Subscribe to our magazine
Save 42% & receive a £10 M&S e-gift card!
Soy sauce is made from fermented soya beans, and gives a salty, umami flavour to food. Learn about the different types of soy sauce and how it is made.
An Asian condiment and ingredient that comes in a variety of of varieties ranging from light to dark, and thick to light. It is made from soya beans and involves a lengthy process that can take years: soya beans are cleaned and soaked, then steamed, mixed with a yeast culture and wheat flour before being fermented for up to two years and then filtered and bottled.
There are three types of Chinese soy sauces available. Light soy sauce is from the initial extraction and is light coloured with a delicate but salty flavour. Dark soy sauce has been left to mature longer and has had caramel added to it. It is sweeter and darker than the light variety with a knock-out aroma. Regular soy sauce is a mix of light and dark and a good everyday condiment.
Distinctly different from Chinese soy sauce so it is best to use specifically Japanese soy sauce when cooking Japanese dishes. Usukuchi is light and less salty than Chinese light soy sauce. Tamari is dark, thick, less salty yet still strong in flavour and Shoyu is aged for up to two years with a full flavour.
Add to stir fries, use to marinade meat and fish or serve on the side with a range of Asian dishes.