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Which soy sauce?

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Which soy sauce?

Postby Pepper Pig » Sat Jun 13, 2020 7:17 am


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Re: Which soy sauce?

Postby Earthmaiden » Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:09 am

Crikey, yet another new kitchen cupboard required?

Very interesting article though.

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Re: Which soy sauce?

Postby Hickybank » Sat Jun 13, 2020 9:20 am

OMG, Sunflower "HELP".

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Re: Which soy sauce?

Postby Hickybank » Sat Jun 13, 2020 10:46 am

Hickybank wrote:OMG, Sunflower "HELP".


Joking apart I was always taught, light for flavour, dark for colouring.
But there again, I could well have been wrong all these years.
Once again Sunflower "HELP"

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Re: Which soy sauce?

Postby herbidacious » Sat Jun 13, 2020 10:53 am

I usually just buy Kikkomen. But it's not an ingredient use a lot of, even though I love it, as I just don;t cook Asian food very often.

My Japanese flat mate used to put it in her scrambled eggs.

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Re: Which soy sauce?

Postby Stokey Sue » Sat Jun 13, 2020 10:59 am

I'm glad she didn't go into Korean soy sauces - there are special ones for soup then others for different types of cooking. I bought the soup one by mistake and din't like it at all

I usually have Pearl River Bridge premium light and dark soy sauce, or occasionally the Lee Kum Kee Premium if that's what they have, those are the two I need for Fuchsia Dunlop's dishes. On impulse I bought Kikkoman this time, and I prefer the Pearl River Bridge.

I often also have tamari which is nice for dips and dressings, try asparagus with a little dip of tamari and sesame oil

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Re: Which soy sauce?

Postby scullion » Sat Jun 13, 2020 1:10 pm

Stokey Sue wrote:I usually have Pearl River Bridge premium light and dark soy sauce,


me, too. i also have a bottle of the mushroom one from pearl river - which i'm less fond of.

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Re: Which soy sauce?

Postby Stokey Sue » Sat Jun 13, 2020 3:17 pm

scullion wrote: i also have a bottle of the mushroom one from pearl river - which i'm less fond of.


I prefer the richer "vegetarian oyster sauce" from LKK to simple mushroom soy in most cases

This one
https://www.amazon.co.uk/Lee-Kum-Kee-Mu ... 53E1T6NH51

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Re: Which soy sauce?

Postby scullion » Sat Jun 13, 2020 4:10 pm

i think i may have a bottle of 'mrs someone's' vegetarian oyster sauce hiding somewhere in the depths of a cupboard. if it had been impressive it would have been used by now - like the mushroom soy!

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Re: Which soy sauce?

Postby ZeroCook » Sat Jun 13, 2020 4:44 pm

..

Yeah, I have a few ...

As it's a flavour thing it's probably useful to think of soy sauces like herbs and spices or like vinegars and you know how many of those we tend to have!

I made my own mushroom sauce a while while back with some very (very) open chestnut mushrooms. I left the bits of mushroom in the sauce. Very umami ... Quite gross to look at tho 8-)

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Re: Which soy sauce?

Postby MagicMarmite » Sat Jun 13, 2020 5:05 pm

I just buy whichever brand dark, and then I buy sweet-kecap manis, online.

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Re: Which soy sauce?

Postby cherrytree » Sat Jun 13, 2020 5:53 pm

This article has really made me feel like Mrs Country Mouse. Here was I thinking I was doing well buying Kikkoman and now I find I’m just some old provincial who hadn’t a clue. Well I shall go on doing my best and look longingly at some recipes

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Re: Which soy sauce?

Postby karadekoolaid » Sun Jun 14, 2020 1:34 am

The local Chinese market sells Pearl River....
I think I´ll stick with that!

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Re: Which soy sauce?

Postby Renee » Sun Jun 14, 2020 10:49 am

Well, what a very interesting article Pepper Pig. These days I only buy Kikkoman because I like the flavour. I did try other Japanese soy sauces but liked that one the best.

I had heard that Pearl River was the best soy sauce for Chinese cooking, but it isn't available in supermarkets.

I learned such a lot from that article.

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Re: Which soy sauce?

Postby sunflower » Sat Jun 27, 2020 7:14 pm

There is no right or wrong what soy sauce you use for oriental cooking. Different brand tastes difference. I normally use LKK double deluxe soy sauce for general use, this is first press sauce a bit like extra virgin. For colour I use normal mushroom soy or LKK dark soy. Some Taiwanese soy sauces are not bad slightly sweeter good for dipping. For sushi always kikoman. Korean soy sauce also not too bad. For some reason I never like Thai soy sauce, I once bought Thai stir fry sauce it was awful tasted like chemical concoction.

If you have a health preference you can easily find low salt or gluten free soy sauce. Read the label before you buy avoid those with msg or added favourings. Dark soy always has caramel/sugar added to give it colour.

Yesterday I was happy to find LKK double deluxe bogof at a local shop.

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Re: Which soy sauce?

Postby Badger's Mate » Sun Jun 28, 2020 8:41 am

If you’ve ever cooked Asian food and had the result go horribly wrong, you can probably blame your choice of soy sauce.


Surely that's cobblers. Different soy sauces give different results, but not by that much. I think the writer is Aussie-based isn't she? Generalisations about the ubiquity of Kikkoman soy sauce (and Chinese cabbage for that matter) don't really chime with me. I think the brand was Amoy when we first saw the stuff in shops, then all the different ones in Chinese grocers when I started to go to Chinatown (or Tottenham). I have used light and dark, mushroom, thick. In more recent times I've had the odd bottle from Kikkoman or Clearspring.

We've also got a bottle of LKK 'mushroom vegetarian stir-fry sauce' which is a sort of veggie oyster sauce and particularly popular with Mrs B. I use oyster sauce and many other soy-based condiments like miso, yellow bean, chilli bean, hoi sin.

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Re: Which soy sauce?

Postby Gillthepainter » Sun Jun 28, 2020 10:21 am

I'll look out for LKK stuff. Especially a mushroom one.

Badger's Mate wrote:but not by that much


I don't know, Badgers.
I came up with an unctuous sauce for lamb, when I had 4 bottles of balsamic in my cupboard.

The one time I tried it with Sainburys own brand balsamic, is it "SO"?, the result was an acrid, rather horrid sauce. Luckily it could be fixed with honey.
My goodness it was vile.
It's put me off buying anything with the Sainsbury label on it.

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Re: Which soy sauce?

Postby Badger's Mate » Sun Jun 28, 2020 12:31 pm

LKK is more likely available in Chinese grocers than supermarkets, but I've noticed recently some brands starting to creep into the Oriental section of Tesco that I would previously only have seen at Loon Fung.

I think that there are all manner of different things called balsamic vinegar, there are some special sorts with PDO status and suchlike, but a lot of other rather cheaper stuff.

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Re: Which soy sauce?

Postby sunflower » Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:27 pm

The subject on soy sauce is like how much you know about wine? There are hundreds of them in different flavours, colour, thickness and where it comes from and most importantly the ingredients and how it is made. I may come across and used many types of soy sauce but I think I am still an amateur. Being in UK it is not easy to find many interesting and premium brands of soy sauce. One thing for sure I never buy Blue Dragon or supermarket brand. If I want soy sauce I will get a bottle from the local oriental supermarket.
Blaming your stir fry on the soy sauce is not right. First you should taste the sauce if you never use it before. Secondly there are other ingredients that goes into the stir fry, how much of each ingredients and how you cook it all effects the end result.
If I buy a new brand of soy sauce I would taste it first, get to know the flavour and think what I will use it for.
Apology for my description of LKK double deluxe as simple first press on previous post, I was wrong it is a complex double fermentation to give it more flavour. I like it. it is suggested for dipping use but I use it in most cooking. I tried to control having a maximum of 4 -5 different bottles of soy sauce in use at a time. If I have a bottle for each specific use I would end up having a cupboard full of them and they do go off and becoming darker the longer you keep them due to oxidation. For more expensive premium and thickened soy sauce I normally keep them in the fridge.
Reading the article again I disagree with the author’s definition of dark soy sauce as Yìn yóu (蔭油), this is a type of darker soy sauce typically from Taiwan not easy to find in UK. This is a premium soy sauce but normally thickened and sweetened a bit like vegetarian oyster sauce, normally use for dipping or braising meat dishes. It is not very dark in my opinion. So I would never class this as dark soy.
I don't know why the article mentioned Bragg this is not soy sauce! There are so many wheat free soy sauce available why use Bragg liquid amino.
There are many types of dark soy normally Chinese origin or South East Asian. I have never used Japanese or Korean dark soy so no comments. A lot of people said dark soy is less salty because of the caramel or sugar content. There are light (as in runny not colour) to super thick and extra dark. Common dark soy to choose from include premiun dark, thick dark or mushroom soy which is standard dark soy with added mushroom extracts. Dark soy is generally for meat dishes, braising dishes, stir fry noodles to give it colour or for dipping sauces. I would never use it to stir fry a plate of vegetables. I rub a little dark soy to chicken or duck before roasting to give it more colour.
Also there is ketchup manis which is generally considered as a dark soy but very sweet and thick not much soy flavour. For dipping use I normally mix it with my favourite light soy and chilli sauce.
Maggi sauce (the iconic square brown bottle with long neck) is not from soy and chemically produced. I do keep a small bottle, sometime I like it on fried egg or sprinkle some on egg fried rice when I have a craving for this flavour. If you see square bottle not Knorr brand in the oriental supermarket it is likely a copycat of Maggi sauce or soy sauce with artificial favouring especially msg.
Another Chinese favourite is fish steaming soy or some brand called it seasoned soy for seafood which is a blend of soy with other flavours and most likely msg. It’s more expensive. Don’t bother use your standard soy. All the blended soy are more expensive, I never buy them.
If I am in a mood for Japanese I would buy a small bottle of Japanese soy. Common Japanese brand is Kikkoman. Another good brand but less common is Yamasa. I find Japanese soy sauce flavour goes off much quicker than Chinese. So do not be tempted to buy big bottle unless you use it everyday. Do not dip sushi with Chinese soy sauce it's not the right flavour.
There are many South East Asian types like Thai or filipino soy sauce. I was put off once with a stir fry sauce so I don't normally buy soy sauce from these countries, but I like Thai oyster sauce especially those with higher oyster juice content and they are much cheaper compare to LKK premium oyster sauce with similar % of oyster juice.
Nowadays there are many low sodium, organic (non gmo) and gluten free soy sauce to choose from, including tamari which I seldom used.
I hardly bought Korean soy, so no comments.
In short use any that suits you, within your budget and availability. Best go for naturally brewed, premium, no msg or extra additives or preservatives,
Common brand and origin:
Pearl River Bridge – From China longest established, most common brand and largest export anywhere in the world.
Haday (海天) ,Shinho(六月天) these two are newer brands from China now quite common in UK oriental supermarkets.
LKK (Lee Kum Kee) is most popular Hong Kong brand, was originally made in Hong Kong, now mostly made in China. I have seen many supermarkets stock this brand.
Amoy – Hong Kong brand now I think also made in China. Most UK supermarkets stock this brand.
Kikkoman – most commonly known and available Japanese brand outside Japan. Most Kikkoman you find at UK supermarkets or Chinese supermarkets are from Holland. If you can get one made in Japan, available from Japanese supermarket or Japan Centre in London normally in Japanese writing not much English. Flavour is better from Japan.
Another IMO better Japanese soy brand is Yamasa, look out for them when you got a chance to visit places like Japan Centre or buy Online
Datu Puti – Filipino brand I have only tried toyomansi. It’s soy sauce with a sour citrus flavour. Acquired flavour but I quite like it. Another common Filipino brand is mama Sita.
ABC this is the brand I will choose to get ketchup manis. This is Indonesian brand, products can be from Indonesia or Malaysia .
Healthy Boy Common Thai brand (logo is a boy holding a bottle).
The oyster sauce I mentioned above the brand is Maekrua (logo is a woman with a white apron) with 30% oyster extract.
Stir fry sauce, standard or premium oyster sauce, vegetarian oyster sauce and any soy based dipping or cooking sauces are all soy sauce blends.
Sorry for the long post. This topic is huge. I have only touched the surface and the selections are my preference. You may like something different.

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Re: Which soy sauce?

Postby Stokey Sue » Sun Jun 28, 2020 1:42 pm

There’s a problem with these articles from the Guardian’s Australian sister publication - they are very short, so not much in depth and they are written in Australia for an Australian audience so some of the assumptions jar a little

As Palisa Anderson is from a Thai family I was surprised she didn’t mention Healthy Boy but perhaps it’s not as easy to find in Australian as it is here, my local Morrison’s stocks many of their products though annoyingly they only keep the litre bottles not the 330ml ones which is plenty of chilli sauce for me

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