Japanese soy sauce
Soy sauce is a staple of Japanese food and in recent times has become widely used in various countries around the world.
Soy sauce is brewed through the careful and slow fermentation of soybeans using a multitude of fermenting agents. This is what makes the tasted of soy sauce so loved by Japanese and people all over the world.
Soy sauce has been and is still made of three main ingredients: soybeans, wheat and salt. These simple ingredients, when combined with koji mold, yeast and lactic-acid bacilli are enough to produce its typical taste. The taste is a perfect balance between five flavors, salty, sweet, sour, bitter and umami (richness). When ripened for over six months, the color and there over 300 different varieties of colors, each with its own aroma and unique soy sauce taste.
Other Asian countries also produce sauce from fermented soy beans, but the short method which is commonly used makes use of limited fermenting agents. That is what makes them different from Japanese soy sauce. Some other countries use fish sauce, which includes animal products. This makes it something different than soy sauce.
Japanese soy sauce, which is crafted through a slow and delicate process, rather resembles cheese. Many French and Italian top chefs use soy sauce in their cooking because it accompagnies butter so well. It also blends in seamlessly with Asian and ethnic dishes.
Soy sauce can add value to any dish even with just a single drop.
One of the reasons for the superior quality of Japanese soy sauce is the oversight by JAS (Japan Agricultural Standard). Due to its monthly checks of the quality, methods of production as well as its grading system, no inferior products can be sold. We recommend to look for the JAS certification when buying soy sauce.
Japanese miso paste has been produced and consumed for ages as the core ingredient of miso soup, which is an indispensible part of the Japanese diet.
Miso paste can be made by fermenting just soybeans or a mixture with koji bacteria made from rice or barley with added salt. As a great addition to rice, miso is rich in protein and provides excellent nutrition.
As a staple food all over Japan, miso is made locally, leading to a wide variety. When traveling through Japan it is possible to try different miso pastes with variable textures, colors, composition and properties. This wide range of different types is one of the charms of miso.
Japanese miso paste and miso soup are not only excellent sources of nutrients but are also known for being healthy. An old Japanese saying goes “It is better to pay your money to the miso store than the doctor”. Meaning that it is cheaper to buy miso and stay healthy rather than get sick and having to pay the doctor. Even in ancient times it seems the health benefits of drinking miso soup every day were known. Recently research was published documenting how miso helps lower the risk for cancer and other habitual diseases and how it can help lower high blood pressure.