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Soy sauce plays an important role in the world of food seasoning with its unique taste. It riches the depth of taste to different meals while it has great nutrition.
The roots of soy sauce can trace back to ancient China, but after years and years of development, now the reach of soy sauce spans across the globe. Diverse regions add their own take and flavor profiles into soy sauce which meet their own taste bugs.
In this article, we will explore eleven of the most beloved soy sauce brands from all over the world. We will talk about their history, flavors and applications to help you choose the perfect soy sauce for your kitchen.
1. Pearl River Bridge: A Legacy of Asian Culinary Excellence
Pearl River Bridge, a renowned Chinese soy sauce manufacturer from Guangdong, China, has graced global kitchens since 1958. Known for its tradition-imbued fermentation process and impressive type of soy sauce range, all with no preservatives and Non-GMO beans. Pearl River Bridge stands proud among its contemporaries.
Chinese Classic Soy Sauce Brand: PRB Mushroom Dark Soy Sauce
Pearl River Bridge has been crafting high-quality soy sauces and condiments for over 60 years using time-honored techniques handed down through generations. Their deep expertise shines through in products like their Superior Mushroom Flavored Dark Soy Sauce.
This dark soy sauce, with its deep color and bold flavor, brings an earthy richness enhanced by the wholesome essence of mushrooms. What’s special about this variant is the balance it strikes in terms of flavor – providing a depth and sweetness that doesn’t overpower but instead, harmoniously blends with the dish.
The Superior Mushroom Flavored Dark Soy Sauce is incredibly versatile. It adds a delightful layer of taste and a visually appealing gloss to stir fry. It can also be used as a marinating ingredient to infuse a deeper flavor into meats and tofu. Furthermore, applying it as a drizzle over finished dishes or incorporating it into dips can elevate the sensory appeal of your meals. Whether it’s a festive feast or everyday home cooking, this soy sauce is a kitchen essential that promises to bring the rich essence of Chinese cuisine to your table.
Why Choose Pearl River Bridge?
Pearl River Bridge’s Superior Mushroon Dark Soy Sauce is a celebration of Chinese culinary artistry. Its balanced and distinctive flavor profile makes it a versatile addition to a multitude of dishes, particularly stir-fries and marinades. For those seeking an authentic Chinese soy sauce with the depth of traditional brewing methods but refined with modern quality control, Pearl River Bridge’s Mushroom Flavored Dark Soy Sauce delivers. The result is a balanced, full-flavored sauce that pairs beautifully with a wide variety of Chinese and Asian-inspired dishes.
2. LeeKumKee: The Jewel of Chinese Soy Sauce Brand
While there are many soy sauce brands in China, LeeKumKee stands out for consistently producing some of the finest soy sauces using time-honored traditions. Their flagship product, KeeKumKee Premium Light Soy Sauce, exemplifies their commitment to crafting sauces that embody the perfect balance of Chinese culinary excellence.
The Crowned Soy Sauce Brand: Lee Kum Kee Light Soy Sauce
The most popular offering from Lee Kum Kee, the Superior Light Soy Sauce, holds the heart of its fans due to its exceptional flavor balance. With a taste spectrum spanning from savory to slightly sweet, it serves as a versatile companion to a vast array of meals.
Made slowly through natural fermentation and aging, this light soy sauce has a well-rounded flavor that is slightly savory and hints at natural sweetness. It’s not overly salty but instead allows the subtle flavors of soy and wheat to shine through. The results are a light-colored sauce with a smooth, mellow taste and aroma that enhances rather than overwhelms dishes.
This sauce is a particularly beloved element of Cantonese cuisine, known for letting the natural flavors of fresh, high-quality ingredients take center stage. This soy sauce enhances the taste of meats, seafood, and vegetables. You can use it as fish sauce and dipping sauce for dumplings.
Why Choose Lee Kum Kee?
A taste of Lee Kum Kees soy sauce is a journey into the heart of China’s culinary culture. The brand’s dedication to maintaining traditional fermenting techniques ensures an authentic, high-quality product that enriches your meals with a taste that stood the test of time.
3. Yamasa: A Taste of Japanese Tradition Soy Sauce Brand
When it comes to soy sauce in Japan, Yamasa is name synonymous with quality and tradition, having been crafting authentic Japanese Shoyu for over 300 years. Their Yamasa Shoyu soy sauce exemplifies the sophisticated artistry and subtle flavors that distinguish Japanese cuisine.
Time-Honored Favorite: Yamasa Shoyu
Yamasa Shoyu has a deep, complex flavor far beyond that of regular soy sauce. The long fermentation and aging period results in notes of caramel and wood that complement the natural soy and wheat flavors.
The dark color and full yet refined taste of Yamasa Shoyu make it an ideal pairing for celebrated dishes like sushi, sashimi, sukiyaki and teriyaki. A few drops is all that’s needed to enhance the natural flavors of fish, meat and vegetables without overwhelming them.
Why Choose Yamasa?
When you choose Yamasa Shoyu, you gain access to centuries of Japanese soy sauce making wisdom passed down from generation to generation. The result is a soy sauce that achieves the perfect balance of deep flavor and subtle enhancement – a taste that has helped define Japanese cuisine for hundreds of years.
For an authentic shoyu soy sauce that captures the essence and tradition of Japanese gastronomy in every bottle, Yamasa Shoyu is the gold standard. Its sophisticated yet understated flavor profile perfectly complements the focused simplicity that characterizes Japanese cuisine at its finest.
4. Kikkoman: The Heart of Japan in Every Bottle
As a globally recognized Japanese staple, Kikkoman combines traditional brewing methods with contemporary culinary needs. Its humble beginnings in the 17th century have evolved into it becoming a global ambassador for Japan’s rich food history.
Experience Authenticity: Kikkoman Regular Soy Sauce
Kikkoman’s Regular Soy Sauce is their most iconic offering with a worldwide fanbase. Termed as a medium dark sauce, it balances sweet and salty flavor profiles beautifully. Its versatile nature makes it the perfect accompaniment for an array of dishes, from marinades and soups to stir-fries and dipping sauces. The versatility of Kikkoman Regular Soy Sauce allows it to enhance everything from stir fries and noodle dishes to soups, marinades and dipping sauces. A little goes a long way, in improving the flavor of meat, seafood and vegetables without dominating them.
Why Choose Kikkoman?
Choosing Kikkoman is choosing a taste of authentic, traditional Japanese cuisine. Its well-known for the depth of umami flavor it adds to a variety of dishes. Not just a seasoning, Kikkoman ensures an upgraded culinary experience with its quality and versatility. Whether you’re an everyday cook or a professional chef, Kikkoman is a staple that has something to offer everyone.
5. Healthy Boy: The Thai Flavor Soy Sauce Brand
Thai cuisine is renowned for its flavorful dishes, and Healthy Boy, a popular Thai soy sauce brand, plays a pivotal role in achieving this reputation. For chefs seeking to elevate the flavor of their Thai cuisine, Healthy Boy Thin Soy Sauce is an essential ingredient. As Thailand’s most popular brand of soy sauce, Healthy Boy has been crafting this versatile thin soy sauce using time honored techniques that bring out its full, savory flavor.
The Thai Favorite: Healthy Boy Thin Soy Sauce
While technically a “light” soy sauce due to its color, Healthy Boy Thin Soy Sauce packs a punch in terms of taste. Slow fermentation and aging results in a sauce with a rich, rounded flavor that perfectly complements the complex, spicy dishes synonymous with Thai cooking. The key to its popularity lies in its ability to enhance the distinctive flavors in curries, stir-fries, soups and salads rather than dominate them. Adding just a glug to soups and curries deepens their savoriness while providing a subtle salty background note. And a generous splash brings out the flavors in stir-fries and noodle dishes.
Why Choose Healthy Boy?
For enhancing the complex, full-flavored dishes that Thai cooking is renowned for, look no further than Healthy Boy Thin Soy Sauce. Its versatility and ability to bring out the distinctive Thai balance of salty, sweet, sour and spicy flavors makes it an essential ingredient for any chef seeking authentic Thai flavors.
6. Sempio: The Korean Kitchen Essential
For over 70 years, Sempio has been the preferred brand for chefs seeking authentic Korean flavors at home. Their signature product, Sempio Yangjo Ganjang naturally brewed soy sauce, exemplifies the rich, savory and distinctive taste that distinguishes Korean cuisine.
The Korean Soy Sauce: Sempio Yangjo Ganjang
Sempio’s Yangjo Ganjang, a naturally brewed soy sauce, is a vital ingredient in Korean kitchens. The depth and flavor of Sempio soy sauce make it indispensable for classics like bibimbap, bulgogi marinades and doenjang jjigae. A few glugs bring soups, stews and sauces to life with an authentic Korean taste. In the hands of skilled chefs, this soy sauce also enhances other Asian cuisines from Japanese to Chinese – due to its savory profile complimenting a wide variety of dishes.
Why Choose Sempio?
For bringing the distinctive Korean flavors of your favorite Korean restaurants into your own kitchen, no other soy sauce comes close to Sempio Yangjo Ganjang. With just one taste, you’ll understand why it’s considered an essential part of any true Korean meal.
7. Datu Puti: The Filipino Food Companion
Datu Puti is a well-established brand in the Philippines. Its soy sauce, known locally as Toyo, is a vital ingredient in Filipino cuisine. As one of the Philippines’ most iconic brands, Datu Puti has been crafting this authentic soy sauce or “toyo” for generations using time-honored techniques that result in a balanced sweet-salty flavor.
The Filipino Favorite: Datu Puti Soy Sauce
Datu Puti Soy Sauce pairs perfectly with many Filipino dishes that feature a harmonious blend of sweet, sour and savory flavors. The signature sweet notes in this soy sauce complement the flavors of adobo chicken, pork sinigang and limpa fish, while its salty depth enhances dishes like kare-kare stew, pinakbet vegetalles and pancit bihon noodles.
This versatile soy sauce acts as an essential complement to a wide range of Filipino cooking. It can be used as a marinade, a flavor enhancer in soups and dipping sauces, or simply drizzled into finished dishes for an extra layer of rich Filipino flavors. Paired with Datu Puti’s vinegar, this soy sauce helps bring out the symphony of tangy, salty and sweet tastes that distinguish Filipino cuisine.
Why Choose Datu Puti?
Choosing Datu Puti means infusing your meals with the tangy, sweet, and salty flavors that Filipino cuisine is famous for. This brand’s soy sauce is a must-have for anyone looking to explore the richness of Filipino food.
8. Nam Duong: The Vietnamese Choice
Nam Duong is a leading soy sauce brand in Vietnam. As Vietnam’s most awarded soy sauce brand, Nam Duong has been crafting this aromatic sauce using time-honored techniques that result in a perfect balance of sweet, salty and umami flavors – the defining tastes of Vietnamese cuisine.
The Vietnamese Gem: Nam Duong Soy Sauce
Nam Duong Soy Sauce harmonizes beautifully with many Vietnamese dishes that balance bitter, sour and savory notes like pho, goi cuon spring rolls, and banh cuon steamed rolls. A splash of this sauce adds depth and richness to nuoc cham dipping sauces as well as marinades for grilled meats. And a drizzle onto finished dishes like bun cha Hanoi and com tam broken rice highlights all the flavors within.
The versatility of Nam Duong Soy Sauce makes it an indispensable part of Vietnamese kitchens. The unique balanced flavor profile enhances a wide range of cuisine, from stir fries and noodle soups to barbecue meats and vegetarian dishes.
Why Choose Nam Duong?
Choosing Nam Duong means choosing a taste of Vietnam. Their soy sauce, crafted with care, brings a hint of Vietnam’s rich culinary tradition to your table.
9. ABC: The Indonesian Delight
ABC, a leading Indonesian soy sauce brand, is loved for its sweet and savory Kecap Manis, a staple in Indonesian cooking.
The Indonesian Star: ABC Sweet Soy Sauce
ABC Sweet Soy Sauce pairs perfectly with many Indonesian dishes that balance sweet, sour and spicy elements. The sweet notes in this soy sauce complement the flavors of rendang beef, sate chicken and gado gado vegetable salad while its salty depth enhances dishes like nasi goreng fried rice and mie goreng noodles.
This soy sauce acts as a multipurpose enhancer in Indonesian kitchens. It can be used as a marinade, a seasoning for sauces and dips, a condiment served alongside dishes or simply drizzled into finished plates for an extra layer of Indonesian flavor.
Why Choose ABC?
Choosing ABC means choosing the vibrant flavors of Indonesia. Their Sweet Soy Sauce adds a unique depth to dishes, making your meals a culinary adventure.
10. San-J: The Gluten-Free Option
San-J’s Tamari Shoyu is a godsend for those on a gluten-free diet. This brand’s soy sauce offers a deep umami flavor without gluten. For those seeking a naturally gluten-free alternative to regular soy sauce that still delivers authentic Japanese flavor, San-J Tamari Shoyu is the answer.
The Gluten-Free Star: San-J Tamari Shoyu
As a byproduct of the traditional Japanese miso-making process, San-J Tamari Shoyu is made without wheat – the primary source of gluten in soy sauce. Instead, it derives its sweet and saltiness notes from soybeans and rice alone through a slow-aging fermentation.
The result is a soy sauce that is similar in color and rich, balanced umami taste to traditional varieties but without any gluten. The deeper, caramelized flavors that develop during fermentation give San-J Tamari Shoyu a subtle complexity that enhances a wide range of Japanese and Asian dishes.
The versatility of San-J Tamari Shoyu makes it perfect for marinades, stir fries and noodle dishes as well as a finishing sauce for Japanese specialties like sushi, sashimi, tempura and teriyaki. Less is often more – a little goes a long way in adding deep flavor without overpowering the natural tastes of the food.
Why Choose San-J?
Choosing San-J means opting for a healthier alternative without sacrificing flavor. Their Tamari Shoyu is a testament to the brand’s commitment to providing high-quality, gluten-free products.
11. Wan Ja Shan: The Organic Alternative
For those looking for a healthier, more mindful alternative, Wan Ja Shan stands as a testament to blending organic farming principles and traditional brewing methods. This brand hails from Taiwan, committed to producing a diverse array of sauces, vinegar, and beverages, all GMO-free, gluten-free, and vegan-friendly.
The Organic Delight: Wan Ja Shan Less Sodium Shoyu
Wan Ja Shan’s Less Sodium Soy Sauce pushes boundaries with its lower sodium content, capturing the heart of health-conscious cooks and families worldwide. This shoyu still delivers on flavor, balancing savory, sweet, and umami tones without relying on excessive salt content. An exceptional choice for stir-frys and dipping sauces, it adds a hearty touch without overpowering the original flavors of your dishes.
The beauty in Wan Ja Shan’s Less Sodium Soy Sauce lies in the balance it strikes between health-friendly contents and flavorful charm. Versatile in use, it serves brilliantly as a marinade, a gravy base, or a dressing, covering your healthy cooking needs conveniently.
Why Choose Wan Ja Shan?
When you reach for Wan Ja Shan’s Less Sodium Soy Sauce, you’re choosing a delicious, healthier alternative that doesn’t compromise on taste. It’s the perfect blend of mindful eating and an affinity for flavorsome food, promising an experience that’s both nutritious and gratifying. With Wan Ja Shan, you’re adding a touch of organic goodness to your kitchen.
Conclusion: Picking the Best Soy Sauce Brand for Your Kitchen
When it comes to soy sauce, there is no definitive “best” option. The vast world of soy sauces holds a wealth of diversity in tastes, cultural backgrounds, and unique selling points. Each soy sauce brand we’ve discussed here holds its own distinctive appeal and adds unparalleled flavor profiles that extend beyond just a condiment.
The beauty of our journey through these variety of soy sauces is the exploration of diverse cultures through the lens of this universally adored condiment. Each possesses a unique character, yet all are unified in their ability to bring life to dishes, embrace local tastes while still casting a global appeal. They offer food enthusiasts a whole palette of tastes, aroma, and culture that makes every dining experience extraordinary.
In the end, the right choice of soy sauce narrows down to individual preferences, culinary style, health considerations, and of course, the kind of dishes you wish to whip up in your kitchen. There’s a world of possibility in every drop of soy sauce, and it’s worth the effort to experiment with different brands to find your personal favorite. It’s like embarking on a gastronomic journey around the world, trying out the culinary traditions and innovations that these soy sauce brands bring to your humble kitchen.
Learn more about the soy sauce difference: exploring the distinctive character of light soy sauce versus dark soy sauce