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Nov 29, 2009 10:04 AM

China Lily Soya Sauce

I can't seem to find it anywhere now. I know it isn't the high end chi-chi soya, but I find it very handy for beef marinades. Does anyone know where to find it

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  1. Can't you sub pretty much any decent dark soy? Pearl River Bridge should do the trick, no? I'll keep my eyes peeled here in Windsor. I'm coming to Toronto this week. For a fellow cheese fries-loving Toby's Goodeats fan, I'd be willing to pick up a few for you and transport them with me to T.O,, should I find them here (we have a sizeable Chinese community and many soy options, even at Zehrs). My mother used China Lily dark throughout my childhood for her marinated pork tenderloin.

    1. I see it at Loblaws but HIghland Farms might be a better bet for their bigger selection. Pearl River Bridge light soy(widely available)is also good for marinades, especially beef.

      1. I saw it recently being sold at the Foody's Supermarket in North Scarborough. However, I shyed away from it because they didn't use tamper-proof bottling/packaging.

        1. The rap against China Lily Soy sauce is its blackened color and and almost burnt taste.
          It is made by the expedient hydrolyzed soy process (I'm not qualified to explain this, but it is not naturally brewed like Kikkoman or Pearl River.)
          I'd go with the suggestions to use Pearl River, available light or dark.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jayt90

            Pearl River Bridge dark soy comes close--that stuff is pretty inky compared to their light version and Kikkoman.

          2. China Lily has always been my favourite soya sauce, probably because it's what my mother always used. It has been hard to find, though. The closest tasting soya sauce I've found is the NoName brand from Loblaws/Superstore.

            7 Replies
            1. re: middydd

              That's it exactly. China Lily is synthetic soy sauce, altogether acrid and unpleasant. However, if that's the one you grew up with, it tastes right.

              I still remember a commercial from my childhood: "La Choy makes Chinese food taste ...American!" The first time I ate at a good Chinese restaurant, the "suey sauce" didn't taste good at all. I learned, though.

              1. re: embee

                So, what are some good brands of soy sauce?

                I also use Kikkoman and Tamari brand.

                I think I know what you mean about the "acrid" taste, kind of like coffee left on the burner too long.

                I guess I'm looking for a rich tasting soya sauce, not too yeasty, with less of that "bite" to it. Recommendations?

                1. re: middydd

                  I'm always amazed at the taste of Kikkoman on rice; it may be on the light side, but the taste is more transparent than Pearl River light.
                  When Kikkoman set up in Wisconsin (to be close to a good supply of soy beans) the taste remained the same as the Japanese product.
                  Good tamari is hard to find and may not be consistent. Correctly made, it is the run off from a vat of miso but there are commercial short cuts, used by most companies cashing in on the name.

                  1. re: middydd

                    Of the widely available brands, Kikkoman is probably your best bet. However, you need to read the labels carefully. They make dozens of varieties, covering the price and quality range from top to bottom.

                    Lee Kum Kee is another widely distributed brand that covers the entire price/quality spectrum.

                    Pearl River is a mid range brand that is usually decent.

                    Kikkoman specializes in Japanese style sauces while the other two brands are Chinese. The styles are quite different. I've no idea which ones you might/might not like.

                    Beyond these brands, the soy sauce selection at a Chinese supermarket is mind boggling. However, if you are really craving China Lily, few are likely to satisfy it.

                    1. re: embee

                      Thanks for the recommendations. I'm looking forward to trying them.

                      1. re: embee

                        There's a yellow label Loblaws NoName soy that might come close to the rasty goodness of China Lily--it's cheap enough to try and pitch if it doesn't!

                        1. re: embee

                          I got Pearl River Bridge soya sauce and used some of the light and some dark in fried rice. It was excellent!!

                          Now I'm interested in trying some other brands.