Shoyu is a traditional Japanese condiment with a centuries-old history. Its versatility has long been recognized in international cuisine.
Over 99% of the Shoyus sold in the world today is manufactured industrially. It contains colorings, preservatives and other additives.
Shoyu – The process of fermentation
First, the soybeans are soaked and cooked overnight. Wheat is roasted in fine black sand because it has the property of distributing heat evenly. The sand is sifted out and the wheat is ground into quarter grains, as koji does not grow on whole grains. Then the soybeans and the wheat are mixed with spores from koji mold cultures and stored in a separate room at a constant temperature of 28 ° C and 80% humidity. The mixture is stirred regularly for three days. This ensures an even growth of the mold cultures and activates the fermentation process – this is the most complicated part of Shoyu production.
The resulting Shoyu-Koji is distributed in wooden barrels together with water and sea salt and left to mature for two to three years at natural temperature. After storage, a hydraulic press separates the moromi, the Shoyu substance, from the liquid, whereby the solid components are no longer used. The liquid is filled again into barrels until the oil has settled on the surface and the sediments have settled on the bottom and can be sucked off.
Shoyu has a full, strong taste. It can be used in the kitchen as an extremely versatile condiment, for example in soups, sauces, salads, stews, on cereals and vegetables. Instead of salt, Shoyu gives the dishes a more intense taste. The aroma of good Shoyu is fleeting and only comes into play in combination with other dishes by emphasizing their taste, but staying in the background itself. Shoyu brings out the natural sweetness of cooked vegetables. A little shoyu drizzled on fish or salty pickles can make these dishes more aromatic and less salty.
Soy Sauce with Wheat
Ingredients: water, soybeans, wheat, sea salt, koji ferment (aspergillus oryzea)
Tamari – The process of fermentation
Shoyu and tamari soy sauce are originally very different products. Tamari was initially obtained as a by-product in the manufacture of hatcho miso (Tamari type B). Due to the high demand, Tamari has long been produced directly.
Tamari type B and Tamari have a much more intense taste than Shoyu soy sauce. It can be used for strong broths and especially for seasoning vegetables and legumes that take longer to cook. Tamari should not be used straight from the bottle as a condiment for rice or other dishes, because it is too strong and salty for that. Tamari has about the same nutritional value as Shoyu and is particularly suitable for a wheat-free diet.
Ingredients (before filtration): soybeans, water, sea salt, koji ferment (aspergillus oryzea)
Schematic representation of the Shoyu production
In the traditional production of tamari and shoyu, the fermentation process takes almost three years and is carried out naturally by microorganisms. The result is a sufficiently long fermented product with a distinctive aroma, color and taste. The two sauces differ in that Shoyu – in addition to water, soybeans, sea salt and koji ferment – also contains wheat and is characterized by a milder flavor than tamari. Only a few producers have mastered the art of this traditional production method today.