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China Lily Soya Sauce

This particular brand has gotten very difficult to find over the last little while. Has anyone seen it on shelf recently? I work at Spadina/King and live at Danforth/Coxwell so somewhere close is preferable, but I'm willing to drive.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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  1. any reason you like this particular brand? Dominion has their brand of water chestnuts but not sure about the soy sauce.
    Pearl River Bridge brand soy sauce is better, imo.

    1 Reply
    1. re: chocabot

      I agree that there are some other and better ones out there for sure, but yes, this time I'm looking for this particular brand. Sort of a childhood-memory-taste thing, I guess.

    2. I would expect it to be available in the shops in Chinatown, just north of your work up Spadina, if not I reccon yer outta luck...

      2 Replies
      1. re: Recyclor

        A few months ago I was entertaining some friends whose son has Celiac Disease, a genetic intolerance to wheat and gluten. It turns out that China Lily is one of the only soya sauces that does not contain wheat. Anyway, I was able to find some at a local convenience store, so give that a try.

        What is funny about this thread is that after a quick seach it turns out that there is a cult-like following for China Lily Soya Sauce. Who knew?


        1. re: Jean Georges

          Everyone I know with Celiac Disease uses San J Organic Tamari sauce because it is wheat free and MSG free. China Lily has MSG.

      2. Still seems to be available in Loblaws.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Kagemusha

          Really? Which one? I have found other China Lily products there, but not the soya sauce.
          I'll try up in Chinatown, as well. Thanks.

          1. re: FrenchSoda

            That was the brand of my childhood, but have since switched to Japanese soy sauce even for Chinese cookery, because it is lighter.
            Might get zapped, but have to tell you this Story.
            When I was a kid, my mother sent my father to Chinatown with a list that included ChinaLilly Soy sauce.
            He didn't come back for many hours, and when he did finally arrive home, he told my mother that he found the soy sauce, no problem, but, went everywhere, and couldn't find a ChinaLilly.

        2. I've seen it at a convenience store in my neighbourhood - in the small bottles. Store is located on the south-west corner of Harbord and Robert St - right across from the restaurant Messis (sorry, don't know the name of the store)

          1 Reply
          1. re: MegTor

            harbord convienence or spadina food market?


          2. by the way, how does this stuff taste compared to others?

            salty, oily, sweeter, richer, smoky, thin, light, etc?


            1. This thread makes me laugh because I had just recently seen a Shopping Bags episode where they were testing soy sauces and China Lily was one of them but it is not one of the "naturally brewed" sauces. But it actually did quite well being the one favoured for overall cooking. And then, I looked it up and read that the owner had died and his wife closed down the business, causing a shortage, but has since reopened. So maybe that's why you are having trouble. Apparently, it's got the magic MSG in it which could explain the fanaitc/nostalgic devotion to it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: tricia_g_c

                i saw that episode too! was happy it was enjoyed in the blind test as it has always been a secret favorite of mine! i have no issue getting mine at no frills btw. a very close secon is VH, almost as good a china lily!

              2. Good luck, btw, if I see it I will post.

                1. You actually live quite close to the factory. It's located on SE corner of Queen St East/ and I believe Leslie. Perhaps you can drop by and get it there.

                  1. About a year or two ago I phoned up China Lily and spoke to a very helpful receptionist, who gave me a list of supermarkets closest to my neighbourhood (I'm near Scarborough) which carry their soy sauce. Give them a call and I'm sure they can help you locate some stores downtown. Sorry I don't have their phone number anymore but I'm sure you can look them up.

                    1. Thanks everyone for the help. If the factory is so close, maybe I will just swing by! And check out the Harbord convenience shop. I'll write back on how it turns out, in case future China Lily fanatics are searching...

                      I would describe the taste as sweeter, I suppose. Not a sharp as Kikkoman, for example. Maybe that's why it's such a childhood thing.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: FrenchSoda

                        I use China Lily when making steak marinades for exactly that reason. The sweetness plays well with beef.

                      2. You can talk to some restaurants-it is still available in the 3.78 Litre jug if you use lots....

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: robgm

                          China Lily is a chemical-reaction brown liquid -- NOT really any connection to naturally-brewed soy sauces.

                        2. I live in Kelowna BC and have recently discovered that there are people searching the shelves here also. China Lily is great for minute rice, but I prefer Kikkoman for any other rice.
                          Whenever we went out for Oriental food, we asked for the soya sauce-to-go pkgs. It was the only way to get China Lily while dining in.

                          1. I can not find it in the glass bottles any more. Is there somewhere I can purchase it in the glass bottles?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: glassbottle

                              Call the company below, they should be able to tell you where to get it. If they can't help, nobody can.

                              Lee's Food Products Ltd
                              Address: 1233 Queen E, Toronto, ON M4L 1C2
                              Phone:(416) 465-2407