Soy sauce is an integral part of the food at our Seattle Korean restaurant. It’s one of Korea’s most important seasonings, and a vital ingredient in many of the dishes we serve. But what, exactly, is soy sauce? Where does it come from, and what does it take to create this phenomenal condiment?
The first step is to soak and steam the soybeans, then combine them with roasted wheat grains.
The next step is to bring about the growth of koji mold in the mixture. This breaks down the proteins of the soy and the carbohydrates of the wheat into something that the Japanese call shoyu koji. This process takes roughly three days.
The shoyu koji is mixed with salt water to ferment and age for several months.
After the aging process, the shoyu koji has become a thick, mash-like substance. This substance is pressed and strained through a cloth to filter out the fluid. This is called “raw” soy sauce.
The raw soy sauce is heated so as to pasteurize the mixture and stop the chemical reactions, stabilizing the soy sauce. Now it is ready to be enjoyed!