Hydrolyzed soy sauce, sometimes referred to as hydrolyzed vegetable protein or HVP, is a modern culinary product made from soybeans that has recently become quite popular in many cuisines. As its name suggests, hydrolyzed soy sauce is made through a process of hydrolysis, which involves the breaking down of large molecules into smaller ones. This process is used to extract flavor and nutritional benefits from various vegetables, including soybeans, which are then combined with various types of salts to create a savory condiment. Let’s take a closer look at what hydrolyzed soy sauce is, the different types of hydrolyzed soy sauce available, how hydrolyzed soy sauce is made, and how you can use it in your cooking.
What is Hydrolyzed Soy Sauce?
Hydrolyzed soy sauce (HVP) is a modern condiment made from soybeans and other plant proteins that are broken down by hydrolysis to form small molecules. Generally speaking, hydrolyzed soy sauce is a salty flavor enhancer similar to other condiments – such as soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and teriyaki sauce –but with a more complex flavor profile. Typically, hydrolyzed soy sauce has a subtle umami (or savory) flavor when it is used as an ingredient in dishes.
What Types of Hydrolyzed Soy Sauce are Available?
There are several different types of hydrolyzed soy sauce available, depending on what type of protein source is used in the hydrolysis process. Some of the most common types of hydrolyzed soy sauce include:
• Soy-Based Hydrolyzed Soy Sauce: This type of hydrolyzed soy sauce is made from fermented and hydrolyzed soybeans. It is usually very salty and strong in flavor and is often used as a condiment or marinade for meats, tofu, or other dishes.
• Wheat-Based Hydrolyzed Soy Sauce: This version of hydrolyzed soy sauce is made from wheat gluten that has been hydrolyzed. It has a mellower flavor and is often used in combination with other condiments to enhance flavor or for a variety of dishes, like veggie burgers and noodle dishes.
• Nondairy Hydrolyzed Soy Sauce: This type of hydrolyzed soy sauce is made from a combination of plant proteins and is considered a vegan-friendly option. It is usually milder in flavor and goes well with vegetable, bean, or rice-based dishes.
• Liquid Hydrolyzed Soy Sauce: This type of hydrolyzed soy sauce is made with a broth-like base and is typically low in sodium. It is often used as a substitute for soy sauce to reduce sodium intake.
How is Hydrolyzed Soy Sauce Made?
The process of making hydrolyzed soy sauce involves breaking down large molecules of proteins into smaller ones through a process of hydrolysis, using enzymes or acids. The main ingredient for this condiment is typically soybeans, which are first soaked in water and allowed to soak overnight. Once the beans have been soaked, they are ground into a paste and then heated until the proteins are broken down into simpler molecules. The resulting hydrolysate of proteins is then combined with various types of salts, seasonings, and flavorings to create the desired flavor profile.
Hydrolyzed soy sauce is usually bottled or canned with preservatives to extend its shelf life. Additionally, the condiment may be pasteurized to ensure that it is free of contaminants or spoilage organisms.
How Can I Use Hydrolyzed Soy Sauce in Cooking?
Hydrolyzed soy sauce can be used in a variety of dishes, from Asian-style recipes to salads and even breakfast items. Its subtle umami flavor can be used to enhance the flavor of many vegetarian and vegan dishes, as well as stir-fries, marinades, sauces, soups, and other dishes. Additionally, hydrolyzed soy sauce can be used as a salt-replacement for dishes that need less salt or for those looking for a lower-sodium soy sauce.
No matter how you choose to use hydrolyzed soy sauce, it is a versatile condiment that can add a unique umami flavor to many dishes. Plus, with its more complex flavor profile, you’ll be able to add just the right amount of flavor to whatever dish you’re making!