Soy sauce is a brownish, salty condiment that originated from China about 2,800 years ago. It quickly spread to other Asian countries where it is commonly used for adding seasoning to food during cooking or at the table. In recent years it has become popular in Western cuisine. There are many types of soy sauce, including artificial soy sauce, but authentic soy sauce remains the most popular. Let’s take a look at how this popular condiment and cooking ingredient is made.
How is soy sauce made?
Traditionally soy sauce is made by using the slow fermentation method. The most common ingredients for this method are; soybeans, water, wheat, sea salt and yeast (or other fungi). This method starts by soaking and boiling the soybeans, as well as roasting and crushing the wheat. The soybeans and wheat are then mixed and a small amount of yeast or mold (fungi) is added to the mixture. This mixture is then left to sit or is continually mixed for about 2-3 days. This mixture is then added to a solution of salty water and this is then blended together. The mixture is then left to ferment, although some manufacturers continue to blend the mixture daily to keep the yeast activated. After a set period of time (usually 12 months) the liquid is separated from the solid parts with a press. The liquid is then filtered and then heated to remove any harmful microorganisms. It is then bottled and packaged for sale.
The following video shows soy sauce being made at a factory: