Soy sauce is a condiment of Chinese origin, traditionally made from a fermented paste of soybeans and wheat, and is considered one of the oldest condiments in the world. The thin brown liquid has a strong umami or salty flavor. The standard bottle of soy sauce usually found in the international section of the grocery store is a Japanese “dark” soy sauce. “Mirin,” a sweet rice wine, is added to soy sauce to create a “light” variety that is slightly sweeter. There are also “light” and “dark” Chinese varieties of soy sauce that can be found in some specialty Asian markets. There are plenty of recipes from Asia and other parts of the world where soy sauce is used. To name one, there is the soy spiced roast chicken recipe, where the regular roast chicken is replaced with a chicken stuffed with aromatics like ginger, mandarin orange, and star anise. Because soy sauce (even the reduced-sodium kind) contains an extensive amount of salt, it has to be used moderately and tasted thoroughly during the cooking process to avoid a salt overload. Soy Sauce will usually keep well for around six months when stored at room temperature. If stored properly, it would even be safe to consume for many years. Unopened soy sauce should be kept in a cool, dark place. Once opened, soy sauce must be put in the refrigerator.
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