Food Guts - Ingredient Information

Ingredient Lookup

Soy Sauce

Nutritional Information

1 cup, soy sauce

  • Calories 135
  • Calories from Fat 0.9
  • Amount%DV
  • Total Fat 0.1g0%
  • Saturated Fat 0.013g0%
  • Monounsaturated Fat 0.015g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 0.048g
  • Cholestreol 0mg0%
  • Sodium 14374mg599%
  • Potassium 553mg16%
  • Total Carbohydrate 19.41g6%
  • Dietary Fiber 2g8%
  • Sugars 4.34g
  • Protein 16.01g32%
  • Calcium 5mg1%
  • Iron 27mg150%
  • Vitamin A 0%
  • Vitamin C 0%

Soy Sauce Cooking Considerations:

No Cooking Considerations yet. Add some!

Soy Sauce Storage Considerations:

No Storage Considerations yet. Add some!

Soy Sauce Substitutions:

No Substitutions yet. Add some!

Soy Sauce on Wikipedia:

This article has multiple issues. Please help improve the article or discuss these issues on the talk page. It needs additional references or sources for verification. Tagged since January 2008. It may contain original research or unverifiable claims. Tagged since January 2008. Soy sauce A bottle of Japanese soy sauce. Chinese name Traditional Chinese 1. 醬油 2. 荳油 3. 豉油 Simplified Chinese 1. 酱油 2. 豆油 3. 豉油 Transliterations Mandarin - Hanyu Pinyin 1. jiàng yóu Min - Hokkien POJ 2. dau4 yu5 Cantonese - Jyutping 3. si6 yau4 Filipino name Tagalog toyo Japanese name Kanji 醤油 Hiragana しょうゆ Transliterations - Revised Hepburn shōyu - Kunrei-shiki syôyu Korean name Hangul 간장 Transliterations - Revised Romanization ganjang - McCune- Reischauer kanjang Thai name Thai ซีอิ๊ว (si-ew) Vietnamese name Quốc ngữ xì dầu or nước tương

Soy sauce, or soya sauce, is produced by fermenting soybeans with the molds Aspergillus oryzae and Aspergillus soyae[1] along with roasted grain, water, and salt. Soy sauce was invented in China, where it has been used as a condiment for close to 2,500 years. In its various forms, it is widely used in East and Southeast Asian cuisines and increasingly appears in Western cuisine and prepared foods.



Soy sauce originated in China and spread from there to East and Southeast Asia.[2] Like many salty condiments, soy sauce was probably originally a way to stretch salt, historically an expensive commodity. The recipe for Chinese soy sauce, 酱油 jiàngyóu, originally included fermented fish as well as soybeans.[3]

Records of the Dutch East India Company first list soy sauce as a commodity in 1737, when seventy-five large barrels were shipped from Dejima, Japan to Batavia (present-day Jakarta) on the island of Java. Thirty-five barrels from that shipment were forwarded by ship to the Netherlands.[4]

In the 18th century, Isaac Titsingh published accounts of brewing soy sauce shōyu in Japan. Although many earlier descriptions of soy sauce had been disseminated in the West, this was amongst the earliest to focus specifically on the brewing of the Japanese version.[5]

By the mid-19th century, Japanese shōyu gradually disappeared from European market and ``soy sauce`` became synonymous with the Chinese product, because costly shōyu could not compete with the cheaper Chinese product. Europeans of that time were unable to make soy sauce because they didn't understand the function of a crucial ingredient – kōji.[6]


Soy sauce is made from soybeans.


Traditional soy sauces are made by mixing the grain and/or soybeans with yeast, Aspergillus oryzae or other related microorganisms. Historically, soy sauces were fermented under natural conditions, such as in giant urns and under the sun, which was believed to contribute to additional flavours. Today, most of the commercially-produced counterparts are instead fermented under machine-controlled environments. Many soy sauces sold in U.S. grocery stores contain no soy at all; they are made from fermented wheat. As such, consumers allergic to wheat or soy will need to ascertain the product source prior to purchase. Although there are many types of soy sauce, all are salty and ``earthy``-tasting brownish liquids used to season food while cooking or at the table. Soy sauce has a distinct basic taste called umami (旨味?, literally ``delicious taste``) in Japanese. Umami was first identified as a basic taste in 1908 by Kikunae Ikeda of the Tokyo Imperial University. The free glutamates which naturally occur in soy sauce are what give it this taste quality.

Acid-hydrolysed vegetable protein

Many cheaper brands of soy sauces are made from hydrolyzed soy protein instead of brewed with natural bacterial and fungal cultures.[citation needed] These soy sauces do not have the natural color of brewed soy sauces and are typically colored with caramel coloring, and are popular in Southeast Asia and China, and are exported to Asian markets around the globe.[citation needed] They are derogatorily called Chemical Soy Sauce (``化學醬油`` in Chinese), but despite this name are the most widely used type because they are cheap[citation needed]. Similar products are also sold as ``liquid aminos`` in the US and Canada.

Some soy sauces have been found to contain high levels of the potentially cancer causing chemicals 3-MCPD (3-chloro-1,2-propanediol) and 1,3-DCP (1,3-dichloro-2-propanol), both belonging to a group of chemicals known as chloropropanols.[7] 3-MCDP and 1,3-DCP are usually produced by adding acid hydrolysed vegetable protein to accelerate soy source production. Other sources are acid hydrolysis of some or all of the soya bean/wheat and the toasting of the wheat component.


This section is missing citations or needs footnotes. Please help add inline citations to guard against copyright violations and factual inaccuracies. (January 2009)

Soy sauce has been integrated into the traditional cuisines of many East Asian and Southeast Asian cultures. Soy sauce is widely used as a particularly important flavoring in Japanese, Thai, Korean, and Chinese cuisine. Despite their rather similar appearance, soy sauces produced in different cultures and regions are very different in taste, consistency, fragrance and saltiness. Soy sauce retains its quality longer when kept away from direct sunlight.

Chinese soy sauce

Chinese soy sauce (simplified Chinese: 酱油; traditional Chinese: 醬油; pinyin: jiàngyóu; or 豉油 chǐyóu) is primarily made from soybeans, with relatively low amounts of other grains. There are two main varieties:

Light or fresh soy sauce (生抽 shÄ“ngchōu; or 酱清 ``jiàng qing``; ): A thin (non-viscous), opaque, lighter brown soy sauce. It is the main soy sauce used for seasoning since it is saltier, less colourfully noticeable (due to its lighter colour), and also adds a distinct flavour. The light soy sauce made from the first pressing of the soybeans is called tóuchōu (simplified Chinese: 头抽; traditional Chinese: 頭抽), which can be loosely translated as first soy sauce or referred to as premium light soy sauce. Touchōu is sold at a premium because, like extra virgin olive oil, the flavor of the first pressing is considered superior. An additional classification of light soy sauce, shuānghuáng (雙璜), is double-fermented to add further complexity to the flavour. These last two more delicate types are used primarily for dipping. Dark/old soy sauce (老抽 lÇŽochōu), a darker and slightly thicker soy sauce, is aged longer and contains added molasses to give it its distinctive appearance. This variety is mainly used during cooking since its flavour develops during heating. It has a richer, slightly sweeter, and less salty flavour than light soy sauce. Dark soy sauce is partly used to add color and flavour to a dish after cooking, but, as stated above, is more often used during the cooking process, rather than after.

In traditional Chinese cooking, these soy sauces were employed in various, strategic ways to achieve a particular flavour and colour for the dish.

Another type, thick soy sauce (醬油膏 jiàngyóugāo), is a dark soy sauce that has been thickened with starch and sugar. It is also occasionally flavored with MSG. This sauce is not usually used directly in cooking but more often as a dipping sauce or poured on food as a flavorful addition.

Japanese soy sauce

Koyo organic tamari sauce

Buddhist monks introduced soy sauce into Japan in the 7th century, where it is known as shoyu (醤油, shōyu?)[8][9]. The Japanese word tamari is derived from the verb tamaru that signifies ``to accumulate``, referring to the fact that tamari was traditionally from the liquid byproduct produced during the fermentation of miso. Japan is the leading producer of tamari.[citation needed]

Shōyu is traditionally divided into five main categories depending on differences in their ingredients and method of production. Most, but not all Japanese soy sauces include wheat as a primary ingredient, which tends to give them a slightly sweeter taste than their Chinese counterparts. They also tend towards an alcoholic sherry-like flavor, due to the addition of alcohol in the product. Not all soy sauces are interchangeable.[citation needed]

Koikuchi (濃口?, ``dark color``): Originating in the Kantō region, its usage eventually spread all over Japan. Over 80% of the Japanese domestic soy sauce production is of koikuchi, and can be considered the typical Japanese soy sauce. It is produced from roughly equal quantities of soybean and wheat. This variety is also called kijōyu (生醤油) or namashōyu (生しょうゆ) when it is not pasteurized. Usukuchi (淡口?, ``light color``): Particularly popular in the Kansai region of Japan, it is both saltier and lighter in color than koikuchi. The lighter color arises from the usage of amazake, a sweet liquid made from fermented rice, that is used in its production. Tamari (たまり?): Produced mainly in the ChÅ«bu region of Japan, tamari is darker in appearance and richer in flavour than koikuchi. It contains little or no wheat; wheat-free tamari is popular among people eating a wheat free diet. It is the ``original`` Japanese soy sauce, as its recipe is closest to the soy sauce originally introduced to Japan from China. Technically, this variety is known as miso-damari (味噌溜り), as this is the liquid that runs off miso as it matures. Shiro (白?, ``white``): A very light colored soy sauce. In contrast to tamari soy sauce, shiro soy sauce uses mostly wheat and very little soybean, lending it a light appearance and sweet taste. It is more commonly used in the Kansai region to highlight the appearances of food, for example sashimi. Saishikomi (再仕込?, ``twice-brewed``) : This variety substitutes previously-made koikuchi for the brine normally used in the process. Consequently, it is much darker and more strongly flavored. This type is also known as kanro shōyu (甘露醤油) or ``sweet shōyu``. shōyu (koikuchi) and light colored shōyu (usukuchi) as sold in Japan by Kikkoman, 1 litre bottles.

Newer varieties of Japanese soy sauce include:[10]

Gen'en (減塩?, ``reduced salt``): Contains 50% less salt than regular shōyu for health conscious consumers. Usujio (薄塩?, ``light salt``): Contains 20% less salt than regular shōyu.

All of these varieties are sold in the marketplace in three different grades according to how they were produced:

Honjōzō (本醸造?, ``genuine fermented``): Contains 100% genuine fermented product. Kongō-jōzō (混合醸造?, ``mixed fermented``): Contains genuine fermented shōyu mash mixed with 30–50% of chemical or enzymatic hydrolysate of plant protein. Kongō (混合?, ``mixed``): Contains Honjōzō or Kongō-jōzō shōyu mixed with 30–50% of chemical or enzymatic hydrolysate of plant protein.

All the varieties and grades may be sold according to three official levels of quality:[11]

Hyōjun (標準?): Standard grade. Contains more than 1.2% of total nitrogen. Jyōkyū (上級 ?): Upper grade. Contains more than 1.35% of total nitrogen. Tokkyū (特級?): Special grade. Contains more than 1.5% of total nitrogen.

Indonesian soy sauce

Kecap manis Indonesian thick and sweet soy sauce is nearly as thick as molasses.

In Indonesia, soy sauce is known as kecap (also ketjap or kicap), which is a catch-all term for fermented sauces. According to one theory, the English word ``ketchup`` is derived from this word. Five main varieties of Indonesian kecap exist:

Kecap asin  Salty soy sauce, which is very similar to Chinese light soy sauce, but usually somewhat thicker and has a stronger flavor; it can be replaced by light Chinese soy sauce in recipes. Kecap manis  Sweet soy sauce, which has a thick, almost syrupy consistency and a pronounced sweet, treacle-like flavor due to generous addition of palm sugar. It is a unique variety; in a pinch, it may be replaced by molasses with a little vegetable stock stirred in. Kecap manis sedang  Medium sweet soy sauce, which has a less thick consistency and a more saline taste than Manis. Kecap inggris  (``English fermented sauce``), or saus inggris (``English sauce``) is the Indonesian name for Worcestershire sauce. Kecap Ikan  is Indonesian fish sauce.

Malaysian soy sauce

In Singapore and Malaysia, soy sauce in general is dòuyóu (豆油); dark soy sauce is called jiàngyóu (醬油) and light soy sauce is jiàngqīng (醬清). Angmo daoiu (紅毛豆油, lit. ``foreigners' soy sauce``) is the Hokkien name for Worcestershire sauce.

Malaysia, which has language and cultural links with Indonesia, uses the word 'kicap' for soy sauce. Kicap is traditionally of two types: kicap lemak and kicap cair. Kicap lemak is similar to kecap manis but with very much less sugar while kicap cair is the Malaysian equivalent of kecap asin.

Korean soy sauce

Korean soy sauce, (called Joseon ganjang, 조선간장, in Korean) is a byproduct of the production of doenjang (Korean fermented soybean paste). Joseon ganjang, thin and dark brown in color, is made entirely of soy and brine, and has a saltiness that varies according to the producer. Wide scale use of Joseon ganjang has been somewhat superseded by cheaper factory-made Japanese style soy sauce, called waeganjang (hangul: 왜간장/倭간장). According to the 2001 national food consumption survey in Korea, traditional fermented ganjang comprised only 1.4% of soy sauce purchases.[12]

Taiwanese soy sauce

The history of soy sauce making in Taiwan can be traced back to southeastern China, in the provinces of Fujian and Guangdong. Later, the cultural and political separation between Taiwan and China since the end of the First Sino-Japanese War in 1895, when China ceded Taiwan to Japan, brought changes to traditional Chinese soy sauce making in Taiwan. Some of the top Taiwanese makers have adopted the more sophisticated Japanese technology in making soy sauce for the domestic market and more recently foreign markets as well. Taiwanese soy sauce is perhaps most markedly known for its black bean variant, known as black bean soy sauce (黑豆蔭油). Most major soy sauce makers in Taiwan such as KimLan (金蘭), WanJaShan (萬家香), President-Kikkoman (統萬) make exclusive soybean and wheat soy sauce. A few other makers such as WuanChuang (丸莊), O'Long (黑龍), TaTung (大同) and RueiChun (瑞春) make black bean soy sauce, which takes longer to produce (about 6 months).

Vietnamese soy sauce

Vietnamese soy sauce is called xì dầu derived from Cantonese name 豉油, nước tương, or sometimes simply tương.

Philippine soy sauce

A type of soy sauce based product which is a popular condiment in the Philippines is called toyo, usually found alongside other sauces such as fish sauce (patis) and sugar cane vinegar (suka). The flavor of Philippine soy sauce is a combination of ingredients made from soybeans, wheat, salt, and caramel, is interestingly milder compared to its Asian counterparts—possibly an adaptation to the demands of the Filipino palate and its cuisine. It is thinner in texture and has a saltier taste compared to its Southeast Asian counterparts, much more similar to the Japanese shōyu. It is used as a staple condiment to flavor many cooked dishes and as a marinade during cooking, it is also a table condiment, and is usually mixed and served with calamansi, a small Asian citrus-lime.



A study by National University of Singapore shows that Chinese dark soy sauce contains 10 times the antioxidants of red wine, and can help prevent cardiovascular diseases.[13] Soy sauce is rich in lactic acid bacteria and of excellent anti-allergic potential.[14][15]


Soy sauce does not contain a level of the beneficial isoflavones associated with other soy products such as tofu or edamame[16]. It can also be very salty, having a salt content of between 14%–18%, so it may not be a suitable condiment for people on a low sodium diet. Low-sodium soy sauces are produced, but it is difficult to make soy sauce without using some quantity of salt as an antimicrobial agent.[17]


In 2001 the United Kingdom Food Standards Agency found that in a test of various soy sauces and related products available in the UK, that 22 out of 100 samples contained a chemical called 3-MCPD (3-monochloropropane-1,2-diol) at levels considerably higher than those deemed safe by the European Union [18]. About two-thirds of the 22 samples also contained a second chemical called 1,3-DCP (1,3-dichloropropane-2-ol) which experts advise should not be present at any levels in food. Both chemicals have the potential to cause cancer and the Agency recommended that the affected products be withdrawn from shelves and avoided.[7] Furthermore, the latter unregulated chemical can cause genetic damage to be passed on to offspring who never consumed the sauces.[19] Britain's Food Standards Agency (FSA) issued a Public Health Advice leaflet[20] in June 2001 to warn against a small number of soy sauce products having been shown to contain high levels of potentially cancer-causing chemicals. The leaflet singled out brands and products (some by batch numbers) imported from Thailand, China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Although the leaflet primarily looked at soy sauce, the leaflet does include oyster sauce, marinades and other types of sauces, that affected the brands Golden Mountain, King Imperial, Pearl River Bridge, Jammy Chai, Lee Kum Kee, Golden Mark, Kimlan, Golden Swan, Sinsin and Tung Chun. Despite these being small in number in the UK, they are the dominant brands in their respective nations.[citation needed] In Vietnam, 3-MCPD was found in toxic levels (In 2004, the HCM City Institute of Hygiene and Public Health found 33 of 41 sample of soya sauce with high rates of 3-MCPD, including six samples with up to 11,000 to 18,000 times more 3-MPCD than permitted, an increase over 23 to 5,644 times in 2001)[21] in soy sauces there in 2007, along with formaldehyde in the national dish Pho, and banned pesticides in vegetables and fruits. A prominent newspaper Thanh Nien Daily commented: ``Health agencies have known that Vietnamese soy sauce, the country's second most popular sauce after fish sauce, has been chock full of cancer agents since at least 2001.``[22] (See 2007 Vietnam food scare.) In March 2008, some Australian soya sauces were found to contain carcinogens and consumers were advised to avoid consumption.[23]

Soy sauce and allergies

Further information: Soy allergy

Most varieties of soy sauce also contain wheat. Individuals with a wheat allergy, Celiac disease, or a gluten intolerance should avoid soy sauce that is made with wheat.[1] However, some naturally brewed soy sauces, made with wheat, may be tolerated by gluten intolerant individuals, because gluten are no longer detectable.[2]

See also

Dark soy paste (黄酱 huángjiàng), a salty Chinese soy product that is one of the main ingredients in a dish called zhajiang mian (炸酱面, lit. ``fried paste noodles``). Miso (Japanese-style soybean paste). Doenjang (Korean-style soybean paste). Fermented bean paste


^ 'Microbiology Laboratory Theory and Application.' Michael Leboffe and Burton Pierce, 2nd edition. pp.317 ^ Tanaka, Norio. ``Shōyu:The Flavor of Japan,`` The Japan Foundation Newsletter Vol. XXVII, No. 2 (January 2000), p. 2. ^ Kurlansky, Mark. Salt: A World History. Penguin, 2003. ^ Tanaka, p. 6. ^ Titsingh, Isaac. (1781). ``Bereiding van de Soya`` (``Producing Soy Sauce``), Verhandelingen van het Bataviaasch Genootschap (Transactions of the Batavian Academy), Vol. III. OCLC 9752305 ^ Tanaka, p. 7. ^ a b Food Standards Agency (20 June 2001). ``Some Soy Sauce Products To Be Removed``. Press release. Retrieved 7 January 2008.  ^ ``Shoyu``.  ^ ``shoyu``. Merriam-webster's Online Dictionary.  ^ Steinkraus, Keith H., ed (2004). Industrialization of indigenous fermented foods (Second ed.). Marcel Dekker. pp. 22. ISBN 0-8247-4784-4.  ^ Wood, Brian J. B., ed (1998). Microbiology of fermented foods. 1 (Second ed.). Blackie academic & professional. p. 364. ISBN 0-7514-0216-8.  ^ Jung, Soon Teck and Kang, Seong-Gook (2002). ``The Past and Present of Traditional Fermented Foods in Korea``. Retrieved 7 January 2008.  ^ Daniells, Stephen (6 June 2006). ``Antioxidant-rich soy sauce could protect against CVD``. Retrieved 7 January 2008.  ^ Tanasupawat, et al, Somboon (18 June 2002). ``Lactic acid bacteria isolated from soy sauce mash in Thailand``. Journal of General and Applied Microbiology (The Microbiology Research Foundation) 48 (4): 201–209. doi:10.2323/jgam.48.201. PMID 12469319.  ^ Kobayashi, Makio (18 April 2005). ``Immunological Functions of Soy Sauce: Hypoallergenicity and Antiallergic Activity of Soy Sauce``. Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering (Society for Biotechnology, Japan) 1 (2): 144–151. doi:10.1263/jbb.100.144. PMID 16198255.  ^ Shahidi, Fereidoon; Naczk, Marian (2003), Phenolics in food and nutraceuticals, Edition 2, Florence, Kentucky: CRC Press, p. 103, ISBN 1587161389,  ^ Hutkins, Robert Wayne (2006). Microbiology and technology of fermented foods. Blackwell publishing. ISBN 0-8138-0018-8.  ^ ^ barchronicle (Philippine government) ^ UK UK Food Standards Agency: Soy advice leaflet. ^ Soya sauce stirs worry and discontentment among public ^ Toxic soy sauce, chemical veggies -- food scares hit Vietnam ^ 'Cancer chemical' in soy sauce


Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Soy sauce Titsingh, Isaac. (1781). ``Bereiding van de Soya`` (``Producing Soy Sauce``), Verhandelingen van het Bataviaasch Genootschap (Transactions of the Batavian Academy), Vol. III. OCLC 9752305 v â€¢ d â€¢ e Soy General

Soybean Â· Soy protein Â· Soybean meal Â· Soy controversy Â· Soy allergy Â· List of soybean diseases

Meat analogues

Tofu Â· Tempeh Â· Tofurkey

Dairy analogues

Soy milk Â· Soy cheese Â· Soy yogurt Â· Soy ice cream

Sauces and condiments

Fermented bean paste Â· Soy sauce