Soy Sauce

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About

Soy sauce is made in several different styles today. Broadly speaking, the flavor of traditional soy sauce depends on the proportions of soybeans and wheat. Most Chinese soy sauces, and Japanese tamari, are made primarily or exclusively from soybeans. Japanese soy sauce is generally made from an even mixture of soybeans and wheat, and the starch from the wheat gives it a characteristic sweetness, a higher alcohol content, and more alcoholderived aromatics. Shiro, or “white” soy sauce, lighter in color and flavor, is made with more wheat than soybeans.