Sunday, March 14, 2010

Soy sauce and me

Soy sauce is a staple cooking ingredient and seasoning used heavily throughout Asia. In Japan, it's known as 醤油(しょうゆ, shoyu). According to Wikipedia there are several different types. I must be frank - I had no idea.

Now as I've mentioned in the past, since moving out here on my own I've taken to cooking every now and then. It's a useful skill to have. And tell you what - I always have soy sauce on hand. When you're cooking up some meat, tofu, vegetables - what have you, a little soy sauce and wine or whiskey (depending on what you're making) can really add some flavor. And let's not forget that to make teriyaki sauce you need しょうゆ. So as an ingredient, I give soy sauce a big thumbs up.

As a seasoning, though...that's where I surprise some people. Of course there are many foods that people complement with soy sauce. What usually comes to mind, however, is sushi. Everyone uses soy sauce. Well, everyone except me. What can I say? I actually like the taste of raw fish, so why would I want to smother it with liquid salt? Each to his own, but I personally find it a little odd that it's the norm.

That's where I stand with soy sauce. As a bonus, I'd like to share with you how I used to remember the Japanese word for soy sauce. This is from a while back. Anyone familiar with Kikkoman?

First in Japanese; look below for the version with English subs. Interestingly, you'll note the English version cuts out the part where the cat hangs himself in shame. Hmmm.


  1. I use soy sauce on my sushi, but not for the soy sauce itself. I like using wasabi, but wasabi alone can be too strong. So I mix them together and presto, もっとおいしくなる!

  2. Why does the cat hang himself anyway?