What is Soy Sauce / How is Soy Sauce Made?

filipino-pinoy-recipes-soy-sauce-cookingSoy sauce is a condiment produced from a fermented paste of boiled soybeans, roasted grain, brine and Aspergillus oryzae or Aspergillus sojae molds. After fermentation, the paste is pressed, producing a liquid, which is the soy sauce, and a cake of soy and cereal residue, which is usually reused as animal feed. Most commonly, a grain, often roasted, is used together with the soybeans in the fermentation process. Soy sauce is a traditional ingredient in East and Southeast Asian cuisines, where it is used in cooking and as a condiment. It originated in China in the 2nd century BCE and spread throughout Asia. In recent times, it is used in Western cuisine and prepared foods.

Soy sauce has a distinct basic taste called umami (旨 味?, "pleasant savory taste") in Japanese, due to naturally occurring free glutamates. Umami was identified as a basic taste in 1908 by Kikunae Ikeda of the Tokyo Imperial University.

Almost all varieties of soy sauce are salty, earthy, brownish liquids intended to season food while cooking or at the table, with exception of Indonesian sweet soy sauce. There are numerous variations of soy sauce being produced in China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, Burma and other countries. Variation is usually achieved as the result of different methods and durations of fermentation, different ratios of water, salt and fermented soy, different thickness or viscosity, or through the addition of other ingredients.