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May 14, 2002 09:57 AM

Favorite Soy Sauce ?

  • t

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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  1. 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. 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.


      3 Replies
      1. re: Ray

        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

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

          1. re: Ray

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

          2. 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

              like mushroom flavored dark soy sauce.

              1. re: EatDrinkMan

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

              2. 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

                  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

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

                  2. re: Loeb

                    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. 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.