If there’s anything we love more than garlic, it’s soy sauce. Good soy sauce, which should not be too salty or too sweet, but a mellow complex blend of flavour and aroma. It makes a world of difference in our cooking and it’s just such a staple that when I started out cooking as a student in halls, it was the one seasoning I would always run out of!
Soy sauce isn’t simply salty, nor is it an Asian version of salt (that’s a big no-no!). It’s deep, and it’s fragrant, it’s umami. Both K and I believe that soy sauce and salt are used really differently, and one isn’t synonymous with the other- for example, when we make soups, we season with salt because seasoning with soy sauce would simply make the soup taste of soy sauce (which is, perfectly fine, if it’s supposed to be soy sauce soup but that’s not what we’re after.). Soy sauce is a flavour in itself, unlike salt, which is why it is so versatile in all genres of cooking! Bolognese tasting a little flat? Add soy sauce! A plain boiled egg? Eat it with a few drops of soy sauce! I could eat soy sauce and egg forever and ever and ever and everrrrr.
Which is why, we’re so delighted that the wonderful people at Kikkoman sent us a boxful of their products to use in our kitchen. Kikkoman is the name eponymous of soy sauce and they’ve been around for over 300 years… Hence their craft of brewing soy sauce is truly perfected. Their naturally brewed soy sauce is made from just four pure ingredients: water, soybeans, wheat and salt, which ferments for more than 6 months, resulting in unhurried, natural, products. Chemically produced soy sauce, on the other hand, takes only a few weeks to produce, but let’s face it, we really don’t want to be eating a bunch of additives and colourings
1) Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce
This is THE Kikkoman soy sauce. It’s perfect for marinading meats and fish, stir-frying, eating with eggs (YESSS) and for dipping sushi and sashimi in! This is the dispenser size, and it’s ridiculously handy. And for some reason it seems to control the flow of the soy sauce perfectly, so you don’t end up with 500ml of soy sauce in your stew or something. Also, we learnt that soy sauce has an aroma, so K naturally sniffed everything (he tastes with his nose sometimes, that boy…) and it’s true. Soy sauce is fragrant, with hints of salty, sour, sweet and bitter.
2) Less Salt Soy Sauce
I never knew soy sauce could be less salty, so we were pleasantly surprised! Kikkoman’s Less Salt Soy Sauce contains 43% less salt and is perfect for those wanting the taste of soy sauce without the high sodium levels. K used to tell me to stop eating salty things, because apparently, sodium makes your hair fall out. However true that is….. I now get to eat all the soy sauce I want. Hurhur. We think that this tastes just a tad tangier than the original soy sauce, which compensates very well for the reduced saltiness. It goes perfectly with vegetables, we have a recipe here!
3) Gluten-free Tamari Soy Sauce
This is a new addition to Kikkoman’s range, and we can truly understand why it is so valuable. It’s developed without wheat, so those who are intolerant to gluten can enjoy the taste of soy sauce without triggering any allergies. We love the idea of making food accessible to everyone and we’re glad that Kikkoman has taken a special step in catering to all diets! Gluten-free Tamari tastes just like the original Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce.
4) Teriyaki Marinade
Teriyaki sauce can be homemade- with soy sauce, sake, mirin and sugar, but this Kikkoman Teriyaki Marinade is really, truly convenient, without sacrificing on taste. We’ve used it in this Teriyaki Chicken and Shittake Mushroom recipe, and it’s delicious. The instructions on the bottle also suggest basting grilled food with this marinade and I really can’t wait to get down to trying that out. It’s also simple for those who are short on time- simply marinade your meat or fish in the sauce overnight, and the next day’s dinner is practically settled.
We can’t live (okay, being dramatic there..) without soy sauce, and after discovering Kikkoman’s range of soy sauces, we’ve developed a deeper appreciation for this staple in our pantry. We’re really loving the teriyaki marinade as well! Soy sauce is more than just dark salty liquid- Try it soon if you haven’t already!:)