What is shoyu?
Posted by kathryn in Cooking
What’s the difference between shoyu and soy sauce? A Japanese friend told me that “shoyu” basically means “soy sauce” in Japanese. So why do I keep hearing “shoyu” used by English-speakers as if it means something different?
You’re right, shoyu is the Japanese word for soy sauce.
However, Japanese soy sauce differs from that used in other countries. It’s made from fermented soy beans and wheat.
This yields a soy sauce which is slightly sweeter, lighter, but more intense in flavour than Chinese soy sauce.
There are a whole lot of different shoyus used in Japan. The primary one is koikuchi – which is made from equal parts soy and wheat. And this is generally what’s sold in other countries as “shoyu”.
Here in Australia you can also buy tamari. This is also a soy sauce, but doesn’t contain wheat. It has a different flavour again. Thicker, richer and more complex – it’s my favourite of the lot.
How I use shoyu
I use shoyu a LOT.
I tend to add it towards the end of cooking – while I’m checking and balancing flavours.
How about you? Do you use shoyu or tamari and if so, how?
What is Q & A Thursday?
This post is part of Q & A Thursday – a fortnightly burst of blogging, where you get to dictate the subject matter. Q & A Thursday is all about simple, practical answers to food and diet dilemmas sent in by readers.