Welcome to the Soy Sauce Wonderland!
Soy sauce (Shoyu) is an essential condiment in Japan. Sushi, sahimi, tofu, ramen… you cannot enjoy these food without soy sauce. As Japanese food is getting popular in other countries, it is well-known to many people around the world. Probably you can get it easily at grocery stores in your town as well. But there are more unique soy sauce available in Japan. Let’s take a look together.
Awa shoyu is a new style of soy sauce and you can make it at home. “Awa” means bubble, mousse or foam so it is translated as “soy sauce foam” or “soy sauce foam espuma”. It was a trend in Japan a while ago as one TV show featured about it. The foam style was first created by professional chefs thinking it won’t make customers’ clothes dirty when they wear luxurious dresses or kimonos. The texture is amazingly soft as you can imagine. And what’s great is it makes the original taste of ingredients better. And it is low-salt so the dishes are more healthy for you as the foam stays longer in your mouth than usual soy sauce. Here is the recipe.
Soy Sauce: 10g
Powdered Gelatin: 1g (dissolve gelatin with 20 ml of water at 80 degrees Celsius)
Add ingredients in a bowl and whisk them together for about 2-3 minutes.
(In case the foam is not stable, cool the bowl with iced water while whisking.)
It will be much easier with a Cappuccino mixer like this. You can get one at 100 yen shops in Japan.
If whisking for a few minutes is tedious for you, a shop in Kyoto has a wonderful solution. They sell powdered foam soy sauce: Awa Shoyu (1,000 yen for 5 packs and other kinds are available as well). Mixing the powder with water, stirring them, chilled in the fridge and ready to eat.
Kyo no Maiko-san Honpo Official Website: http://www.awa.co.jp/ (only in Japanese)
Powder Soy Sauce
A long-established Japanese traditional kaiseki (cuisine) style restaurant “Shimogamo Saryo” (established in 1856), located near Shimogamo Shrine where it is designated as an official UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site, created powdered soy sauce in 2013. It was made with the special 3-year brewed soy sauce from soy sauce brewery Kamebishi-ya in Kagawa prefecture (established in 1753) and was blended with yuzu citrus and ichimi (ground dried red chili peppers) by the head chef. They started to serve their dishes with the soy sauce and it got very popular among customers. It was sold for a limited time in the summer of 2014 and they have started to sell since 2015. Also at Le Salon du Chocolat Paris 2014, a Japanese chocolatier was awarded 5 Tablets of “Club des Croqueurs de Chocolat” (C.C.C.) for his chocolate with the powder soy sauce.
They also have the gift set and travel set. Powder soy sauce is lighter than liquid ones and easy to carry to anywhere, so it can be a good idea for obento or souvenirs to your friends and family.
The best thing about the powder soy sauce is adding subtle Japanese flavor to dishes without wetting the food so that you can enjoy the texture better. Can be enjoyed with eggs, rice, grilled fish, sushi, sashimi, tempura and ice cream!
Shimogamo Saryo Official Website:http://www.shimogamosaryo.co.jp/english/
Salt Soy Sauce
This is soy sauce from a souther island, Okinawa prefecture. The base is light soy sauce made with rock salt from Okinawa, has rich umami (pleasant savory taste) flavor. It goes well with rice, grilled fish, chilled tofu and grilled vegetables.And you can make simple tasty soup too; mix the sauce with 5 to 7 times the amount of hot water. Doesn’t it sound yummy?
Ryukyu Shoyu Shop Official Website: http://ryukyushoyuya.co.jp/ (only in Japanese)
Honey Soy Sauce Butter
This one can be your new favorite when you have bread. This is honey butter with soy sauce from Fukui prefecture. It tastes like caramel at the first bite, sweet and gentle soy sauce at the second bite. Also it goes well with steamed potato, simmered pumpkin and sautéed mushroom. They sell various soy sauces at the shop in Fukui, such as soy sauce chocolate sauce, soy sauce for ice cream, soy sauce for grilled eggplant etc.!
Yamakawa Jozo Brewery Official Website: http://www.tamariya-shouyu.com/ (only in Japanese)
Gourmet Soy Sauce by Joël Robuchon
Joël Robuchon is a French chef and restaurateur who owns restaurants in 10 countries worldwide. A top selling soy sauce manufacturer Yamasa Corporation did a collaboration with him. He decided to join the project with the company as he was impressed by their passion to crate new soy sauce like nobody did before, and also because he has been a big fan of soy sauce for a long time. He offered three ideas for the special shoyu. The first is to make low salt soy sauce because he was concerned about the saltiness of soy sauce. The second is to add fruit juice and wine so that it goes well with French dishes. Fruits and wine, of course, adds rich flavor and also they has great antioxidative effect. Especially Mr. Robuchon has chosen cherry because his shortness of breath got better thanks to the fruit before. And the third is to use only natural ingredients, no artificial additives. The base of the gourmet soy sauce is Yamasa’s top quality patented soy sauce made for luxurious Japanese cuisine and sushi restaurants. He has added his special recipe to it; apple, pomegranate, cherry, red wine and so on. So they have created the healthiest and tastiest soy sauce ever. The less salt soy sauce has a unique and premium flavor of fruit sweetness and red wine and can be enjoyed with various food including Japanese, Asian and Western.
Soy Sauce by Joël Robuchon and Yamasa Official Website: http://www.yamasa.com/robuchon/
Pink Soy Sauce
We even have pink soy sauce in Japan. This is Flower Lady Rose. Why is it pink? Because this is the color of beets. A company in Tottori prefecture has created soy sauce with the local vegetable beets. The company also manufacture pink foods such as curry and mayonnaise as the female president think the color pink makes people happy. Probably this is why the product somehow looks like a cosmetic. This can be a lovely present for your mother, wife, girlfriend, female friends and anyone who likes pink.
Brilliant Associates Official Website: http://www.ba-tottori.com/ (only in Japanese)
You may find more unique soy sauce at department stores and speciality shops in Japan. Enjoy your meal with various flavor of soy sauce!
Top Image: http://www9.nhk.or.jp/gatten/recipes/20140611/1.html
Source: http://www9.nhk.or.jp/gatten/recipes/20140611/1.html, http://vegetokalogtokyo.blogspot.com.au/2010/05/blogpost_25.html, http://www.awa.co.jp/, http://www.shimogamosaryo.co.jp/english/, http://ryukyushoyuya.co.jp/?pid=42284395, http://www.tamariya.com/SHOP/hony.html, http://www.tamariyashouyu.com/, http://www.yamasa.com/robuchon/, http://www.ba-tottori.com/