Soy sauce is an integral part of Chinese cuisine and has been in use for the ultimate 2200 years. Made from fermented soybeans and wheat, soy sauce is the most traditional soy product universally. The formation process of the sauce can cause slight distinctions in its flavour, texture, and even soy sauce benefits and risks.
In this piece, we understand what soy sauce is, its types, and soy sauce benefits!
What is Soy Sauce?
Soy sauce, also identified as soya sauce, is a liquid herb, made from a mixture of soybean paste, roasted grain, brine, and koji. The word ‘soy’ originates from the Japanese word for soy, ‘shoyu’. Its flavor is predominantly salty, followed by a mild umami sweet taste, settling onto scanty bitterness, as per a comprehensive paper printed in the Soyinfo Center in 2012.
There are two methods to produce this sauce, either by the old way of evaporation or through the synthetic method of acid hydrolyzation.
The foaming method can take up to six months, delivering it a dainty flavor and sweet fragrance. The synthetic method, on the other hand, is much quicker as it includes the process of artificially cutting down soy proteins by hydrolysis. It only takes two days to finish the whole process.
In modern times, soya sauce is popularly used and made around the planet from Japan and Korea to Europe and the USA. In the words of the book ‘The Middle Kingdom‘ which is written by Samuel Well Williams, soy sauce is brewed by stripping the beans, crushing them into flour, and then blending the flour with water and turmeric.
Different types of soy sauce
Light soy sauce
Largely used in Chinese dishes, this type of soya sauce, also recognized as ‘usukuchi’, has a saltier flavor than the other soy sauce types. It is thin in its form and light reddish-brown in color.
Light soy sauce is not to be mixed with any other soy sauce with lowered salt or products bearing the label ‘light’ on them.
It is normally used by Taiwanese and Chinese people for dips, marination, dressings, and stir-fry recipes, as it is approved to increase the flavor.
Dark soy sauce
Dark soya sauce or ‘koikuchi shoyu’ receives its color from a large aging process and blending with molasses or caramel and cornstarch. It is more solid in texture and sweet and less salty in flavor.
You will oftentimes find Chinese and Taiwanese people utilizing this sauce in a stew-type recipe like red-braised pork, beef, or chicken. Make sure you do not consume too much of this sauce in your ingredients otherwise it will dye your food a dark brown color.
Thick soy sauce
The third type of soya sauce is solid soy sauce, also identified as ‘tamari’. It is prepared with sugar and wheat and seldom with a starch thickener. Thick soy sauce is sweet and is normally combined to stir fry food and dips. Taiwanese people also utilize it in pork rice and stews. It is oftentimes used as an alternative for the oyster sauce in meals and can be feasibly made at home.
There are also a few other types of soya sauce, such as Shiro and Saishikomi. Shiro is produced mostly with wheat and holds only a few soybeans. Saishikomi, on the other hand, is prepared by cutting down wheat and soybeans with enzymes in soy sauce preferably instead of saltwater. While the previous one is lighter in flavour, the latter is heavier.
Soy Sauce benefits
According to an analysis printed in the Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering, there are some soy sauce benefits, given its valuable nutrition qualities.
- Anti-allergenic potential
As per analysis printed in the International Journal of Molecular Medicine, soya sauce has inhibitory consequences that aid in decreasing swelling and allergies and their reactions.
These anti-allergenic consequences of this sauce are recognized to be as strong as any of the allergy medications. The study also showed that it has suppressive consequences on anaphylaxis, presenting it as a promising remedy for allergies induced by foods.
Typically fermented soya sauce is recognized to improve the secretion of gastric acids and thereby to promote digestion. Consumption of a bowl of soup carrying this sauce also helps combat gut bacteria, as it includes antibacterial qualities.
An Analysis printed in 2005 shows that it serves against bacteria, for example, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enteritidis, Vibrio cholera, and pathogenic E.coli, and many others.
- Lowering LDL cholesterol
Formally adopted by the US Food and Drug Administration, soya sauce can aid in lowering LDL that is bad cholesterol levels in the human body, setting a twenty-five grams/day consumption of soy protein at the outset.
The analysis also recommends that it aids in reducing triglyceride levels and increasing HDL that is good cholesterol levels.
- Fighting oxidative stress
The dark nature of this sauce is abundant in shoyu flavone, which is a universal antioxidant. It aids in protecting your body from loose radicals and thereby reduces down aging and lessens the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Boosting immunity
Research printed in the International Journal of Medicine in the year 2008 showed that this sauce enhances the creation of immunoglobulin A, which is an immunizer that combats pathogens and infections in your body.
It also holds a variety of carbohydrates which aids in boosting immunity.
- Decreasing blood pressure
Analysis printed in the Journal of Food Science in the year 2010 recommends that soy sauce has an antihypertensive potential and thus aids in decreasing blood pressure levels.
Tips for cooking
- you can utilize soya sauce for flavouring as well as sautéing legumes.
- You can utilize a mixture of soy sauce, ginger, and garlic to marinade tempeh, chicken, or roasted tofu.
- Put a vessel of soy sauce on your supper table and utilize it as the alternative for salt.
Now that you have known soy sauce benefits, next time try to include the ingredient in your food preparation.