So You Think You Know Your Soy Sauce?

Soy sauce (or locally known as Toyo) is as much of a pantry staple as rice, especially in a Pinoy kitchen cupboard.

But how well do you actually know this household favorite? Check out these five saucy facts about the classic soy sauce and be ready to get craving!

1. It has a wide variety across different regions. Originating in China by fermenting soybeans and wheat, soy sauce has existed for over 2000 years. This practice eventually reached neighboring countries who developed their own unique combinations, resulting to an assortment of colors and flavors.

The Japanese crafted Shōyu using wheat as a primary ingredient which gives it a slightly sweeter taste. Korea then came up with Ganjang, as well as its own varieties based on production and aging time. Meanwhile, Indonesia has Kecap (fermented sauces), specifically the popular Kecap Manis or sweet soy sauce. It has a syrupy consistency and sweet flavor due to palm sugar.

Locally, we have our very own Toyo which leans on the saltier side and has a thinner texture.

2. It can be created through 2 different ways. Traditionally, soy sauce is created through the brewed method or fermentation. While it produces high-quality soy sauce, this process takes months to accomplish.

However, innovation in the food industry made it possible to produce soy sauce in a matter of days through chemical hydrolysis. This non-brewed method does not only speed up manufacturing but is also more cost-effective. If made through this process, the product will be listed as hydrolyzed soy protein or hydrolyzed vegetable protein.

3. It contains a lot of nutrients. For something primarily made from such small beans, this seasoning packs quite the amount of potential health benefits! Studies show that soy sauce even has 10 times more antioxidant than red wine, helping protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.

It also contains proteins, carbohydrates, and a small amount of fiber – all of which promotes digestion and gut health, decreases blood pressure, reduces allergies, and boosts the immune system. Of course, moderation is key because too much of anything could still be bad for you.

4. It is best refrigerated. Some components of soy sauce serve as natural preservatives. This keeps it from going bad if you opt to place it in room temperature as seen in most restaurants with condiments ready on their tables.

However, did you know that you can preserve your soy sauce’s freshness and flavor if you store it in a cool place? Since direct light and heat are big no-no’s, best keep it inside a refrigerator especially if you purchase in bulk and you don’t expect to use it all up within a month.

5. It has room in the dessert menu. Who says you can’t season your sweets? It might seem bizarre, but your next possible favorite ice cream topping is already waiting in your kitchen.

You can try it out by placing 1 cup of your favorite vanilla ice cream in a serving bowl or cup, then drizzle with 1 teaspoon of Silver Swan Soy Sauce. Mix until well incorporated and serve. It’s all about the sweet-savory balance!

Whether used as a dip (with calamansi for that Pinoy toyomansi combo), viand seasoning (Adobo wouldn’t be complete without it), overnight marinade (Chicken Inasal made better), and even as a pairing to your favorite dessert (vanilla soy sauce ice cream, anyone?), this salty liquid condiment definitely spices up every mealtime.

Want more tasty recipes using soy sauce or other bite-size facts on your kitchen favorites? Then don’t forget to visit today!