Different types of Japanese soy sauces
I went to a large Japanese market and saw different types of soy sauces, some really expensive and some more affordable. Can anyone explain the differences? Also, can anyone recommend me a good bottle of soy sauce other than the plain Kikkoman soy sauce Costco carries?
Have a little Asian market not far from me. People who own/run it are VERY willing to help! Think first time I went in was cuz I knew I would need soy sauce relatively soon. When I w=saw they had maybe 6-7 brands, beside supermarket Kikoman... labels NOT in ENglish... just asked WHICH I should try first?!? Have found lots of BARGAINS there. Sesame seeds... white and black... $.99 for 4 ounces... that's a LOT of sesame seeds! Panko bread crumbs... less than HALF what supermarket charges for SAME brand. Slowly working my way thru the zillion noodles. Tofu is FRESH in a bucket that someone scoops out for ya. Veggies are super fresh. JUMBO eggs usually $1.75 a dozen.
I just ASK and store owners are very happy to EDUCATE me in unfamiliar food items. Have discovered that Miso paste pretty much has an infinite life in the fridge!
I asked in my local oriental market about the difference in prices for sauces in general. The owner (who is not Japanese) confided that all things Japanese are more expensive because they are Japanese and she steered me to a rather mild Korean soy sauce for general cooking.
Japanese soy sauce that is artisinally produced will cost more--and taste better than mega-manufactured brands. It is referred to as Shoyu and is often aged before bottled. You can find high quality Japanese soy sauce from this company that imports them, among other quality Japanese products:
There are many varieties of soy sauce but I generally break them down into two categories; Cooking and Dipping. The varieties used for cooking are usually thinner, less flavorful and saltier. The dipping varieties are thicker, some twice as thick as the cooking types, and have a richer, deeper flavor profile.
I usually buy soy sauce at ethnic food specialty stores rather than supermarkets or big box stores.
I did some searching and found a web site that I think will help you with your question.
Take a look at:
It has more information on the subject than I can offer.
Since you are looking at stuff in a large Japanese market presumably with a large Japanese clientele looking for stuff they would get or buy "at home" in Japan these two articles (there are others) may be useful to read also:
(oops, meant to reply to Monica...)