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Soy Sauce

Soy sauce (US) or soya sauce is a fermented sauce made from soybeans (soya beans), roasted grain, water and salt. The sauce, originating in China, is commonly used in East and South Eastern Asian cuisine and appears in some Western cuisine dishes, especially as an ingredient in Worcestershire sauce.

Basic production overview

Authentic soy sauces are fermented with kōji (the mold Aspergillus oryzae or A. sojae) and other related microorganisms. Authentic soy sauces are made from whole soybeans, but many cheaper brands are made from hydrolized soy protein instead. These soy sauces do not have the natural color of authentic soy sauces and are typically colored with caramel coloring.

Virtually all soy sauce has some alcohol added during bottling, which acts as a preservative to protect against spoilage. Accordingly, soy sauce should always be kept refrigerated and out of direct light. An opened bottle of soy sauce that has been left unrefrigerated could become slightly bitter.

Although there are many types of soy sauce, all are salty and earthy-tasting brownish liquids used to season food while cooking or at the table. What some westerners can only describe as a flavorful, kind of sweet taste is a distinct basic taste called "umami" by the Japanese and "xian-wei" (lit. "fresh taste") by the Chinese.


From Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection

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