Traditional soy sauces are made by mixing soybeans and grain with cultures such as Aspergillus oryzae
Aspergillus oryzae
Aspergillus oryzae is a filamentous fungus . It is used in Chinese and Japanese cuisine to ferment soybeans. It is also used to saccharify rice, other grains, and potatoes in the making of alcoholic beverages such as huangjiu, sake, and shōchū...

 and other related microorganisms and yeasts (the resulting mixture is called "koji" in Japan; the term "koji" is used both for the mixture of soybeans, wheat, and mold; as well as for only the mold). In older times, the mixture was then fermented naturally in giant urns and under the sun, which was believed to contribute additional flavors. Today, the mixture is generally placed in a temperature and humidity controlled incubation chamber.
The production process of traditional soy sauces is as follows.
  1. Before the process begins, the soybeans soaked in water and boiled to completion. The wheat is roasted and crushed.
  2. An equal amount of boiled soybeans and roasted wheat are mixed. A little spore of mold is added, and the substance is mixed for a few days.
  3. A saline solution is put into the mold culture.
  4. The mold ferments the saline solution. Over time, natural lactic acid bacteria makes lactic acid in the mold, and natural yeast makes alcohol. Most of soy sauce's smell are chemicals produced in this process by the molds. An amino-glycosidic reaction takes place in the mold.
  5. The solution is separated into solid and liquid parts. The liquid part is kept.
  6. The liquid is heated and filtered to remove any contamination.
  7. The liquid is now a traditional fermented soy sauce.

Aspergillus cultures

  1. Aspergillus
    Aspergillus
    Aspergillus is a genus consisting of several hundred mold species found in various climates worldwide. Aspergillus was first catalogued in 1729 by the Italian priest and biologist Pier Antonio Micheli...

    is a genus
    Genus
    In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

     of fungus that is used for fermenting various ingredients (the cultures are called koji in Japanese). Three species are used for brewing soy sauce:
    • Aspergillus oryzae
      Aspergillus oryzae
      Aspergillus oryzae is a filamentous fungus . It is used in Chinese and Japanese cuisine to ferment soybeans. It is also used to saccharify rice, other grains, and potatoes in the making of alcoholic beverages such as huangjiu, sake, and shōchū...

      : Strains with high proteolytic
      Protease
      A protease is any enzyme that conducts proteolysis, that is, begins protein catabolism by hydrolysis of the peptide bonds that link amino acids together in the polypeptide chain forming the protein....

       capacity are used for brewing soy sauce.
    • Aspergillus sojae
      Aspergillus sojae
      Aspergillus sojae is a mold species in the genus Aspergillus.In Japan it is used to make the ferment of soy sauce, the mirin and other lacto-fermented condiments like tsukemono...

      : This fungus also has a high proteolytic capacity.
    • Aspergillus tamari: This fungus is used for brewing tamari.
  2. Microbes contained in the cultures
    • Bacillus spp.(genus): This organism is likely to grow soy sauce ingredients, bring to generate odors and ammonia.
    • Lactobacillus species: This organism produces a lactic acid increases the acidity in the feed.

Acid-hydrolyzed vegetable protein

Some brands of soy sauce are often made from acid-hydrolyzed
Hydrolysis
Hydrolysis is a chemical reaction during which molecules of water are split into hydrogen cations and hydroxide anions in the process of a chemical mechanism. It is the type of reaction that is used to break down certain polymers, especially those made by condensation polymerization...

 soy protein
Soy protein
Soy protein is a protein that is isolated from soybean. It is made from dehulled, defatted soybean meal. Dehulled and defatted soybeans are processed into three kinds of high protein commercial products : soy flour, concentrates, and isolates. Soy protein isolate has been used since 1959 in foods ...

 instead of brewed with a traditional culture. This process may take only three days. Although they have a different flavor, aroma, and texture when compared to brewed soy sauces, they have a longer shelf-life and are more commonly produced for this reason. Some people feel the hydrolyzed sauces taste better, but some prefer the naturally brewed varieties. The clear plastic packet
Ketchup packet
A condiment sachet or condiment packet is a small sachet made from plastic, tin foil, or mylar, filled with a small amount of condiment. They provide a simple and low-cost way of distributing small amounts of condiment with ready-to-eat packaged food such as hot dogs, French fries, or hamburgers,...

s of dark sauce common with Chinese-style take out food typically use a hydrolyzed vegetable protein formula. Some higher-quality hydrolyzed vegetable protein products with no added salt, sugar or colorings are sold as low-sodium soy sauce alternatives called "liquid aminos" in health food stores, similar to the way salt substitute
Salt substitute
Salt substitutes are low-sodium table salt alternatives marketed to circumvent the risk of high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease associated with a high intake of sodium chloride while maintaining a similar taste...

s are used. These products are, however not necessarily low in sodium. Bragg brand Liquid Aminos has 160 mg sodium per 2.5 mL serving or about 960 mg per tablespoon, which is more than some soy sauces for the same serving size.

Carcinogen
Carcinogen
A carcinogen is any substance, radionuclide, or radiation that is an agent directly involved in causing cancer. This may be due to the ability to damage the genome or to the disruption of cellular metabolic processes...

s may form during the manufacture of chemical sauce.

Types

Soy sauce has been integrated into the traditional cuisines of many East Asia
East Asia
East Asia or Eastern Asia is a subregion of Asia that can be defined in either geographical or cultural terms...

n and Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

n cultures. Soy sauce is widely used as a particularly important flavoring in Japanese
Japanese cuisine
Japanese cuisine has developed over the centuries as a result of many political and social changes throughout Japan. The cuisine eventually changed with the advent of the Medieval age which ushered in a shedding of elitism with the age of shogun rule...

, Thai, Korean, and Chinese cuisine
Chinese cuisine
Chinese cuisine is any of several styles originating in the regions of China, some of which have become highly popular in other parts of the world – from Asia to the Americas, Australia, Western Europe and Southern Africa...

. Despite their rather similar appearance, soy sauces produced in different cultures and regions are different in taste, consistency, fragrance and saltiness. Soy sauce retains its quality longer when kept away from direct sunlight.

Chinese soy sauce

Chinese soy sauce, jiangyou (simpl.: / trad.: ) or chiyou , is primarily made from soybeans, with relatively low amounts of other grains. There are several varieties:
  • Light or fresh soy sauce ( shēngchōu or "jiàngqing") is a thin (low viscosity), opaque, lighter brown soy sauce. It is the main soy sauce used for seasoning, since it is saltier, has less noticeable color, and also adds a distinct flavour. The light soy sauce made from the first pressing of the soybeans is called tóuchōu , which can be loosely translated as first soy sauce or referred to as premium light soy sauce. Touchōu is sold at a premium because, like extra virgin olive oil, the flavor of the first pressing is considered superior. An additional classification of light soy sauce, shuānghuáng , is double-fermented to add further complexity to the flavour. These last two more delicate types are used primarily for dipping.
  • Dark and old soy sauce ( lǎochōu), a darker and slightly thicker soy sauce, is aged longer, contains caramel
    Caramel
    Caramel is a beige to dark-brown confection made by heating any of a variety of sugars. It is used as a flavoring in puddings and desserts, as a filling in bonbons, and as a topping for ice cream, custard and coffee....

    , and may contain added molasses
    Molasses
    Molasses is a viscous by-product of the processing of sugar cane, grapes or sugar beets into sugar. The word molasses comes from the Portuguese word melaço, which ultimately comes from mel, the Latin word for "honey". The quality of molasses depends on the maturity of the sugar cane or sugar beet,...

     to give it its distinctive appearance. This variety is mainly used during cooking, since its flavour develops during heating. It has a richer, slightly sweeter, and less salty flavour than light soy sauce. Dark soy sauce is partly used to add color and flavour to a dish after cooking, but, as stated above, is more often used during the cooking process, rather than after.
    • Mushroom dark soy ( cǎogū lǎochōu): In the finishing and aging process of making dark soy sauce, the broth of Volvariella volvacea
      Volvariella volvacea
      Volvariella volvacea is a species of edible mushroom cultivated throughout East and Southeast Asia and used extensively in Asian cuisines. In Chinese, they are called cǎogū Volvariella volvacea (also known as straw mushroom or paddy straw mushroom; syn. Volvaria volvacea, Agaricus volvaceus,...

       mixed into the soy sauce and is then exposed to the sun to produce this type of dark soy. The added broth gives this soy sauce a richer flavour than plain dark soy sauce.
  • Thick soy sauce ( jiàngyóugāo), is a dark soy sauce that has been thickened with starch and sugar and occasionally flavored with certain spices and MSG
    Monosodium glutamate
    Monosodium glutamate, also known as sodium glutamate or MSG, is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, one of the most abundant naturally occurring non-essential amino acids....

    . This sauce is often used as a dipping sauce or finishing sauce and poured on food as a flavourful addition, however due to its sweetness and caramelized flavours from its production process the sauce is also used in red cooking
    Red cooking
    In Chinese cooking, Red cooking is a slow braising cooking technique that imparts a red color to the prepared food....

    .
  • Shrimp soy sauce : Fresh soy sauce is simmered with fresh shrimp and finished with sugar, baijiu
    Baijiu
    Baijiu , or shaojiu is a Chinese distilled alcoholic beverage. The name baijiu literally means "white liquor," "white alcohol" or "white spirits". Baijiu is often translated as "wine" or "white wine"...

     (type of distilled liquor), and spices. A specialty of Suzhou
    Suzhou
    Suzhou , previously transliterated as Su-chou, Suchow, and Soochow, is a major city located in the southeast of Jiangsu Province in Eastern China, located adjacent to Shanghai Municipality. The city is situated on the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and on the shores of Taihu Lake and is a part...

    .

Japanese soy sauce

Buddhist monks from China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 introduced soy sauce into Japan in the 7th century, where it is known as . The Japanese word tamari is derived from the verb that signifies "to accumulate", referring to the fact that tamari was traditionally a liquid byproduct produced during the fermentation of miso
Miso
is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting rice, barley and/or soybeans, with salt and the fungus , the most typical miso being made with soy. The result is a thick paste used for sauces and spreads, pickling vegetables or meats, and mixing with dashi soup stock to serve as miso...

 (type of seasoning). Japan is the leading producer of tamari.
Shōyu is traditionally divided into five main categories depending on differences in their ingredients and method of production. Most, but not all Japanese soy sauces include wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

 as a primary ingredient, which tends to give them a slightly sweeter taste than their Chinese counterparts. They also tend towards an alcohol
Alcohol
In chemistry, an alcohol is an organic compound in which the hydroxy functional group is bound to a carbon atom. In particular, this carbon center should be saturated, having single bonds to three other atoms....

ic sherry
Sherry
Sherry is a fortified wine made from white grapes that are grown near the town of Jerez , Spain. In Spanish, it is called vino de Jerez....

-like flavor, sometimes enhanced by the addition of small amounts of alcohol as a natural preservative
Preservative
A preservative is a naturally occurring or synthetically produced substance that is added to products such as foods, pharmaceuticals, paints, biological samples, wood, etc. to prevent decomposition by microbial growth or by undesirable chemical changes....

. The widely varying flavors of these soy sauces are not always interchangeable, some recipes only call for one type or the other, much like a white wine cannot replace a red's flavor or beef stock does not produce the same results as fish stock.

Some soy sauces made in the Japanese way or styled after them contain about fifty percent wheat.

Soy sauce has a distinct basic taste called in Japanese, due to naturally occurring free glutamates
Monosodium glutamate
Monosodium glutamate, also known as sodium glutamate or MSG, is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, one of the most abundant naturally occurring non-essential amino acids....

. Umami was identified as a basic taste in 1908 by Kikunae Ikeda
Kikunae Ikeda
was a Japanese chemist and Tokyo Imperial University professor in Chemistry who, in 1908, uncovered the chemical root behind a taste he named umami. He discovered the common component that produced the flavor of meat, seaweed and tomatoes was glutamate, which produces the sensation of umami.He also...

 of the Tokyo Imperial University.

Soy sauce varieties

||"dark color"}}: Originating in the Kantō region
Kanto region
The is a geographical area of Honshu, the largest island of Japan. The region includes the Greater Tokyo Area and encompasses seven prefectures: Gunma, Tochigi, Ibaraki, Saitama, Tokyo, Chiba, and Kanagawa. Within its boundaries, slightly more than 40 percent of the land area is the Kantō Plain....

, its usage eventually spread all over Japan. Over 80% of the Japanese domestic soy sauce production is of koikuchi, and can be considered the typical Japanese soy sauce. It is produced from roughly equal quantities of soybean and wheat. This variety is also called kijōyu or namashōyu when it is not pasteurized
Pasteurization
Pasteurization is a process of heating a food, usually liquid, to a specific temperature for a definite length of time, and then cooling it immediately. This process slows microbial growth in food...

.||"light color"}}: Particularly popular in the Kansai
Kansai
The or the lies in the southern-central region of Japan's main island Honshū. The region includes the prefectures of Mie, Nara, Wakayama, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyōgo, and Shiga. Depending on who makes the distinction, Fukui, Tokushima and even Tottori Prefecture are also included...

 region of Japan, it is both saltier and lighter in color than koikuchi. The lighter color arises from the use of amazake
Amazake
is a traditional sweet, low-alcoholic Japanese drink made from fermented rice. Amazake dates from the Kofun period, and it is mentioned in the Nihon Shoki. It is part of the family of traditional Japanese foods made using that includes miso, soy sauce, and sake....

, a sweet liquid made from fermented rice, that is used in its production.: Produced mainly in the Chūbu region
Chubu region
The is the central region of Honshū, Japan's main island. Chūbu has a population estimate of 21,886,324 as of 2008.Chūbu, which means "central region", encompasses nine prefectures : Aichi, Fukui, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano, Niigata, Shizuoka, Toyama, Yamanashi, and often Mie.It is located directly...

 of Japan, tamari is darker in appearance and richer in flavour than koikuchi. It contains little or no wheat. Wheat-free tamari can be used by people with gluten intolerance. It is the "original" Japanese soy sauce, as its recipe is closest to the soy sauce originally introduced to Japan from China. Technically, this variety is known as miso-damari , as this is the liquid that runs off miso
Miso
is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting rice, barley and/or soybeans, with salt and the fungus , the most typical miso being made with soy. The result is a thick paste used for sauces and spreads, pickling vegetables or meats, and mixing with dashi soup stock to serve as miso...

 as it matures.||"white"}}: In contrast to tamari soy sauce, shiro soy sauce uses mostly wheat and very little soybean, lending it a light appearance and sweet taste. It is more commonly used in the Kansai region to highlight the appearances of food, for example sashimi
Sashimi
Sashimi is a Japanese delicacy. It consists of very fresh raw meat, most commonly fish, sliced into thin pieces.-Origin:The word sashimi means "pierced body", i.e...

.||"twice-brewed"}} : This variety substitutes previously-made koikuchi for the brine normally used in the process. Consequently, it is much darker and more strongly flavored. This type is also known as kanro shōyu or "sweet shōyu".

Newer varieties of Japanese soy sauce include:
||"reduced salt"}}: This version contains 50% less salt than regular shōyu for health conscious consumers.||"light salt"}}: This version contains 20% less salt than regular shōyu.

All of these varieties are sold in the marketplace in three different grades according to how they were produced:
Contains 100% genuine fermented product: Contains genuine fermented shōyu mash mixed with 30–50% of chemical or enzymatic hydrolysate of plant protein: Contains Honjōzō or Kongō-jōzō shōyu mixed with 30–50% of chemical or enzymatic hydrolysate of plant protein


All the varieties and grades may be sold according to three official levels of quality:
Standard grade, contains more than 1.2% total nitrogen: Upper grade, contains more than 1.35% of total nitrogen: Special grade, contains more than 1.5% of total nitrogen


Soy sauce is also commonly known as shōyu in Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

.

Indonesian soy sauce

In Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, soy sauce is known as kecap (also ketjap or kecap), which is a catch-all term for fermented sauces, and cognate
Cognate
In linguistics, cognates are words that have a common etymological origin. This learned term derives from the Latin cognatus . Cognates within the same language are called doublets. Strictly speaking, loanwords from another language are usually not meant by the term, e.g...

 to the English word "ketchup
Ketchup
Ketchup is a sweet-and-tangy condiment typically made from tomatoes, vinegar, sugar or high-fructose corn syrup and an assortment of...

". Three common varieties of Indonesian soy-based kecap exist:

Kecap asin : Salty soy sauce, which is very similar to Chinese light soy sauce, but usually somewhat thicker and has a stronger flavor; it can be replaced by light Chinese soy sauce in recipes.
Kecap manis : Sweet soy sauce, which has a thick, almost syrupy consistency and a pronounced sweet, treacle
Molasses
Molasses is a viscous by-product of the processing of sugar cane, grapes or sugar beets into sugar. The word molasses comes from the Portuguese word melaço, which ultimately comes from mel, the Latin word for "honey". The quality of molasses depends on the maturity of the sugar cane or sugar beet,...

-like flavor due to generous addition of palm sugar
Palm sugar
Palm sugar was originally made from the sugary sap of the Palmyra palm, the date palm or sugar date palm . Now it is also made from the sap of the sago, arenga pinnata and coconut palms, and may be sold as "arenga sugar" or "coconut sugar".-Description:It is quickly gaining popularity in the...

. In cooking, it may be replaced by molasses with a little vegetable stock stirred in.
Kecap manis sedang : Medium sweet soy sauce, which has a less thick consistency and a more saline taste than Manis.

Burmese or Myanmar soy sauce

Burma is a country with a high production of soy bean. Pickled bean curds (se-tou-fu), made from soy beans and usually more spicy than those in the neighbouring countries, is one of the staples in Myanmar. Export of bean is upwards of hundred tons a year. The Burmese soy sauce production dated back to the Bagan era in the 9th and 10th century. Scripts written in praise of pe ngan byar yay were found. Production increased to its heights during the Konbaung dynasty
Konbaung dynasty
The Konbaung Dynasty was the last dynasty that ruled Burma from 1752 to 1885. The dynasty created the second largest empire in Burmese history, and continued the administrative reforms begun by the Toungoo dynasty, laying the foundations of modern state of Burma...

, circa 1700, when there was a bolstered migration of ethnic groups from the north to boost and modify the production of silk in Amarapura
Amarapura
Amarapura is a former capital of Myanmar, and now a township of Mandalay. Amarapura is bounded by the Ayeyarwady river in the west, Chanmyathazi township in the north, and the city of Innwa in the south...

. Thick soy sauce is called kya nyo .

Malaysian soy sauce

Malays from Malaysia, using the Malay dialect similar to Indonesian, use the word kicap for soy sauce. Kicap is traditionally of two types: kicap lemak (lit "fat/rich soy sauce") and kicap cair. Kicap lemak is similar to Indonesian kecap manis but with very much less sugar while kicap cair is the Malaysian equivalent of kecap asin.

Singapore and Malaysian soy sauce

In Mandarin Chinese spoken in Malaysia and Singapore
Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

, soy sauce in general is dòuyóu , a Mandarin transliteration of the Hokkien
Hokkien
Hokkien is a Hokkien word corresponding to Standard Chinese "Fujian". It may refer to:* Hokkien dialect, a dialect of Min Nan Chinese spoken in Southern Fujian , Taiwan, South-east Asia, and elsewhere....

 term for the sauce; dark soy sauce is called jiàngyóu and light soy sauce is jiàngqīng . Angmo daoiu is the Hokkien
Min Nan
The Southern Min languages, or Min Nan , are a family of Chinese languages spoken in southern Fujian, eastern Guangdong, Hainan, Taiwan, and southern Zhejiang provinces of China, and by descendants of emigrants from these areas in diaspora....

 name for Worcestershire sauce
Worcestershire sauce
Worcestershire sauce , or Worcester sauce is a fermented liquid condiment; primarily used to flavour meat or fish dishes.First made at 60 Broad Street, Worcester, England, by two dispensing chemists, John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins, the Lea & Perrins brand was commercialised in 1837 and...

.

Korean soy sauce

Korean soy sauce, (called Joseon ganjang, 조선간장, in Korean) is a byproduct of the production of doenjang
Doenjang
Doenjang is a traditional Korean fermented soybean paste. Its name literally means "thick paste" in Korean.-Production:...

 (Korean fermented soybean paste
Fermented bean paste
Fermented bean paste is a category of fermented foods typically made from ground soybeans, which are indigenous to the cuisines of East and Southeast Asia...

). They are mainly used in making soups
Guk
Guk , also sometimes known as Tang , is a class of soup-like dishes in Korean cuisine. Guk and tang are commonly grouped together and regarded as the same type of dish, although guk is more watery and a basic dish for the Korean table setting, and is usually eaten at home...

, seasoning
Seasoning
Seasoning is the process of imparting flavor to, or improving the flavor of, food.- General meaning :Seasonings include herbs and spices, which are themselves frequently referred to as "seasonings"...

, and dip sauce
Dip (food)
A dip or dipping sauce is a common condiment for many types of food. Dips are used to add flavor and/or texture to a food, such as pita bread, dumplings, crackers, cut-up raw vegetables, seafood, cubed pieces of meat and cheese, potato chips, tortilla chips, and falafel...

. Joseon ganjang, thin and dark brown in color, is made entirely of soy and brine, and has a saltiness that varies according to the producer. Wide scale use of Joseon ganjang has been somewhat superseded by cheaper factory-made Japanese style soy sauce, called waeganjang (hangul: 왜간장/和: 간장). According to the 2001 national food consumption survey in Korea, traditional fermented ganjang comprised only 1.4% of soy sauce purchases.

Taiwanese soy sauce

The history of soy sauce making in Taiwan
Taiwan
Taiwan , also known, especially in the past, as Formosa , is the largest island of the same-named island group of East Asia in the western Pacific Ocean and located off the southeastern coast of mainland China. The island forms over 99% of the current territory of the Republic of China following...

 can be traced back to southeastern China, in the provinces of Fujian
Fujian
' , formerly romanised as Fukien or Huguing or Foukien, is a province on the southeast coast of mainland China. Fujian is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, and Guangdong to the south. Taiwan lies to the east, across the Taiwan Strait...

 and Guangdong
Guangdong
Guangdong is a province on the South China Sea coast of the People's Republic of China. The province was previously often written with the alternative English name Kwangtung Province...

. Taiwanese soy sauce is known for its black bean
Douchi
Douchi , also called Chinese fermented black beans , is a flavoring most popular in the cuisine of China, and is used to make black bean sauce....

 variant, known as black bean soy sauce (黑豆蔭油), which takes longer to produce (about 6 months). Most major soy sauce makers in Taiwan, such as Kimlan (金蘭), Wan Ja Shan (萬家香), and President-Kikkoman
Kikkoman
is an international company based in Japan.Founded in 1917, it is based in Noda, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. It is a combination of 8 family-owned businesses founded as early as 1603 by the Mogi and Takanashi families....

 (統萬), produce soy sauce made from soybeans and wheat. A few other makers, such as Wuan Chuang (丸莊), O'Long (黑龍), Tatung (大同) and Ruei Chun (瑞春) make black bean soy sauce.

Vietnamese soy sauce

In Vietnam, Chinese-style soy sauce is called xì dầu (derived from the Cantonese name 豉油) or nước tương. The term "soy sauce" could also imply other condiments and soy bean paste with thick consistency known as tương
Tuong
Tương is the name applied to a variety of condiments a kind of fermented bean paste made from soybean and commonly used in Vietnamese cuisine....

. Both are used mostly as a seasoning or dipping sauce for a number of dishes. Vietnamese cuisine itself favors fish sauce
Fish sauce
Fish sauce is a condiment that is derived from fish that have been allowed to ferment. It is an essential ingredient in many curries and sauces. Fish sauce is a staple ingredient in numerous cultures in Southeast Asia and the coastal regions of East Asia, and features heavily in Thai and Vietnamese...

 in cooking but nước tương has a clear presence in vegetarian cooking.

Philippine soy sauce

A soy sauce-based product popular in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 is called toyo, usually found alongside other sauces such as fish sauce
Fish sauce
Fish sauce is a condiment that is derived from fish that have been allowed to ferment. It is an essential ingredient in many curries and sauces. Fish sauce is a staple ingredient in numerous cultures in Southeast Asia and the coastal regions of East Asia, and features heavily in Thai and Vietnamese...

 (patis) and sugar cane vinegar (suka). The flavor of Philippine soy sauce is a combination of ingredients made from soybeans, wheat, salt, and caramel, is interestingly milder compared to its other Asian counterparts—possibly an adaptation to the demands of the Filipino palate and its cuisine. It is thinner in texture and has a saltier taste compared to its Southeast Asian counterparts, much more similar to the Japanese shōyu. It is used as a staple condiment to flavor many cooked dishes and as a marinade during cooking, it is also a table condiment. It is usually mixed and served with calamansi (the combination is known as toyomansi), a small Asian citrus-lime.

Nutrition

A study by the National University of Singapore
National University of Singapore
The National University of Singapore is Singapore's oldest university. It is the largest university in the country in terms of student enrollment and curriculum offered....

 showed that Chinese dark soy sauce contains 10 times the antioxidant
Antioxidant
An antioxidant is a molecule capable of inhibiting the oxidation of other molecules. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that transfers electrons or hydrogen from a substance to an oxidizing agent. Oxidation reactions can produce free radicals. In turn, these radicals can start chain reactions. When...

s of red wine, and can help prevent cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular disease
Heart disease or cardiovascular disease are the class of diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels . While the term technically refers to any disease that affects the cardiovascular system , it is usually used to refer to those related to atherosclerosis...

s. (However, it is unlikely to be used in nearly as great a quantity as wine.) Soy sauce is rich in lactic acid bacteria
Lactic acid bacteria
The lactic acid bacteria comprise a clade of Gram-positive, low-GC, acid-tolerant, generally non-sporulating, non-respiring rod or cocci that are associated by their common metabolic and physiological characteristics. These bacteria, usually found in decomposing plants and lactic products, produce...

 and of excellent anti-allergic potential.

Soy sauce contains ethyl carbamate
Ethyl carbamate
Ethyl carbamate is a chemical compound with the molecular formula C3H7NO2 first prepared in the nineteenth century. Structurally, it is an ester of carbamic acid...

.

Soy sauce does not contain a level of the beneficial isoflavones associated with other soy products such as tofu
Tofu
is a food made by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks. It is part of East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian, Vietnamese, and others. There are many different varieties of tofu, including fresh tofu and tofu...

 or edamame
Edamame
or Edamame bean is a preparation of immature soybeans in the pod commonly found in Japan, China, and Hawaii. The pods are boiled in water together with condiments such as salt, and served whole....

. It can also be very salt
Edible salt
Salt, also known as table salt, or rock salt, is a mineral that is composed primarily of sodium chloride , a chemical compound belonging to the larger class of ionic salts. It is essential for animal life in small quantities, but is harmful to animals and plants in excess...

y, having a salt content of between 14%–18%. Low-sodium soy sauces are produced, but it is difficult to make soy sauce without using some quantity of salt as an antimicrobial agent.

100ml of soy sauce contains the following nutritional information according to the USDA:
  • Calories : 60
  • Fat: 0.1
  • Carbohydrates: 5.57
  • Fibers: 0.8
  • Protein: 10.51

Allergies

Most varieties of soy sauce contain wheat
Wheat
Wheat is a cereal grain, originally from the Levant region of the Near East, but now cultivated worldwide. In 2007 world production of wheat was 607 million tons, making it the third most-produced cereal after maize and rice...

, to which some people have a medical intolerance. However, some naturally brewed soy sauces made with wheat may be tolerated by people with a specific intolerance to gluten because gluten
Gluten
Gluten is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including barley and rye...

 is not detectable in the finished product. Japanese tamari soy sauce is traditionally wheat-free, and some tamari available commercially today is wheat- and gluten-free. Kikkoman now make a gluten free soy sauce using rice flour instead of wheat.

Carcinogens

A 2001 test of various soy sauces and related products by the United Kingdom Food Standards Agency
Food Standards Agency
The Food Standards Agency is a non-ministerial government department of the Government of the United Kingdom. It is responsible for protecting public health in relation to food throughout the United Kingdom and is led by a board appointed to act in the public interest...

 (FSA) found that 22 out of 100 samples contained a substance called 3-MCPD
3-MCPD
3-MCPD or is an organic chemical compound which is carcinogenic and highly suspected to be genotoxic in humans, has male anti-fertility effects, and is a chemical byproduct which may be formed in foods, the most commonly found member of chemical contaminants known as chloropropanols.It is...

 (3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol) at levels considerably higher than those deemed safe by the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

. About two-thirds of the 22 samples also contained a second chemical called 1,3-DCP (1,3-dichloropropane-2-ol), which experts advise should not be present at any levels in food. Both chemicals are carcinogen
Carcinogen
A carcinogen is any substance, radionuclide, or radiation that is an agent directly involved in causing cancer. This may be due to the ability to damage the genome or to the disruption of cellular metabolic processes...

ic, and 1,3-DCP can cause genetic damage to be passed on to offspring who never consumed the sauces. The FSA recommended that the affected products be withdrawn, and in June 2001 issued a Public Health Advice leaflet warning against a small number of soy sauce products that were found to contain high levels of potentially cancer-causing chemicals. The leaflet singled out brands and products (some by batch numbers) imported from Thailand, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Although the leaflet primarily looked at soy sauce, it also included oyster sauce, marinades and other types of sauces, that affected the brands Golden Mountain, King Imperial, Pearl River Bridge, Jammy Chai, Lee Kum Kee
Lee Kum Kee
Lee Kum Kee International Holdings Ltd. is a food company which specialized in manufacturing oyster flavored sauce and a wide range of authentic Chinese and Asian sauces founded by Lee Kum Sheung in 1888 in Nanshui, a small town in Guangdong. Its primary brand, Lee Kum Kee is well known throughout...

, Golden Mark, Kimlan, Golden Swan, Sinsin and Tung Chun. Despite these being small in number in the UK, they are the dominant brands in their respective nations.

In Vietnam
2007 Vietnam food scare
The 2007 Vietnam food scare was a food scandal, which exposed contaminated food. Among the issues were formaldehyde in noodles of the national dish, Phở, banned pesticides in vegetables and fruit, and toxic soy sauce.-External links:* * * Jakarta Post...

, 3-MCPD was found in toxic levels (In 2004 the HCM City Institute of Hygiene and Public Health found 33 of 41 sample of soya sauce with high rates of 3-MCPD, including six samples with 11,000 to 18,000 times more 3-MPCD than permitted, compared to about 5,000 times in 2001) in soy sauces there in 2007, along with formaldehyde
Formaldehyde
Formaldehyde is an organic compound with the formula CH2O. It is the simplest aldehyde, hence its systematic name methanal.Formaldehyde is a colorless gas with a characteristic pungent odor. It is an important precursor to many other chemical compounds, especially for polymers...

 in the national dish Pho
PHO
PHO may refer to:* Primary Health Organisation* Potentially hazardous object, an asteroid or comet that could potentially collide with Earth...

, and banned pesticides in vegetables and fruits. The newspaper Thanh Nien Daily commented: "Health agencies have known that Vietnamese soy sauce, the country's second most popular sauce after fish sauce, has been chock-full of cancer agents since at least 2001."

See also

  • Maggi sauce
  • Doenjang
    Doenjang
    Doenjang is a traditional Korean fermented soybean paste. Its name literally means "thick paste" in Korean.-Production:...

  • Fermented bean paste
    Fermented bean paste
    Fermented bean paste is a category of fermented foods typically made from ground soybeans, which are indigenous to the cuisines of East and Southeast Asia...

  • Miso
    Miso
    is a traditional Japanese seasoning produced by fermenting rice, barley and/or soybeans, with salt and the fungus , the most typical miso being made with soy. The result is a thick paste used for sauces and spreads, pickling vegetables or meats, and mixing with dashi soup stock to serve as miso...

  • Yellow soybean paste
    Yellow soybean paste
    Yellow soybean paste is a fermented paste made from yellow soybeans, salt, and water; wheat flour, though not formerly used, is often used as an additional ingredient in the modern day, and potassium sorbate may also be used as a preservative...

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