Japanese soy sauce like Kikkoman Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce is transparent, reddish-brown in colour and has a distinctive, appetizing aroma bouquet. It also has a rich, full-bodied, aromatic and harmonious flavour, a smooth texture and the special quality of enhancing the natural flavour of meat, vegetables and other foods without masking it! That’s why Japanese soy sauce is such a highly regarded seasoning – it adds flavour. Japanese soy sauce is produced according to very stringent standards and a Japanese soy sauce like Kikkoman Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce will only have four ingredients listed on its label: soybeans, wheat, water and salt. It is naturally brewed without any added preservatives, artificial colours or flavour enhancers.
Pale and dark Chinese soy sauce
Chinese soy sauce generally has a lower wheat content than Japanese soy sauce. Some manufacturers actually eliminate the valuable ingredient of wheat altogether, and you can taste the difference in this case because the sauce has entirely different aromas. Chinese soy sauce also contains a lot more salt. If you read the list of ingredients you’ll immediately notice that they often contain flavour enhancers, acidifiers or preservatives. Chinese soy sauce comes in a pale-coloured and a darker-coloured version. The pale sauce is thinner in consistency with a salty flavour, whereas the dark sauce is thicker in consistency and tastes malty. That's because sugar or caramel colouring is added.
Chemically produced soy sauce
Although European supermarkets stock chemically produced soy sauce, it is taboo in Japan, the home of Kikkoman. Most chemically produced soy sauces are not made from real soybeans but from soy extract and they have a long list of ingredients. The sauce‘s flavour and aroma don’t develop naturally, but in a chemical process and through the addition of ingredients such as corn syrup, glucose syrup, molasses and colour additives. That’s why the consistency is syrupy. Chemically produced soy sauce often has an overpowering flavour. Just a few drops too many and the dish is ruined!