View Full Version : Soy sauce - Help, which one?

03-27-2011, 02:19 PM
As I shield myself from getting something tossed at me :smile1:, while I admit I just buy the low sodium Kikkoman brand.

I want to get something more robust and have a few Asian marts close by.

Are there some brands that I really should be looking at getting?


03-27-2011, 03:00 PM
I like the Kimlan brand-

The "lou Chau" dark for cooking and the "super special" for dipping.

Eamon Burke
03-27-2011, 03:00 PM
I've tried many brands, and like Kikkoman the best. Full sodium, though.

03-27-2011, 03:51 PM
Pearl River Bridge does it for me. I have the light, dark, and sweet varieties!
Kiko is Japanese flavor while PRB is Chinese.

03-27-2011, 06:08 PM
San-J Tamari.

03-27-2011, 07:57 PM
The one I prefer is Aloha, from Hawaii.


Doug Seward
03-27-2011, 08:58 PM
I use Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce (used to be called Golden Mountain Flavor Sauce)for Thin Soy and Kwong Hung Seng Sauce (Red Label) for Black Soy (thick). Both are from Thailand. -Doug

03-27-2011, 09:53 PM
Look for Lee Kum Kee lite soy sauce. its a real brewed soy and awesome flavor. I switched from kikkoman

03-27-2011, 10:01 PM
Sure do appreciate the suggestions folks.

I made a soy dip sauce to go with the salmon this evening. I didn't get to the market yet, but look forward to trying a few of these outs.

I also really like the fact you guys included thin and thicker types for different functions. Very nice.

03-27-2011, 10:35 PM
Try some Indonesian Kecap Manis for real fun.

03-27-2011, 10:59 PM
Tamari or yamasa for me. Hey that kecap manis (sweet soy) is great for fried rice and grilled fish btw.

03-28-2011, 10:57 AM
I like the Kimlan brand-

The "lou Chau" dark for cooking and the "super special" for dipping.

That's just about the only one I can drink straight from the bottle.

03-28-2011, 11:00 AM
To answer the original question, I like Koon Chun Gold Label for a dark soy. It's much darker than their Double Black soy sauce.

In general, dark soy isn't as (or at least shouldn't be) as sharp and salty as light soy.

03-28-2011, 11:32 AM
I'm a Yamasa user. I primarily use soy sauce for Japanese dishes.

I've been using their products for over 15 years. I particularly like their low sodium soy. It has good flavor without any off flavors, and the lower amount of sodium makes it great for dipping; the mild saltiness is IMHO great for dipping. However, I'm not a fan of their "light" or "usukuchi" soy sauce (this is lighter in color, not salt). I find the soy flavor to be a little weak and the saltiness to be a little too strong in general.

Kikkoman is fine though, but tends to evaporate quickly and get thick and salty. I highly recommend keeping your soy sauce in the fridge after opening, since it's not cost efficient to buy a small bottle of soy sauce. It will keep much longer than if left out at room temperature.

03-28-2011, 11:45 AM
I like Ohsawa unpasteurized for dipping. Kikkomen for japanese and western cooking. I various dark and light soy sauces for Chinese dishes. I also like Maggi sauce, but that isn't technically soy sauce.

03-29-2011, 02:40 PM
Just tripped on this-


03-29-2011, 04:51 PM
An, nice article. Great find. thx

03-29-2011, 07:09 PM
Just tripped on this-


That kind of looks like my pantry.

04-02-2011, 01:29 PM
Amoy Gold Label is what I normally use for flavoring when cooking Chinese food (which I do a lot of). It is a high end Chinese Soy Sauce made in Hong Kong. For coloring I will use a dark or thick soy sauce to add that mahogany coloring to my dishes. Amoy also makes a light Seafood soy sauce that is great with steamed fish (it is kind of a cross between soy sauce, rice wine and fish sauce).


04-02-2011, 04:23 PM
I buy Kikkoman by the gallon, low-sodium Kikkoman for my daughter (although I'm the one that needs it), & PRB superior dark, to mix w/ Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce, as a marinade for chicken...we use alot of soy sauce in this household-I keep trying to find ways to use the plastic packets of soy they give you w/ takeout Chinese, but I usually throw them away (& feel guilty)...

04-14-2011, 06:50 PM
I am also a Yamasa user. It has a great flavor slightly sweet if you ask me and all around a very good soy sauce.

04-23-2011, 08:06 AM
I have 3 light soy and 2 dark soy in my kitchen lol. In singapore you can get different grades of soy from a single brand alone. Tai Hua Standard and Special grades light soy, Kikkoman light soy, Tai Hua Special and Tiger Standard. Don't know if you can find it outta singapore though.

04-25-2011, 01:45 AM
There are many brands in the market. I was using Kimlan brand but now i am using Golden Mountain Seasoning because its taste is good and there are lot of people using it.So you should try both.

Kentucky Jeff
06-29-2011, 12:09 PM
Last night we were chowing on some sushi and my wife chimes in about how she doesn't really care for the soy sauce we use at home (Kikkoman) and asked if I knew of anything that "tasted better." When I asked her to define better she said lighter and brighter. The Kikkoman is too salty and too heavy. So I figured I better ask the sushi chefs here what are some of your picks?

I was in a local korean grocer looking yesterday and there were about 500 kinds all with labels I couldn't read unless I looked really hard.

Not looking for 50 year old Balsamic here folks. Just a good grade of all purpose soy sauce...

06-29-2011, 01:04 PM
Personally I find the regular kikkoman to salty and heavy as well. But they have a light sodium version if you still want to use kikkoman its better but not perfect. Some members of my family swear by that one. Otherwise for me it was really just try till you find one you like. Although if you aren't a big user of soy sauce it can be a long process.

Right now I am using VH soy sauce. its quite a bit lighter than kikkoman

06-29-2011, 03:40 PM
Not a chef, but I love Pearl River Bridge, I use both the light and the dark depending on what i'm doing.

06-29-2011, 06:48 PM
Pearl river bridge is great, I use it for all my Chinese cooking; However,
It's not Japanese soy sauce. I think it would be some kind of sin to use Chinese soy sauce in Japanese cooking and vice versa. I'm no expert, but in Japan there are two main styles of soy sauce, light (usu-kuchi shoyu), and dark (koi-kuchi shoyu). Usu-kuchi shoyu is light amber in color and saltier than koi-kuchi shoyu. Kikkoman usu-kuchi shogun is imported from Japan and might be something you should try. Hopefully someone who knows more about Japanese cooking might chime in. If it helps, I usually use Yamasa dark soy sauce for my general purpose Japanese cooking.

06-29-2011, 07:07 PM
We have a box of kikkoman and Yamasa that we use, regular and low sodium. maybe try the low sodium.

06-29-2011, 07:14 PM
If your soy sauce has been left out (not refrigerated) and is older than six months, it's probably gotten thicker and saltier due to evaporation. I've forgotten about bottles in my cupboard for about 9 months; even though they're unopened, they're not good - they're thick and heavy. Try buying a fresh bottle; that might be all that you need.

I second the use of low sodium. I'm not a chef, but my mother is Japanese, and I've worked at a Japanese market. I've used all kinds of Japanese soy sauce over the years. My favorite all purpose Japanese soy sauce is Yamasa low sodium. It has a rounder, more balanced flavor that Kikkoman IMHO. And you'll use less sugar and Mirin when making Japanese dishes using low sodium soy sauce.

06-29-2011, 10:33 PM
This calls for a soy cause tasting, I wish there were more foodies out here who are up for things like that. I have used Kikkoman for a while, but also found I like Yamasa better. Just bought some local 'Aloha' soy sauce but haven't tasted it against anything else (but the stew I used it for was great :) ). I had a real nice tamari a while back but don't remember the name. To be honest, I am very pragmatic with that: If I use it in cooking, I just carefully adjust the salt level after I added the shoyu, and when eating it with sashimi I admit that I have been seen to just pour a bit of sake into my soy sauce if I found it to be too intense...


06-30-2011, 01:26 AM
We usually use one of the San-J offerings. Now we are trying the Lee Kum Kee, a Marumata Owarino Tamari and Yanai Kanro Shoyu.
Corti Bros (http://cortibros.biz/tek9.asp?pg=products&grp=59) in Sacramento has the last two. Their newsletters (http://www.cortibros.biz/WEBSITE/Newsletters/ItemsbycatP3.asp#SoySauces) have some information also.
And Cook's Illustrated had a tasting (http://www.cooksillustrated.com/tastetests/overview.asp?docid=10119) in 1997.

It is fun experimenting. hmmm, may have to make some inari sushi this weekend.:hungry:

06-30-2011, 11:11 AM
Higeta Honzen is my favorite so far. So many more hi-quality yet to try. The Tamari Organic style seems to put out the most refined taste to me.

06-30-2011, 11:15 AM
Oh no... I can see it now! I already get crap about having 4 types of flour, 5 kinds of salt, 7 ways to brew coffee... now I need 2-3 types of soy sauce! I just checked my bottle, because I wasn't sure. I went to the local Asian Mega-store (Uwajimaya in Seattle) and asked someone about Soy Sauce. They recommended something in a large plastic bottle.. haha.. it looks like I've been using light soy sauce made by Kikkoman, but it has no english on the original label, just a sticker the store put on it. I think the flavor is good, although I don't make a lot of dipping sauces, mainly for chinese style cooking. I second Stefan's idea of having a tasting!

03-02-2012, 02:14 PM
I've tried many brands, and like Kikkoman the best. Full sodium, though.