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 Post subject: The right soy sauce for the job
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:26 am 
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I seem to have bad luck choosing the right soy sauce for the right application. Case in point, I tried to bake some tofu yesterday and I used some mushroom soy sauce. However, it seems like the soy sauce I used was way to thick and rich for the baked tofu. The tofu is totally black and soaked up a lot of the sauce. It's not bad, but it's not the "golden brown" that the recipe described as the final product.

I know there are a bajillion different types of soy sauce. I use ketjap manis (Indonesian soy sauce that's sweet and syrupy) for my peanut sauces, but I don't feel like I have an all purpose one that is thin enough to not act like motor oil on my tofu but flavorful enough to actually do its job.

Am I missing something? Is there just a "regular" soy sauce I can buy? I've seen a lot of recipes specifying Chinese soy sauce or Japanese soy sauce, but I honestly can't figure out the difference in the stores because they aren't labeled that way.

What do you use as your "all purpose" soy sauce?


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 Post subject: Re: The right soy sauce for the job
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 6:56 am 
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I think the Japanese type is best for an all purpose soy sauce. If the labelling does not help with finding the right one, you should focus on the brand. Kikkoman ist the most easily found one and good.

As for Chinese soy sauces: there is the light type that is pretty salty (but tastes quite different to Japanese soy sauce) and the dark type that makes your food quite dark and is less salty than light soy sauce. It sounds like your mushroom soy sauce was the dark type with added mushroom flavour.


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 Post subject: Re: The right soy sauce for the job
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:01 am 
Drunk Dialed Ian MacKaye
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yes, japanese soy sauce is definitely the most versatile (and delicious if you ask me. i am not one for the thick soy sauces).

Image
Yamasa is definitely my favorite. I usually get it in asian stores, and it's supposedly a big brand so you should be able to find it in an asian store.

Image
Kikkoman is my second choice. It's a decent soy sauce and usually easier to get a hold of, as it seems to be the biggest one on the international markets.

You can find all of the info you will ever need over at Just Hungry - right here.


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 Post subject: Re: The right soy sauce for the job
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 9:29 am 
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The only firm rule I have is to avoid cheap soy sauce that's made from hydrolyzed soy protein and caramel color. Ew.

Eden Soy organic imported is a good default, or Kikkoman. Ohsawa Organic Nama Shoyu is excellent. Lee Kum Kee, premium and premium dark, is great for Chinese style. Pearl River Bridge is good, too.

San-J organic tamari is a good all-purpose one to have on hand, too.


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 Post subject: Re: The right soy sauce for the job
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:14 am 
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i can't get too many different types so i usually buy whatever i can find that isn't made from nasty shiitake (see above). It's always a thin japanese style one.

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 Post subject: Re: The right soy sauce for the job
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 10:40 am 
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I always buy Kikkoman and find it to be the best, most versatile.

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 Post subject: Re: The right soy sauce for the job
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:59 am 
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When I lived in NL, I had best luck finding Kikkoman soy sauce (or any non-Indonesian style) in the American sections, next to little packs of Oreos and Lucky Charms. I was amazed how difficult it could be to find.

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 Post subject: Re: The right soy sauce for the job
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:29 pm 
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For dipping sushi I like shoyu (German Alnatura brand). Tamari has too intensive flavour, and I even find Kikkoman too intensive, too.

For cooking I use cheap one made from hydrolysed protein.

This Just Hungry Post explains Japanese ones:
http://justhungry.com/handbook/just-hun ... -need-know


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 Post subject: Re: The right soy sauce for the job
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:25 pm 
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I love the flavor of the low sodium kikoman soy sauce. Plus it comes in an extra large size. Does anyone know if it is GMO-free?


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 Post subject: Re: The right soy sauce for the job
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 3:28 pm 
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I use Manna shoyu sauce. Organic and available in health food stores and reform winkels.

Looks like http://natuurlijkgoedkoop.nl/kruidenier ... asaus.html


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 Post subject: Re: The right soy sauce for the job
PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:18 pm 
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I use kikkoman. It's pretty all-purpose, and good in most things.


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 Post subject: Re: The right soy sauce for the job
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:03 am 
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If I have time to get to the health food store, I get the same brand as Veg_Eric, but I go for the Tamari rather than the Shoyu. I like the complex flavor of Tamari, but I could imagine some folks find it too strong. Sometimes I run out and don't have time to get to a store that sells it, and then I'll just buy a bottle of the Albert Heijn store brand of soy sauce. It's not as flavorful as Tamari, imo, but it's normal soy sauce (ie. not thick and sweet like ketjap). You can find it near their store brand sesame oil and sweet chili sauce. They're all the same sized square bottles. Just be careful because the soy sauce looks a lot like their store brand of fish sauce. The small bottles of Kikkoman that I've seen at the AH are more expensive per ounce than the house brand. I have seen large bottles of Kikkoman at Asian markets, but I haven't compared prices.

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 Post subject: Re: The right soy sauce for the job
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:04 am 
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Thanks guys! Thing is, our Asian market has a TON of soy sauces. Lots of different types. If that wasn't overwhelming enough, the language barrier can be a bit difficult. My partner is heading to the store tonight to get some food (he's learning to cook and chose a few recipes from Appetite for Reduction to try!), so I've asked him to pick up a bottle of Kikkoman. We'll see how it goes.


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 Post subject: Re: The right soy sauce for the job
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:43 pm 
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enmommy wrote:
I love the flavor of the low sodium kikoman soy sauce. Plus it comes in an extra large size. Does anyone know if it is GMO-free?

I have no idea about its GMO-ness, but this is what I buy for liberally splashing around. I also keep a bottle of tamari for more juducious use when I want a more intense flavor.

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 Post subject: Re: The right soy sauce for the job
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 1:06 pm 
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I was organizing my pantry yesterday, and I have 7 different kinds of soy sauce. Jeez. Bet some of you guys have even more than that.

But for all purpose (sprinkle on rice, for a simple tofu marinade etc) I like the Trader Joe's low sodium kind, which is in fact repackaged Kikkoman. Cheaper of course. And I actually like the low sodium kind better. It tastes just like the regular kind to me.


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 Post subject: Re: The right soy sauce for the job
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 4:39 pm 
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^ Ditto, Chicki. I love the Trader Joe's low sodium soy sauce, too. I use it almost exclusively. I like that fact that it isn't too salty, so for certain dishes where you want more of the fermented/umami flavor, you can add more than you could regular sauce--without the food being an inedible salt bomb. Plus it has no preservatives, which is nice.

Other than that, I always keep tamari on hand. I once bought a Chinese style dark soy sauce but threw it out because of offensive chemical taste, raw and cooked--and that was the only one at a huge Asian market that had no hydrolyzed soy/caramel color/preservatives! I guess it's just not for me.


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 Post subject: Re: The right soy sauce for the job
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:48 pm 
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I find regular soy sauce too overpowering so mainly use light soy sauce & sometimes kecap manis.

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 Post subject: Re: The right soy sauce for the job
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:37 am 
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monkeytoes wrote:
enmommy wrote:
I love the flavor of the low sodium kikoman soy sauce. Plus it comes in an extra large size. Does anyone know if it is GMO-free?

I have no idea about its GMO-ness, but this is what I buy for liberally splashing around. I also keep a bottle of tamari for more juducious use when I want a more intense flavor.

Probably not. Unless it says so on the label, the only U.S. brands you can count on to be GMO free will be organic. I buy the large bottles of San-J organic, low sodium tamari.

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 Post subject: Re: The right soy sauce for the job
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:41 am 
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I got some Kikkoman and it's doing the job. I used it in a stir-fry last night and it was great - not too overpowering. I am really sensitive to saltiness, so I sometimes find myself even watering soy sauce down. I think Kikkoman is thin enough for me not to have to do that, though.


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 Post subject: Re: The right soy sauce for the job
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 1:33 pm 
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i saw this today http://gothamist.com/2012/12/11/theres_ ... ory_of.php and it reminded me of this thread. a 24 minute "movie" about kikkoman.. i kinda wanna watch it, but am afraid of the result being "i spent 24 minutes of my life watching a soy sauce ad?!"

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 Post subject: Re: The right soy sauce for the job
PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 3:33 pm 
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organic tamari or shoyu is the "go to"

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 Post subject: Re: The right soy sauce for the job
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 7:06 am 
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lepelaar wrote:
If I have time to get to the health food store, I get the same brand as Veg_Eric, but I go for the Tamari rather than the Shoyu. I like the complex flavor of Tamari, but I could imagine some folks find it too strong.


Next time you're in a Belgian HFS, buy the Lima brand tamari. It's all I ever buy! Lima <3

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 Post subject: Re: The right soy sauce for the job
PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:05 pm 
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Lima is way more expensive than other brands here.


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 Post subject: Re: The right soy sauce for the job
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:59 am 
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fisticuffs wrote:
lepelaar wrote:
If I have time to get to the health food store, I get the same brand as Veg_Eric, but I go for the Tamari rather than the Shoyu. I like the complex flavor of Tamari, but I could imagine some folks find it too strong.


Next time you're in a Belgian HFS, buy the Lima brand tamari. It's all I ever buy! Lima <3


Lima is the only brand available in the teeny HFS in the town where my bf lives (and where I'm likely soon moving - methinks I'll be hitting Ghent for some HFS shopping). I had bought their shoyu because when cooking for him, I suspected tamari would be too strong (he's got very traditional Belgian taste when it comes to food), but since I basically only ended up using it for food I was making for myself, I'm going to get the tamari next time!

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 Post subject: Re: The right soy sauce for the job
PostPosted: Fri Dec 14, 2012 3:34 am 
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rhelune wrote:
Lima is way more expensive than other brands here.

Organic brands?

I guess its price is reasonable here because it's local, although organic food is subjected to a higher tax percentage.

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