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Favorite Soy Sauce ?

the rogue May 14, 2002 09:57 AM

I was thinking about Soy Sauce. I know there are various types. Japanese, Chinese, sweet Indonesian, Lite, low salt, etc. What are your likes and dislikes? Which should be used for what?

I grew up with Kikkoman (Which I think has a slight winey taste)but also use a few others such as Kikkoman lite (which tastes diffent, More focus on the meaty/umami flavor?, not just watered down), and ABC sweet Indonesian which has a sweet light molasses flavor with a bit of salt and a hint of soy flavor.

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    ironmom RE: the rogue May 14, 2002 10:06 AM

    I currently cook with Hai Tian brand mushroom soy sauce, which I get in a 5 pound jug. I keep a bottle of table quality soy sauce in the refrigerator. Currently, it is Ohsawa brand Nama Shoyu, unpasteurized organic Japanese-style soy sauce, which I buy in a natural foods store. They have several different brands of high quality soy sauce there (unpasteurized, small batch, 2-4 years aged) and I like to buy different types.

    1. r
      Ray RE: the rogue May 14, 2002 03:34 PM

      I really like the Tamari organic sauces from San-J. I find that the flavor is more intense than brands such as Kikkoman. I typically use the low sodium (silver label). See link below for more information. Note: many locations do not carry the gold or silver label bottles, but if you have a Whole Foods store near you they should have it.

      Link: http://www.san-j.com/pages/tamardsc.htm

      3 Replies
      1. re: Ray
        shoo-bee-doo RE: Ray May 14, 2002 06:15 PM

        Low sodium tamari from San-J is also my favorite. So flavorful. Nice on California rolls. Better than the salty packaged stuff they give you. It can also be found in most natural food stores.

        1. re: Ray
          Karl S. RE: Ray May 14, 2002 08:10 PM

          Agreed. Sometimes, however, full sodium is necessary...

          1. re: Ray
            sfumato RE: Ray Feb 20, 2009 09:00 PM

            Ditto to this! We like the San-J Tamari.

          2. e
            EatDrinkMan RE: the rogue May 14, 2002 08:14 PM

            Check out some of the very dark Chinese soy sauces at the Chinese groceries. I'm not talking Kikkoman ... some of the dark soys have a richness that compares to aged balsamic vinegar. Very tasty.

            2 Replies
            1. re: EatDrinkMan
              sooth RE: EatDrinkMan May 15, 2002 02:17 AM

              like mushroom flavored dark soy sauce.

              1. re: EatDrinkMan
                the rogue RE: EatDrinkMan May 16, 2002 06:40 AM

                Any specific recomendations? There are some interesting looking ones local but I can't read the labels...

              2. l
                Loeb RE: the rogue May 15, 2002 09:58 AM

                We go with Pearl River brand that's all natural and costs less than $1/liter in Chinatown. We get the "Light" version, as the dark kind we got was too intense for us.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Loeb
                  Samo RE: Loeb May 15, 2002 06:45 PM

                  Both Pearl River and Taiwan's Kimlan (Jin lan) brands are excellent Chinese style soy sauces and come in a variety of styles. The mushroom flavored lao3 chou1 Pearl River stuff is terrific.

                  1. re: Samo
                    Wendy Leonard RE: Samo May 16, 2002 02:21 AM

                    I second the recommendation of Kimlan. That's my current favorite soy sauce.

                  2. re: Loeb
                    Glyn RE: Loeb Jan 6, 2009 10:03 AM

                    Where can I get kimlan soy sauce in Los Angeles? Ralphs and Gelsons used to carry it, but no more. I live in Pacific Palisades near Santa Monica and would like not to have to schlep down to Chinatown.

                  3. j
                    Jim Leff RE: the rogue May 16, 2002 02:24 AM

                    funny you should ask. I once attended a soy sauce tasting. My notes read:

                    1. salty

                    2. salty

                    3. salty

                    4. very salty

                    5. salty

                    6. slightly less salty

                    etc etc

                    The sole stand-out was filipino kalamansi (sp?) lemon soy sauce. It's just incredible and versatile. Improves anything you dip into it. You can find it in Filipino markets, always in large bottles (but inexpensive). Highly recommended, great stuff.


                    1. s
                      scarsdalesurprise RE: the rogue Jan 6, 2009 11:27 AM

                      I really like the Kikkoman Ponzu (lemon) soy sauce - very tasty!

                      1. j
                        jkandell RE: the rogue Feb 15, 2009 08:33 PM

                        For cheap brand, Wei Chan (Taiwan) orange label (100% natural one, with alcohol instead of benzoate).
                        For slightly more expensive brand, Ve Wong XO Soy Sauce (Taiwan).

                        1. m
                          MacGuffin RE: the rogue Dec 29, 2009 06:14 PM

                          Ohsawa Nama Shoyu. I've used it since discovering it in a health food store in 1987, just after I went vegetarian. I also like Mitoku Yaemon Tamari. I haven't found any Chinese soy sauces that can compare in quality to these two--I wouldn't mind being pointed towards them if they exist.

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