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Soy sauce (醤油)

There are many types of soy sauce. 
It could be quite confusing if you are not familiar with Asian ingredients. Here is a brief guide.

Japanese soy sauce

Which brand should I buy?

Kikkoman Soy sauce

If you have an Asian or Japanese grocery around where you live, buy Japanese organic brand is the best for CHEF'S LABO recipes (It must say "Made in Japan").
Or buy "KIKKOMAN" or "YAMASA"(They both are Japanese brands).
These brands are available in many countries, and they are the most common brands in Japan too. Good news is, there are Gluten free soy sauce which tastes almost the same as normal ones

What's "Tamari" and "Usukuchi"?

Tamari soy sauce

Tamari Soy sauce is made of soy bean only or some products contain a bit of wheat too, meanwhile normal soy sauce made of about 50:50 of soy bean and wheat. (They also contains water, salt, Koji)

*Koji is made of steamed grain (rice, wheat, beans, etc.) that is cultivated by attaching "koji-mold". It's used for many Japanese fermented foods


Tamari Soy sauce is darker and thicker, and its taste is richer.
It's commonly used as dipping sauce for Sashimi or Sushi to enjoy its natural taste.
But some people use it for sauces too.

If you need it for CHEF'S LABO recipes, it will be listed as "Tamari soy sauce" in the ingredients list. (Same for the Usukuchi soy sauce)


Usukuchi Soy sauce is light colour soy sauce. It doesn't have strong flavour and colour as much as normal ones.

When it's made, It's added more salt than normal soy sauce to achieve the lighter colour and flavour.

(Normal soy sauce: about 16% salt)
(Usukuchi: about 18% salt)

So, the lighter colour doesn't mean less salt. It actually has more salt.

Usukuchi soy sauce

It is usually used for delicate dishes such as Japanese clear broth "Osuimono".

Or something you want to let the ingredients to stand out, but still need a little help from soy sauce.

Normally it's added only little amount to not to break the natural flavour of the main ingredients.


What's the difference between
Chinese and Japanese soy sauce?

Chinese Soy sauce

Chinese soy sauce has stronger flavour than Japanese ones.
And it's bit saltier.

Japanese soy sauce is milder, and bit sweeter.
It doesn't meant one of them is better than the other.
It's just a different character.

Think about wine.
There are many countries make their own wines, and they all taste different.
But they are all called wine. And people have their own favourite.
Same thing.

But there is one clear suggestion.
Japanese foods (Or the foods Japanese chefs make) best matches with Japanese soy sauce. And this logic also apply to other countries soy sauce too.

CHEF'S LABO recipes are always developed with Japanese soy sauce.
So please use Japanese soy sauce for the best result.


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