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What areYour Non-Asian Cooking Uses for Soy Sauce/Tamari?

opinionatedchef Jan 16, 2011 11:04 PM

I regularly use tamari to deepen flavors in sauces and soups, including those that are curried and tomato based. It also shows up in my cassoulet, chili, jambalaya, boeuf bourgignon, goulash, jamaican lemon soy ginger marinade for chicken cracklings, and my oft-used " mustard mayonnaise" condiment for everything from steamed broccoli to steak sandwiches. I also love it sprinkled on popcorn (honest, forget butter; this is so delicious!)
I mix it w/ cream cheese and toasted sesame seeds for a spread. And i use it in a curried white wine/tamari based salad dressing.

How about you?

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  1. JungMann RE: opinionatedchef Jan 17, 2011 06:02 AM

    I use it in a lot of unexpected places in place of salt. It gives a boost of savoriness in addition to salinity. I've even seen it used as a salty additive in a savory caramel sauce.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JungMann
      AdamD RE: JungMann Jan 17, 2011 11:45 AM

      I do the same, minus the caramel(which sounds really good). Great salt substitute.

    2. f
      Feastonthcheap RE: opinionatedchef Jan 17, 2011 06:42 AM

      Yep, pretty much the same. I love it in Hungarian Mushroom Soup...

      1. chefathome RE: opinionatedchef Jan 17, 2011 07:08 AM

        As a brine ingredient for pork; you can tell it's brined because it's so flavourful but you would never guess that it is soy or tamari.

        1. m
          monopod RE: opinionatedchef Jan 17, 2011 08:00 AM

          I make a vegetarian rosemary cream gravy to go over biscuits for breakfast, and soy sauce adds that umami/meatiness that's required for a gravy. Even hardcore meatatarians love it.

          6 Replies
          1. re: monopod
            opinionatedchef RE: monopod Jan 17, 2011 11:07 AM

            i knew you clever CHs would have some great uses! And hopefully more will chime in!

            jung, plse elaborate on a 'savory caramel sauce' ? what is that and what do you serve it with?

            a sweets thought:maybe we should suggest to the various "sea salted caramel' food producers (ice cream, candy, truffles etc) that they try a Tamari Caramel version!!

            1. re: opinionatedchef
              JungMann RE: opinionatedchef Jan 17, 2011 11:33 AM

              I am thinking just of a caramel sauce with a bit of salt -- a nod to the salty-sweet desserts that are popular right about now. Googling "soy caramel" will give you myriad ideas for applications from pork tenderloin to banana desserts.

              I am remind also that I like using soy sauce for my gravies. It adds a little bit of nuttiness to the background.

              1. re: JungMann
                opinionatedchef RE: JungMann Jan 17, 2011 11:57 AM

                oh yes, i remember, there's a famous vietnamese pork dish w/ soy caramel. but then again, that gets back to asian, so of course that makes sense( but the caramel part is different!)

            2. re: monopod
              Veggie Liv RE: monopod Jan 20, 2011 07:56 AM

              That gravy sounds awesome!! Do you have a specific recipe or is it just the regular gravy start with rosemary and soy?

              My boyfriend had some vegan biscuits and gravy in Portland almost two years ago that he still compares all others to (meat or not). I'd love to give this a try for him.


              1. re: Veggie Liv
                monopod RE: Veggie Liv Jan 24, 2011 08:15 AM

                It's not vegan - it's a cream base - but it is vegetarian. All I do is make a roux of butter and flour (equal parts), cook it over med-low heat just enough to cook out the raw flour taste, then add cream or half and half, rosemary, some soy sauce, S&P and cook until it's nice and thick. I kind of eyeball it each time so I don't have quantities; the trickiest part is to make enough roux to thicken it, so I'd start with more roux than you think you'll need (since it's easier to thin it with more cream than to thicken it up).

                1. re: monopod
                  Veggie Liv RE: monopod Jan 24, 2011 12:26 PM

                  He's not vegan or even vegetarian, but he just loved that vegan gravy so much that I'm trying to find him a substitute or at least a front runner to compare. I'm not a big gravy fan since I am a vegetarian, so I never really developed my own.

                  Thanks for the ideas!

            3. C. Hamster RE: opinionatedchef Jan 17, 2011 12:07 PM

              It goes in almost everthing

              1. greygarious RE: opinionatedchef Jan 17, 2011 12:21 PM

                Liquid Bragg Aminos tastes akin to soy sauce and can be used as a lower-sodium substitute.
                It would probably be more popular if the name didn't remind people of digestive enzymes.

                21 Replies
                1. re: greygarious
                  cayjohan RE: greygarious Jan 18, 2011 01:42 PM

                  Love the Liquid Aminos, despite the admittedly weird "patent medicine"-type name!. Honestly, it might be because of the spray-bottle packaging I buy mine in - it's so easy to get just a little hint of flavor on so many things without the risk of overdoing it. A little spritz on sauteeing veg, a bit on some potatoes going in for a roasting, a couple of squirts for a gravy that's just *not quite.* Nice product.

                  1. re: greygarious
                    opinionatedchef RE: greygarious Jan 18, 2011 02:15 PM

                    grey, you are FUNny! i don't know this product, but cay's go-to list of uses reminds me alot of joyce chen on tv, probably 50 yrs ago , saying "msg make watah taste like chicken SOUP!!"
                    but seriously, this bragg stuff is not msg related?

                    1. re: opinionatedchef
                      cayjohan RE: opinionatedchef Jan 18, 2011 04:59 PM

                      Here's the website for Bragg's Liquid Aminos - it's a gas! They "mean it." http://bragg.com/products/la.html?gcl...

                      Seriously, I do like the product, if for no other reason than the spray bottle (my life does not include such projects as finding a nice little pump bottle for, say, my soy sauce; just me). Plus, the flavor is just different enough from my soy sauce choices. I don't use tamari enough to have a preference.

                      As for msg? Well, I don't know enough about such things, but the ingredients listed are soybeans and filtered water. If that brew ultimately makes msg in a soy-saucy way, then I'm sure it has it. But I don't know - I do have a friend who uses Bragg's because she wants to avoid msg. But she might be mistaken too. I should burrow more deeply into their website, perhaps, and find out!

                      I know this: it's a nice addition to the spectrum of that type of condiment. And the spray works for me!


                      1. re: cayjohan
                        opinionatedchef RE: cayjohan Jan 18, 2011 08:25 PM

                        hey cay, that website GOT me- w/ the Minnie Pearl hat and all! No, no msg; that's different.
                        So, it looks like I'm gonna be a Braggs girl! Now, do i buy it from the site or do natural food stores etc. [ i think we have a FEW of those in Boston :) ] often carry it? Thnx much for the tip, grey and cay.

                        1. re: opinionatedchef
                          cayjohan RE: opinionatedchef Jan 19, 2011 08:37 AM

                          I get Bragg's at my co-op, but I also see it pop up fairly often in big supermarkets- it's pretty easy to find here in MSP, so I'd bet Boston won't be a problem. That Minnie Pearl hat, though...

                          1. re: opinionatedchef
                            greygarious RE: opinionatedchef Jan 20, 2011 06:43 AM

                            I found it at Market Basket - can't remember if it was Billerica, Wilmington, or Tewksbury. And I think it was in the ethnic aisle rather than the spice section.
                            Also, the Bragg site will send you samples if you want to try it out before you buy.

                            1. re: greygarious
                              queeks RE: greygarious Jan 21, 2011 12:09 AM

                              Found it at Whole Foods when I was there but ShopRite also has it.

                          2. re: cayjohan
                            chimster RE: cayjohan Jan 24, 2011 11:19 AM

                            You just need to avoid non-fermented soy sauce. It is not a soy sauce. Proper soy sauce is fermented. Glutamic acid or MSG which is umami, develops naturally in soy sauce produced by fermentation. Naturally developed MSG (glutamic acid) is okay. It is everywhere in natural food. Stay away from the soy sauce containing hydrolyzed vegetable protein, caramel colors, corn syrup ... Non-fermented soy sauce requires flavor enhancers and coloring, so they are added. I've seen commercially produced MSG in these fake soy sauce. I also avoid soy sauce preserved with sodium benzoate.

                            A fine traditionally produced soy sauce is really delicious. You just need a little to flavor the food. There are number of fine soy sauce producers in Japan, but they do not produce in great quantity, so very few are exported. They don't taste like Kikkoman.

                            1. re: chimster
                              opinionatedchef RE: chimster Jan 24, 2011 11:32 AM

                              chimster, sounds like you are chemistry-informed.Will you tell us if " natural msg", glutamic acid, is present in the Bragg's Liquid Aminos that i've learned about on this thread? thnx much.

                              and chimster, i am a bit confused. i'm not used to reading any badmouthing of kikkoman. Do you mean that kikkoman's tamari that is ' naturally brewed in japan' and listing as ingredients:soybeans, salt, wheat, alcohol(to preserve freshness),glucose" is not a 'fine, traditionally produced soy sauce'? there is a new artisinal one being produced in MA. that i've yet to try. have you had that? because it would be great to now what you think of it. what is your tamari of choice here in the u.s. and whare are you? i'm in the boston area. thanks much.

                              1. re: opinionatedchef
                                chimster RE: opinionatedchef Jan 24, 2011 02:01 PM

                                Hi Ochef,
                                I'm not bad mouthing Kikkoman. I use their regular soy sauce, because their soy sauce is produced by fermentation and they do not use genetically modified soy beans. They also use alcohol to preserve freshness instead of sodium benzoate. Kikkoman is a good quality mass produced sauce. I was just commenting that the artisanal soy sauce produced in Japan by small breweries are nothing like a mass produced soy sauce. It is sort of like wine or sake. I would love to find out about the one in MA. I live in Atlanta-Decatur area.

                                Only thing I do not like about the Kikkoman tamari is the addition of glucose. Most tamari available in the U.S. are not really tamari. The true tamari is much darker and thicker with a tiny hint of sweetness. It is very rich. Glucose is not added, because tamari comes from one of the stages in soy sauce production( I need to check on this because I have forgotten which stage). In Japan, tamari is normally used for sashimi. You wrap a slice of sashimi with a dab of fresh wasabi and dip it in a small amount of tamari. I believe that the use of tamari is encouraged in Macrobiotic cooking because of the less refined nature of tamari compared to soy sauce. Even the tamari produced by an organic company (I can't remember the name) in the U.S. is not a true tamari. It is a good soy sauce though. I'll let you know if I find a true tamari. A good authentic sushi restaurant should have it (but not always in the U.S.).

                                About the Bragg's Liquid Aminos... They claim that they do not use salt, or heat and it is not fermented. They say that the salt comes from the special non-GMO soy beans. They go on and on about Monsanto, the evil empire (I do agree about the evil empire). I think Bragg sauce is too salty to be coming from a minute amount of naturally occurring sodium in soy beans even though it may be a very special kind of beans.

                                You need to check www.essentialoilcookbook.com/html/fas... and read pros and cons about the Bragg sauce. It is very interesting. Braggs are very secretive about how they produce their sauce. Dr. Griselda Blazey's theory regarding saltiness of Bragg sauce is that the soy protein is boiled with hydrochloric acid. This process will break the vegetable protein down to amino acids. Amino acids must be neutralized to be palatable, so baking soda is added. Salt and glutamic acid (MSG) form during the process. At first Braggs denied it, but they finally admitted to using heat. In a nutshell, they are chemically (natural or not) producing their sauce. I still believe that the natural fermentation produces better sauce. Fermented foods in moderation are good for our health. Sodium content during the production can be controlled to a certain extent, but if not, just don't use so much. Anything over done is not healthy and not tasty. So many people soak their sushi in soy sauce-wasabi (there are very heated arguments on Chow about this). Japanese consider heavy handed use of soy sauce to be unsophisticated.

                                I like Bragg sauce, but not as a soy sauce substitute, because it doesn't really have the depth that a good soy sauce has. There are so much confusions regarding naturally occurring properties, chemical changes that occur naturally (good or bad) during the manufacturing and cooking process and chemicals added during manufacturing. Now I see Bragg sauce and what they claim in a different light.

                                1. re: chimster
                                  opinionatedchef RE: chimster Jan 24, 2011 03:12 PM

                                  o.k. chim, here are a few things, new to me, maybe new to you?:

                                  bluegrass soy sauce co in kentucky:


                                  and this one, much written about;
                                  Ohsawa Nama Shoyu

                                  " What do I use? I use Ohsawa Organic Nama Shoyu (shoyu is the Japanese word for soy sauce; nama shoyu means it's unpasteurized) made with 100% organic unpasteurized soy beans.

                                  Ohsawa Nama Shoyu is made in the Japanese mountain village of Kamiizumi-mura, using the spring water from the mountain. The soy sauce is hand-stirred and fermented in sixty 150-year-old cedar kegs, in a wooden post-and-beam factory surrounded by organic gardens. The flavor of Ohsawa Nama Shoyu develops over an unusually long period of time because it is double-fermented. After fermenting the sauce in the cedar vats for at least two summers, the makers add more soybeans and wheat and age it another two summers. Instead of a heavy salt flavor, there is a more complex bouquet of aroma and flavor. Like wine, the aging makes it mellower.

                                  Ohsawa is not cheap at $6.50 for 10 ounces. But spending a few extra bucks for a traditional, slow-brewed soy sauce is worth the investment, especially for use as a dipping sauce or as part of a salad dressing. Because Ohsawa Nama Shoyu is unpasteurized, it's enzyme- and lactobacillus-rich.

                                  And incidentally, Ohsawa Nama Shoyu won a Cooks Illustrated Tasting Lab test. They sampled 12 nationally available brands, including both tamari and shoyu sauce, from Japan, China, and the United States. They tasted them three times: first plain, then with warm rice, and finally cooked in a teriyaki sauce with ginger, garlic, and mirin and brushed over broiled chicken thighs. Ohsawa Nama Shoyu won in the plain tasting." this is quoted from:


                                  http://www.bookofjoe.com/2006/11/ohsa... article in cooks illustrated


                                  i'm awaiting local boston CHs to respond to my boston post to see if i just dreamt of a MA artisinal tamari producer...

                                  1. re: opinionatedchef
                                    chimster RE: opinionatedchef Jan 24, 2011 03:21 PM

                                    Wow, this is getting interesting! I've had nama shoyu, but never tasted Ohsawa. It sounds wonderful, especially fermented in 150 year old cedar kegs. I need to find this. I'm going to check out Bluegrass Soy Sauce Co. too Thank you.

                                    1. re: chimster
                                      opinionatedchef RE: chimster Jan 24, 2011 07:53 PM

                                      this might be the one i was seeking, thanks to a boston CH who answered my query.
                                      Chickpea tamari; well i'll be darned!:



                                      chim et al, if any of you DO try any of these products, and the ones i mentioned before, will you plse report back here on this thread? thnx much.

                                      1. re: opinionatedchef
                                        goodhealthgourmet RE: opinionatedchef Jan 24, 2011 07:58 PM

                                        right ON! i've seen their chickpea miso, but never the tamari. MUST try this!!

                          3. re: opinionatedchef
                            chimster RE: opinionatedchef Jan 23, 2011 10:59 AM

                            Drs. Bragg have really good and reliable products. Flower hatted Patricia Bragg would never put MSG! She is the "health crusader" ( it says that on the label, LOL)! I also use their unfiltered apple cider vinegar. I get them at health food stores and Publix health food section.

                            1. re: chimster
                              monopod RE: chimster Jan 24, 2011 08:22 AM

                              Again, look at the ingredients - it contains glutamic acid. That's natural MSG.

                              1. re: monopod
                                goodhealthgourmet RE: monopod Jan 24, 2011 09:17 AM

                                i think the issue here is naturally-occurring free glutamic that becomes MSG through natural fermentation, vs the *addition* of commercially-produced crystalline MSG...some of us would rather not ingest the latter.

                              2. re: chimster
                                pitu RE: chimster Jan 24, 2011 11:44 AM

                                On the Braggs tip...great tidbit about the original Dr Bragg, father of Patricia, in Jack LaLanne's obit: "LaLanne, who died Sunday at 96, credits nutritionist Paul Bragg with helping him see the light..."

                            2. re: greygarious
                              chimster RE: greygarious Jan 22, 2011 09:50 AM

                              Love Liquid Amino!

                              1. re: greygarious
                                Rick RE: greygarious Jan 25, 2011 12:03 PM

                                Double check that bottle of Bragg Aminos. I believe the serving size is smaller than that listed on the typical soy sauce bottle. If I remember correctly, I think tablespoon vs. tablespoon, the Braggs actually had more sodium. If not more then it was nearly the same.

                                1. re: Rick
                                  goodhealthgourmet RE: Rick Jan 25, 2011 12:39 PM

                                  yup - serving size listed for Braggs is 1/2 tsp.

                                  Braggs contains 320 mg sodium per tsp vs 300 in regular soy sauce. not a huge difference, but it is slightly higher.

                              2. n
                                nsstampqueen RE: opinionatedchef Jan 17, 2011 01:26 PM

                                I have long used soy sauce in my tomato based sauces - chili, spaghetti, lasagne, etc. I find it cuts the acidity of the tomatoes, replaces the need for salt, and helps to give them a nice colour. My family thinks I am nuts when I put it in (my mother shouted at me the first time she saw it), but they sure like the taste!

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: nsstampqueen
                                  huiray RE: nsstampqueen Jan 22, 2011 09:58 AM

                                  Ditto, I do the same in various tomato-based + meat pasta sauces I make.

                                  The first time I described it to the (caucasian) chef-owners in a well-known Jap-fusion restaurant here they raised their eyebrows! Can't believe they never tried it.

                                  1. re: huiray
                                    chimster RE: huiray Jan 22, 2011 10:24 AM

                                    That is really surprising especially coming from Japanese fusion chefs even though they are Caucasian. You would think that one of the basic ingredients of Japanese fusion food would be soy sauce. May be because you found their "secret"...

                                    1. re: chimster
                                      huiray RE: chimster Jan 22, 2011 02:07 PM

                                      <Shrug> They seemed surprised when I described it. Who knows if it is their "secret"...

                                2. g
                                  gimlis1mum RE: opinionatedchef Jan 18, 2011 12:31 PM

                                  I add a tablespoon to the pan when I'm roasting a chicken. It helps create a brown skin when you baste the bird. Otherwise, anything with beef usually gets a shot of soy sauce too.

                                  Hmmmm I got that tip from a Chinese-American friend...is that cheating on the Non-Asian Uses aspect?

                                  13 Replies
                                  1. re: gimlis1mum
                                    greygarious RE: gimlis1mum Jan 18, 2011 01:25 PM

                                    From the Frugal Gourmet - baste baked/roast chicken with a blend of equal parts honey, toasted sesame oil, and soy sauce. Mahogany skin and great flavor.

                                    1. re: greygarious
                                      opinionatedchef RE: greygarious Jan 18, 2011 02:17 PM

                                      grey, you cheatie! - ses oil +soy+honey equal ASIAN!!

                                      1. re: opinionatedchef
                                        greygarious RE: opinionatedchef Jan 20, 2011 06:46 AM

                                        Guilty as charged, except that I recall the Frug learning about the blend from an Italian or Greek gentleman - it was in his series about cooking three ancient cuisines and he was visiting the gentleman's home in Europe.

                                        1. re: greygarious
                                          opinionatedchef RE: greygarious Jan 20, 2011 10:51 PM

                                          grey, 1st of all, don't you think that a "frug" (pronounced like 'rug')would be a great name for some product?!! "Frugs: just wipe your counter, squeeze, and they're ready to go again"......!!

                                          now, to the very serious imPORTant topic of food history. Greek eh? well, i buy that over Italian because of the honey element , of course, but also because middle east cooking uses sesame oil, and greek and mid east cooking have some things in common.... As for italy, sicily WAS under arab rule for a long time.....) BUUUUUT i have never heard of soy sauce originating anywhere but china and japan . Now, given this , i also have read that it's likely that marco polo brought back asian noodles to italy- to become pasta, so i guess it's possible he could have brought back soy sauce, but i have not ever seen that written anywhere. someone will have to do some research on that baby.................

                                          a relevant piece of info would be- are soybeans found in greek or italn. cuisine. I ain't never heeered of it, mahself....

                                          1. re: opinionatedchef
                                            greygarious RE: opinionatedchef Jan 21, 2011 09:49 AM

                                            I don't think the combination was being presented as authentic *anything*..... I recall footage of a baroquely ornate home, and a tanned gentleman with dark hair. I don't have FG's cookbooks - this may or may not be included, simple as the "recipe" is. Possibly it was just something the FG encountered while filming in the Mediterranean. Anyhoo - it's scrumptious on chicken and though I've never remembered to try it with pork, that should be good too. Maybe even lamb and fish.

                                            1. re: greygarious
                                              opinionatedchef RE: greygarious Jan 24, 2011 11:06 PM

                                              grey, thanks for that clarification. but it really got up my curiosity to learn about soy sauce's history and intro to the West.
                                              here's what i found so far:

                                              "Soy sauce. The universal condiment of China and Japan, is also widely used throughout SE Asia. It is the main condiment of Indonesia, where soya beans are grown extensively. Although soya beans have been grown in China for at least 3500 years, the sauce is a slightly more recent invention. It was developed during the Zhou dynasty (1134-246 BC) , and probably evolved in conjunction with the fermented fish sauces, many of which involved both fish and rice. The moulds Aspergillus oryzae and A. soyae are the principal agents in producing soy sauce, and the enzymes which they provide are similar to those which ferment fish sauce. These organisms are common and could accidentally have got to work on soya beans, with results which would have been recognized as a fishless fish sauce'. Early soy sauce was a solid paste known as sho or mesho. This developed into two products, liquid shoyu and solid miso. In China the liquid sauce is used more than the paste, while in Japan both are of equal importance. The European name soy' (similar in all languages) originates with the 17th-century Dutch traders who brought the sauce back to Europe, where it became popular despite its high price."

                                              ---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 740)

                                              About soy

                                              Recommended reading (both contain extensive bibliographies for further reading):
                                              Food of China, E. N. Anderson
                                              Cambridge World History of Food, Kiple & Ornelas "

                                              and, from the Mayo Clinic website:
                                              " Soy has been a dietary staple in Asian countries for at least 5,000 years, and during the Chou dynasty in China (1134-246 B.C.), fermentation techniques were discovered that allowed soy to be prepared in more easily digestible forms such as tempeh, miso, and tamari soy sauce. Tofu was invented in 2 nd -Century China.

                                              Soy was introduced to Europe in the 1700s and to the United States in the 1800s. Large-scale soybean cultivation began in the United States during World War II. Currently, Midwestern U.S. states produce approximately half of the world's supply of soybeans."

                                              and Wikipedia's entry; the most comprehensive of all i have found so far:


                                              since soy sauce went from china to indonesia and onto holland by way of the Dutch traders, i wonder if soy sauce crept into dutch cuisine before other western countries. other than the dutch tradition of rijstafel(sp!) i myself have not heard of traditional dutch cuisine using soy sauce.>>>Anyone?

                                              1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                chimster RE: opinionatedchef Jan 25, 2011 08:11 AM

                                                Soy sauce were exported to Holland and Indonesia from Japan around 1700s. I have seen old ceramic bottles used for exporting soy sauce. I wonder if Portuguese traders were involved since only Dutch and Portuguese were the only traders permitted to enter Nagasaki port during the isolation. Need to check on these too.

                                        2. re: opinionatedchef
                                          huiray RE: opinionatedchef Jan 22, 2011 10:06 AM

                                          Really? :-)

                                          I guess lots of folks think of "soy sauce" = "Asian" automatically irregardless of what it is used in... Certainly Kevin Sbraga (winner of TC season 7) appeared to think so, with curled lip to boot...at least as presented on the (edited) TC show.

                                          [Nevermind that "Asian" should not equal "Chinese"]

                                          1. re: opinionatedchef
                                            goodhealthgourmet RE: opinionatedchef Jan 23, 2011 10:21 PM

                                            (btw, while India may be considered some part of asia, i do not consider it so in this question of soy sauce usage, as soy sauce is not a component in traditional Indian cooking.)
                                            okay, but now you're just rewriting geography! India *is* a part of Asia, and i think that's partly why huiray was [rightly] hounding you to answer him and clarify what you meant by "non-Asian uses." people have an unfortunate tendency to toss around the term "Asian" very cavalierly when it comes to food, completely ignoring very distinct/unique regional differences.

                                            had you named specific countries or regions and said you wanted ideas for dishes that weren't Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai (you get the idea) in influence or origin...i don't think it would have been such an issue.

                                            re: Kevin & Top Chef, there is a whole collection of threads about it - one for each episode - you can read up on what we all had to say about him and everyone else that season.


                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                              opinionatedchef RE: goodhealthgourmet Jan 23, 2011 11:06 PM

                                              gee, ghg, i didn't realize it WAS an issue; maybe i missed some signs from others?
                                              i certainly don't feel cavalier about asia. but i also think i disagree about including indian food as asian food in my query. for the majority of american cooks, i think ' asian cuisine' has soy sauce as a major component. well, it is that meaning that i am representing by the term 'non-asian' >> 'not from a cuisine that has soy sauce as a major traditional ingredient.'

                                              for future 'asian cooking' references, this may help, from wikipedia:
                                              as one can see in this article above, 'asian cuisine' is a complex topic. afghani cuisine is included with indian and pakistani food in ' southern asian cuisine' but afghani food seems to have more in common with turkish and arabic foods( 'western asia/ middle east' )than with any of the other cuisines in asia.

                                              sorry if my title was ambiguous to some.
                                              and ghg, thanks so much for the 'snarky kevin' links.

                                              1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                goodhealthgourmet RE: opinionatedchef Jan 24, 2011 07:32 AM

                                                i meant the "issue" between you & huiray...just trying to end to back-and-forth so we can return to more constructive discussion ;)

                                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                  huiray RE: goodhealthgourmet Jan 24, 2011 07:48 AM

                                                  Thank you, ghg.

                                                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                    opinionatedchef RE: goodhealthgourmet Jan 24, 2011 11:07 AM

                                                    thnx much ghg. did you see the one about the frozen pipes?!! priceless!

                                      2. atomeyes RE: opinionatedchef Jan 18, 2011 01:27 PM

                                        i use soy sauce when i'm making non-meat-based soups.
                                        for example, i'll make a vegetarian lentil soup. i use water with 2 or so tablespoonsful of soy sauce as the broth base.

                                        1. dave_c RE: opinionatedchef Jan 18, 2011 02:20 PM

                                          Mainly use in marinades for meat - beef and chicken., especially for high heat cooking (on the grill).

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: dave_c
                                            Maggie19 RE: dave_c Jan 25, 2011 10:37 AM

                                            Same here - a nice fillet with just a whiff of good quality lite soy ...

                                            1. re: dave_c
                                              GraydonCarter RE: dave_c Jan 25, 2011 11:37 AM

                                              Soy sauce with Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and garlic - a simple marinade.

                                            2. opinionatedchef RE: opinionatedchef Jan 18, 2011 02:46 PM

                                              BTW, to everyone who uses soy sauce as additive, do try Tamari for a richer deeper flavor. After doing due diligence by researching "best tamari" panel results, i tasted a number of different ones and found them to differ quite a bit. My 2 favs are:

                                              --kikkoman naturally brewed tamari soy sauce; black and gold label ; brewed in japan and
                                              --eden organic tamari soy sauce IMPORTED white and green label

                                              1. Emme RE: opinionatedchef Jan 18, 2011 08:56 PM

                                                i use Bragg's in so many things... for me it adds a heartiness in addition to the salt... my current faves:

                                                egg whites with yellow curry powder, oregano, a dash of chili powder and a little bragg's

                                                in a mushroom greens miso stew

                                                in salad dressing

                                                blended with my favorite hearty veggie broth and favorite onion powder to toss with veggies

                                                probably my favorite condiment. (it replaced balsamic vinegar as #1 when i found out i couldn't have that anymore. RIP white balsamic vinegar RIP.)

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: Emme
                                                  Foodlexi RE: Emme Jan 21, 2011 02:51 AM

                                                  Following on from this, I often use fish sauce in savoury dishes. If I am roasting lamb and have no anchovies, with which (with garlic) I 'lard' the joint, I might just use garlic and sprinkle it with fish sauce instead. Works a treat.

                                                  1. re: Foodlexi
                                                    opinionatedchef RE: Foodlexi Jan 21, 2011 10:59 AM

                                                    cool thinking!

                                                2. Emafer RE: opinionatedchef Jan 22, 2011 03:15 AM

                                                  I use it in many of the places mentioned but the one place where I use a significant amount of it that's very non- traditional is in my BBQ sauce. And everybody absolutely loves it. I used to live in Memphis and even my Memphian friends loved my BBQ sauce.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Emafer
                                                    buttertart RE: Emafer Jan 24, 2011 12:11 PM

                                                    Good use for the cruddy soy sauce in packs from Chinese restaurant takeaways - mix up with equal number of the mustard and the duck sauce and use as a glaze on ribs done in the oven. You'd be surprised how good it is.

                                                  2. c
                                                    chimster RE: opinionatedchef Jan 22, 2011 09:48 AM

                                                    I drizzle small amount of soy sauce into the kumquat preserve right before taking the pan off the stove. Good in orange marmalade too. Pasta with a little butter or olive oil, soy sauce and parmesan cheese is my childhood comfort food. I also sneak some soy sauce into tomato/meat sauce, meat balls, stew, etc. Chunks of avocado with soy sauce and wasabi is delicious.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: chimster
                                                      opinionatedchef RE: chimster Jan 22, 2011 01:01 PM

                                                      you want to make that avocado fly outta the park??! drizzle w/ sesame oil mixed w/ a little soy and garlic and lime juice. it's the seame oil that just homeruns it.

                                                      that's so interesting about the preserves/marmalade. neat.

                                                      1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                        chimster RE: opinionatedchef Jan 23, 2011 10:47 AM

                                                        Wow, thank you Ochef! I made it for breakfast. You are so right, the sesame oil is very important in this mixture. I forgot to put it in at first, and the taste difference is night and day. I ended up eating two avocados by myself! It is addicting. I'm going out to get some more avocados.

                                                        Finishing up with a small amount of soy sauce gives kumquat preserves and orange marmalade a depth to the flavor and rich color.

                                                        1. re: chimster
                                                          opinionatedchef RE: chimster Jan 23, 2011 11:13 AM

                                                          chim, can't tell if you're vegetarian, but this mixture, chopped, and with a little minced red onion, makes a great pairing with smoked trout, sushi tuna, sushi salmon. I used to do h.d.(hors d'oeuvre) of it and have also had restnt dishes of it: put a pammed ring mold on a plate, fill halfway w/ avocado mixture, cubed . top with chopped sushi tuna or chopped sushi salmon. "i can die now cuz i'm in heaven" !!

                                                          1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                            chimster RE: opinionatedchef Jan 23, 2011 11:37 AM

                                                            I'm not a vegetarian. That really sounds heavenly! I bet it goes well with hamachi (yellowtail) too. I might wrap the avocado mixture and tuna or salmon sashimi with nori (seaweed) or with buttery bibb lettuce without rice. I'll get some smoked trout to start with when I run out for avocado.

                                                    2. goodhealthgourmet RE: opinionatedchef Jan 22, 2011 06:06 PM

                                                      no soy sauce for me, but i use Braggs Aminos or GF Tamari all the time to add a deeper level of umami & salt to all sorts of dishes...

                                                      - tomato-based sauces
                                                      - curries
                                                      - roasted vegetables
                                                      - white bean dip
                                                      - carrot or squash puree
                                                      - yams/sweet potatoes
                                                      - tahini sauce
                                                      - salad dressing
                                                      - marinades
                                                      - my Thanksgiving stuffing casserole
                                                      - simple roast chicken
                                                      - eggs
                                                      - meatballs/meat loaf
                                                      - turkey burgers
                                                      - bean/veggie burgers
                                                      - polenta
                                                      - spiced nuts
                                                      - roasted chickpeas
                                                      - chutney
                                                      - fruit compote
                                                      - ganache

                                                      i need to try it in white chocolate bark next.

                                                      5 Replies
                                                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                        opinionatedchef RE: goodhealthgourmet Jan 22, 2011 09:28 PM

                                                        eggs..i like that.egg foo yung. Think i'll start a thread on eggs.
                                                        but ghg, ganACHE???!! really?like 1/4 tsp tamari in 2 c. ganache?

                                                        do you think it's possible that the food we grew up with in the U.S.- somehow sabotaged our tastebuds, as in did permanent damage? so that we feel the need to add these touches to so many of our foods?
                                                        I mean, why can't we just revel in simple chicken etc. w/ S and P? are we experiencing the tastebud equivalent of damaging our inner ears w/ years of LOUD rock music?

                                                        1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                          soupkitten RE: opinionatedchef Jan 22, 2011 09:36 PM

                                                          huh? i can't hear you over the slayer album. whud you say? yeah, i put tamari in regular ol 5 ingredient chicken soup ALL THE TIME! adds a special something, folks can't quite put their finger. . . oh man, this drum solo ROCKS!

                                                          *falling over*

                                                          1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                            goodhealthgourmet RE: opinionatedchef Jan 22, 2011 09:57 PM

                                                            but ghg, ganACHE???!! really?like 1/4 tsp tamari in 2 c. ganache?
                                                            heck yes! Grant Achatz serves soy sauce marshmallows with his chocolate ganache, why can't i add a dash of tamari to mine? ;) but seriously, don't knock it 'til you've tried it. if you think about it, the flavors make perfect sense together. we pair salt with chocolate in myriad ways, this just adds a hint of savory smokiness along with the salt...like in the bacon chocolate bar!

                                                            do you think it's possible that the food we grew up with in the U.S.- somehow sabotaged our tastebuds, as in did permanent damage? so that we feel the need to add these touches to so many of our foods?
                                                            nope, not mine. i have an *extremely* sensitive palate - i've been asked by many sommeliers & chocolatiers if i'm in their respective businesses because i can pick up on (and identify) notes in wine & chocolate that most people can't. and for the record, i use salt VERY sparingly in my cooking because i'm quite sensitive to sodium. in fact, a small amount of Braggs or tamari is often the only source of added sodium in some of my dishes. and i didn't say i *always* use them in the dishes i listed - it depends on the other ingredients involved. you asked for examples of uses, i provided some...no one said they were hard-and-fast rules.

                                                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                                              opinionatedchef RE: goodhealthgourmet Jan 22, 2011 10:56 PM

                                                              Hmmmm,ghg, hope that last paragraph wasn't defensive. cuz i meant no offense. i really was just ruminating. i said 'we' not 'you'. and i was not knocking the ganache thing; i was just asking because it startled me. and of course you have a sensitive palate; i'm afraid you misunderstood my whole query. sorry to have been unclear.

                                                              1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                goodhealthgourmet RE: opinionatedchef Jan 23, 2011 07:48 AM

                                                                i did misunderstand - with all those question marks ??? and no comment or emoticon to indicate otherwise, i took it completely seriously. thanks for clarifying :)

                                                        2. Peg RE: opinionatedchef Jan 24, 2011 08:58 AM

                                                          A most definitely non Asian cooking use that I find particularly effective is as an unblocker of frozen pipes. A waste, I know - but it defrosts the ice beautifully if poured down a drain in an emergency.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: Peg
                                                            opinionatedchef RE: Peg Jan 24, 2011 12:27 PM

                                                            ha! that's brilliant. with a good 24" plus snow blanketing everything right now, and single digit temos, we were thawig out pipes 2 days ago. so i will keep your experience firmly in mind! but, on reflection, i wonder why not make a strong solution of salt melted in boiling water, cooled a bit and poured down the pipe?

                                                            1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                              Peg RE: opinionatedchef Jan 25, 2011 12:31 AM

                                                              I had very little salt in the house and was unable to get to the shops because of extreme ice.

                                                          2. opinionatedchef RE: opinionatedchef Jan 24, 2011 12:14 PM

                                                            i just surprised myself; i added some to my clam chowder and it was perfect!

                                                            1. c
                                                              cheesecake17 RE: opinionatedchef Jan 24, 2011 12:27 PM

                                                              I like to mix soy sauce and tahini and pour it over plain hot pasta, preferably something twirly shaped. Ate it all the time as a kid.

                                                              8 Replies
                                                              1. re: cheesecake17
                                                                opinionatedchef RE: cheesecake17 Jan 24, 2011 12:30 PM

                                                                that's so cool.On your way to pad thai and not even knowing it! i bet you would love Annie's Goddess Dressing(sold at WhFoods amongst many places.)

                                                                1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                  opinionatedchef RE: opinionatedchef Jan 24, 2011 02:42 PM

                                                                  just found this fun one on a foragers blog:

                                                                  Here's a fun appetizer recipe.
                                                                  Halve and seed a just-ripe avocado. Perforate it like crazy with a fork to make it holey, drizzle a fine quality aged balsamic just around the top only, and let it seep in. Half fill the seed hole with Nama Shoyu. Use a small spoon to scoop and dip as you eat...enjoy a holy moment!

                                                                  Posted by: Cybscribe | May 14, 2009 5:00:38 PM

                                                                  1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                    chimster RE: opinionatedchef Jan 24, 2011 03:27 PM

                                                                    I'll make this when I get Ohsawa Nama Shoyu. It sounds wonderful! When preparing sweet and sour pork ( not the nasty candy orange kind), use balsamic vinegar instead of regular white vinegar or rice vinegar. It adds depth and extra umami to the dish.

                                                                    1. re: chimster
                                                                      opinionatedchef RE: chimster Jan 24, 2011 04:11 PM

                                                                      chim, you know about chinese black vinegar? is somewhat balsamic- like though i know nothing about its manufacture.

                                                                      hey, i thought Kentuck would appeal to you; no?

                                                                      1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                        chimster RE: opinionatedchef Jan 25, 2011 08:42 AM

                                                                        Thank you for the Kentucky Bluegrass Soy sauce info. I'm going to order some. Other products they have sound really good. Worcestershire sauce sounds delicious too.

                                                                        Chinese black rice vinegars I use are Gold Plum's Chinkiang vinegar and Chundan brand. Superior Mature Vinegar Grain Brewed by Donghn (East Lake) Brand is very good too. Supeior Mature Vinegar is brewed from sorghum, barley and peas. I use them for scrambled eggs with tomatoes, salads, pot stickers, noodles, braised dishes, etc. Black vinegar is supposed to be very healthy.
                                                                        Japanese brown rice vinegar is very tasty too.

                                                                        Do you use Chinese red rice vinegar? It is good in seafood. My Chinese friends put it in seafood soup at the table. It is a good seafood dipping vinegar. It has very delicate flavor which is slightly sweet and salty, so it is used after the food comes off from the stove. I love it on seafood pan fried noodles. Only thing I do not like about the red vinegar is artificial red color. I wonder where the red color came from before artificial red coloring was available? I use Koon Chun brand from Hong Kong.

                                                                        1. re: chimster
                                                                          opinionatedchef RE: chimster Jun 20, 2011 02:54 PM

                                                                          hi chim, did you ever order that Kentucky Bluegrass Soy sce? (I misplaced this thread xerox!)

                                                                  2. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                    chimster RE: opinionatedchef Jan 24, 2011 03:31 PM

                                                                    Annie's Goddess Dressing is soooooo good........

                                                                    1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                      cheesecake17 RE: opinionatedchef Jan 24, 2011 04:16 PM

                                                                      Actually ate the soy sauce/tahini mixture tonight, thinned out with a bit of water as the dressing on a romaine and avocado salad.

                                                                      I've seen the Annie's dressing at WFM, but it's not kosher. I have seen copycat recipes.. I'm going to try one!

                                                                  3. h
                                                                    haiku. RE: opinionatedchef Jan 25, 2011 10:08 AM

                                                                    Cut up some sweet potatoes into wedges/fries, toss with soy sauce, a little bit of olive oil and some crushed coriander seeds, and pop it into the oven. Add a little bit of honey if you don't mind the extra sweetness. This is divine! How I got my boyfriend to start liking sweet potatoes.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: haiku.
                                                                      opinionatedchef RE: haiku. Jan 25, 2011 11:17 AM


                                                                    2. opinionatedchef RE: opinionatedchef Jan 25, 2011 11:20 AM

                                                                      PLEASE- Somebody else try it on popcorn and see how delicious it is! Forget butter!

                                                                      7 Replies
                                                                      1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                        cayjohan RE: opinionatedchef Jan 25, 2011 11:57 AM

                                                                        How could I forget popcorn?! Popcorn is one of the reasons I love the Bragg's spray bottle!

                                                                        1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                          chimster RE: opinionatedchef Jan 25, 2011 12:02 PM

                                                                          I put soy sauce, a little vinegar and sesame oil on my popcorn this past weekend. It was great. Thank you, Ochef!

                                                                          1. re: chimster
                                                                            opinionatedchef RE: chimster Jan 25, 2011 03:20 PM

                                                                            that's cool, chim! now try just tamari!

                                                                            1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                              chimster RE: opinionatedchef Jan 25, 2011 04:59 PM

                                                                              Okay, ochef! I'll check my local Japanese grocery store for tamari. I have another idea. Have you ever tried powdered soy sauce? You can get it at www.spicebarn.com/soy_sauce_powder.htm You can sprinkle it on popcorn lightly coated with sesame, butter, or olive oil.

                                                                              1. re: chimster
                                                                                opinionatedchef RE: chimster Jan 25, 2011 11:59 PM

                                                                                now chim, that is a sweet thought, but i think tamari on popcorn is literally the ONLY food i like fine w/o any fat.really. so I gotta hold onto that! btw, the 2 labels i recommended above somewhere- are sold at Whole Foods and some natural food stores, though i have found that particular kikkoman product at asian markets.i'm in boston area. but boy, that powdered soy sauce - wouldn't that be just great for backpackers?(then again, it's prob. old-hat to them.)

                                                                                1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                                  chimster RE: opinionatedchef Jan 26, 2011 01:08 PM

                                                                                  I'll have my popcorn with tamari and nothing else. Yeah, some backpackers use powdered soy sauce. It probably would be good in making cotton candy if you have one of those machines.
                                                                                  I just remembered about the soy sauce flavored soft serve ice cream you can get in Japan.

                                                                                  1. re: chimster
                                                                                    opinionatedchef RE: chimster Jan 26, 2011 05:23 PM

                                                                                    no kidding! the whole japanese flavored ice creams- green tea, ginger, adzuki bean, black sesame.... I well remember when i visited Japan in 1980 and was so surprised when everyone looked at me like i was crazy when i asked for ginger or green tea ice cream! so i learned that it was invented here in the good ol' land of invention and fusion. If it's sold in Japan now, it was an idea imported back from here!

                                                                        2. Peg RE: opinionatedchef Jan 26, 2011 12:04 AM

                                                                          Blend 2 soy, 2 basalmic vinegar, 1 Dijon mustard, 4 olive oil, 1 lemon juice with creamy goat cheese - it makes a yummy dressing for a salad of roast cashews, spring onions, baby potatoes and optionally chicken/quorn..

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: Peg
                                                                            opinionatedchef RE: Peg Jan 26, 2011 12:08 AM

                                                                            hmmm, i'm def. going to make that so thx much! peg, it's either a typo or i'm just not up on the lingo, but what is quorn?

                                                                            1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                              Peg RE: opinionatedchef Jan 26, 2011 02:22 AM

                                                                              quorn is a micoprotein stuff - meat substitute. Maybe it isn't available in the US?

                                                                              (and the numbers refer to tablespoons)

                                                                              1. re: opinionatedchef
                                                                                goodhealthgourmet RE: opinionatedchef Jan 26, 2011 03:25 PM

                                                                                Quorn is *mycoprotein* not microprotein...and it's a meat substitute extracted from a fungus that's produced through fermentation.

                                                                                and yes, it is available here in the US. you can usually find it in the frozen section of any large supermarket that carries a decent selection of vegetarian/vegan items.


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