, how it is made and its nutritional value
Throughout many generations, soy sauce has been a marvellous condiment that adds a delicious flavor to many different types of food. This unique seasoning has been around for thousands of years, originating fromChina and Japan. The original form of this delectable sauce was made with a concoction of fermented ingredients including soybeans, wheat and salt. Overtime, the recipe for soy sauce has seen many changes and variations throughout the world, with each region having its own unique twist. One noteworthy variation is tamari soy sauce, which has surged in popularity due to its distinct savory flavor.
Tamari is the Japanese word for “accumulated liquid” and refers to the liquid byproduct created during the fermentation process of miso paste. For hundreds of years, the Japanese have used this savory syrup, known as tamari soy sauce, as a seasoning. Unlike mainstream brands of soy sauce made with wheat, tamari sauces are usually wheat-free and are made with a combination of mashed and fermented soybeans, salt and a number of different types of bacteria, including the fungus Aspergillus oryzae.
The production process begins by soaking the soybeans and grinding them into a paste. The paste then needs to be steamed, after which the baker’s yeast and the mixture of fungi, which contain the enzyme koji, are added. These enzymes help to speed up the conversion of carbohydrates into amino acids and sugars, giving tamari its rich complexity. After this, the fermented paste is poured into tanks and left to matures for around six months, and is then strained and bottled in a food safe environment.
Factoring in its mild nutty-bitter flavor, tamari is surprisingly versatile and can be used as a dipping sauce, glaze or marinade. It’s an excellent alternative to regular soy sauces, as tamari is typically brewed with fewer fillers and additives, and is usually free of FODMAPS (Fermentable Oligosaccharides Disaccharides Monosaccharides and Polyols). Because of this, tamari sauces are lower in sodium and are typically gluten-free.
Nutritionally, tamari is of great benefit to those who must watch their sodium intake, as a mere tablespoon contains just 160 milligrams of sodium. Depending on the manufacturer, tamari also includes other minerals such as magnesium, phosphorus and calcium, all of which are essential for maintaining optimal health. Furthermore, studies have suggested that the fermented mixture may contain useful levels of antioxidants as well, which help protect the body from free radical damage and promote overall immunity.
The special fermentation qualities of tamari give it a richer taste and texture. The fermentation process also allows naturally occurring probiotics and the amino acid glutamate, which is the source of its umami flavor, to be created. Tamari has a much more balanced and mellow flavor than regular soy sauce and is perfect for many different types of cuisine.
Ultimately, tamari is a flavoring agent that adds depth of flavor and dimension to any dish it is included in. Its production following a traditional recipe gives it a unique flavor that sets it aside from traditional soy sauce varieties. Not only is it incredibly delicious, but tamari also provides numerous nutritional benefits that make it a great option for those seeking healthier alternative to traditional soy sauces.
Soy Sauce, also known as tamari, is an essential condiment used in many Asian dishes to add flavor and depth. Though this dark, salty liquid can be often seen topping dishes of sushi and ramen, the ingredients and process necessary to make soy sauce are vast, complex, and difficult to recreate at home. It's important to understand soy sauce's history, ingredients, and development journey in order to truly appreciate the flavors.
First, let’s take a look at the history of soy sauce. Soy sauce has its beginnings in China, where it was first made as early as 2,200 BC. The earliest form of soy sauce was called jiang, which used fermented beans to provide some of the same salty and umami flavors that soy sauce still provides today. As the Chinese Empire expanded its reach, soy sauce recipes were imported to Japan, where they developed into soy sauce’s modern form.
Soy sauce is made from a combination of two main ingredients: fermented soybeans and wheat. In many cases, additives such as water and salt are also used in the manufacturing process. The beans used in soy sauce are typically roasted soya beans, which are soaked in water prior to undergoing the fermentation process. The importance of this pre-extraction phase cannot be overlooked, as it greatly affects the final flavor of the product.
After the beans have been soaked and the fermentation process has been initiated, the mixture is then combined with wheat and heated, resulting in a thick liquid which is then strained and filtered. The final step of the production process is the addition of salt, which helps to balance out the flavor of the soy sauce and generates the signature salty flavor. After this, the liquid is bottled and can be shipped to markets worldwide.
Of course, the journey of soy sauce doesn't end in the factory. Preparing soy sauce for a dinner table requires careful consideration and preparation. In most restaurants and supermarkets, soy sauce is packaged in resealable containers, allowing for good portion control and a longer shelf life. When buying soy sauce for home cooking, it’s important to check for any added preservatives or flavorings that can alter the flavor profile, as some manufacturers add additional ingredients to increase the overall aroma.
When preparing your dish, it’s important to measure out only the amount of soy sauce that you need. Too much soy sauce can overwhelm a dish’s flavor, while too little can leave the meal tasting bland. If you’re adding soy sauce to a marinade, use only the recommended amount of soy sauce and add a bit of oil or water if you want to thin out the marinade. And, of course, if you want to lighten the sauce’s flavor, feel free to add whatever other spices or seasonings you desire.
Soy sauce isn’t just a condiment that adds flavor to your meals; it’s a living and breathing product that is created with the help of chemicals and temperatures, bacteria, and ingredients carefully chosen and combined to generate the unique, salty flavor that is known today. As with any other food, understanding the ingredients and process needed to create soy sauce helps to understand the flavors it contributes and to master the technique necessary to create the perfect meal.
Though soy sauce can seem like a simple condiment, it actually carries with it many complex and interesting stories, ingredients, and processes that make it a staple of Asian cuisine. From the humble beginnings in ancient China as jiang sauce to the modern condiment found at sushi and ramen shops, there is much to learn about the history and production process of soy sauce. For the passionate cook, this knowledge can help create meals that are full of flavor and complexity. So next time you reach for that bottle of soy sauce, take a few minutes to understand the journey that it took to get to your dinner plate.
|Vitamin B1||0.06 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.15 mg|
|Vitamin B3||0.00395 grams|
|Vitamin B4||0.0384 grams|
|Vitamin B5||0.38 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.2 mg|
|Vitamin B9||0.018 mg|
Daily Value 1.3 g
Daily Value 0.018 g
Daily Value 0.4 g
Daily Value 1.25 g
Daily Value 4.7 g
Daily Value 2.3 g
Daily Value 0.011 g
Daily Value 0.9 mg
Daily Value 0.0023 g
Daily Value 0.055 mg
|Aspartic Acid||0.882 grams|
|Glutamic Acid||2.411 grams|
|Total Sugars||1.7 grams||
|Palmitic acid (16:0)||0.01 grams||
|Total Saturated fatty acids:||0.01 g|
|Oleic acid (18:1)||0.02 grams||
|Total Monounsaturated fatty acids:||0.02 g|
|Linolenic acid (18:3)||0.01 grams||
|Linoleic acid (18:2)||0.04 grams||
|Total Polyunsaturated fatty acids:||0.05 g|