Shoyu vs. Soy Sauce

Joined: 6 Jan 2009
User offline. Last seen 8 years 38 weeks ago.

Is there any real difference? I see recipes calling for shoyu and wonder if soy sauce can be substituted if I don't have shoyu? Is there really any taste difference? I assume no texture difference. I no longer purchase tamari because I can't tell any difference from that and regular good soy sauce in cooked items. Is it the same with shoyu?

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Bento-ing from: somewhere › France
Joined: 24 Jan 2007
User offline. Last seen 3 weeks 2 days ago.
Re: Shoyu vs. Soy Sauce

Shoyu is just the Japanese name for soy sauce. (In the UK and some other places it's also called soya sauce or soja sauce.)

Tamari is a particular kind of soy sauce; it's the thick dregs that are left near the end of a barrel when soy sauce is made the traditional way. It's popular amongst various groups of people with special dietary needs, e.g. gluten-intolerent people (since tamari is usually free of any additives that might contain gluten, and some commercial soy sauces had additives), old-school vegans (tamari became popular in the west amongst vegan hippies in the '70s) and so on. In Japan it's used as a dipping sauce rather than cooking usually.

In Japan there are two major types of soy sauce, dark or 'rich', called koikuchi, and light, called usukuchi. Usukuchi or light soy sauce is used more in the Kansai area (Kyoto mainly), and koikuchi is used in the Kanto (Tokyo) area and most of the rest of the country. Most of the soy sauce you get outside of Japan is of the koikuchi type. (Light soy sauce is lighter in color, but is actually more salty than dark soy sauce.)


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