Growing up loving Chinese food, we always had a bottle of Soy Sauce in the house. But did you know that not all Soy Sauce is created equal? Today we will see why.
Soy Sauce is Fermented Right?
Soy sauce is made from fermented soy beans, wheat, and brine. Aspergillus mold is added to the mixture and let sit for a few days. The next step is to add our good friend lactobacillus. The lactobacillus bacteria break down any sugar and turn it into lactic acid. This lactobacillus process is the same process for making other fermented foods such as yogurt! The soy sauce is then left to sit and ferment for a few months or even a few years. Just like a good wine!
But I’m Gluten Intolerant!
That’s OK! We still love you! And you still have an option. Tamari! This is a soy sauce that is made with little to no wheat. So make sure to check your label for the presence of wheat in the ingredient list.
So Why do I Need Organic, Naturally Fermented Soy Sauce?
Many brands out there that are what I call, “Chemical Soy Sauce”. Instead of fermenting them over the course of a few months, they use chemicals to mimic the fermentation process and make the sauce in 2 days!
“Nowadays, defatted soy meal, the residue of soybean oil production, is broken down—hydrolyzed—into amino acids and sugars with concentrated hydrochloric acid. This caustic mixture is then neutralized with alkaline sodium carbonate, and flavored and colored with corn syrup, caramel, water, and salt.” – Harold McGee, On Food and Cooking
So from now on our family will stick to organic naturally fermented brands. Of course we will continue to go to Chinese restaurants but for any home cooking we will be using the good kind! And maybe I’ll even remember to bring a bottle along with me on our next trip to a restaurant.
Leave a comment and let us know what brand you like. And if you haven’t switched to an organic and naturally brewed version give it a try!