Tag Archives: Soy sauce

French Dessert: Wasabi Panacotta and Sweet Soy Sauce at Pissenlit in Shizuoka City!

SN3O3035

Service: Excellent and very friendly.
Facilities: Great cleanliness overall. Superb washroom (mouthwash and toothpicks provided!)!
Prices: Reasonable to slightly expensive, very good value.
Strong points: Interesting wine list. Great use of local products, especially organic vegetables and Shizuoka-bred meat.

When it comes to desserts Chef Toru Arima/有馬亨さん at Pissenlit French Restaurant in Aoi Ku, Shizuoka City, has never been afraid to experiment with ingredients that would discourage many a vaunted chef to try!

SN3O3040

His latest creation has involved products Shizuoka Prefecture are justly famous beyond the mere borders of Japan!

SN3O3039

Here is another overview as the “lengthy appearance” is not easy to represent in a single photography!
Apart of strawberries (topped with organic mint) and squat persimmons, what famous Shizuoka products have been used?

SN3O3036

Not inside the succulent pistachio in spite of its great marriage with the rest of the dessert!

SN3O3037

Shizuoka-grown wasabi!
Freshly grated wasabi extract wasincorporated in this exquisite panacotta!
The taste, but with not real piquancy, of the wasabi inside a sweet panacotta is difficult to describe, and simply said, I felt privileged with the discovery! Chili pepper or black pepper can be found in ice creams or choclate but this is different , and so elegant!
Note that the edible flowers are organic shiso/perilla flowers!

SN3O3038

And the sauce was made with soy sauce from Amano Company in Gotemba City as it was generously united with a caramel sauce!

More than a discovery, a study in succulent artistry!

PISSENLIT
420-0839 Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Takajo, 2-3-4
Tel.: 054-270-8768
Fax: 054-627-3868
Business hours: 11:30~14:30; 17:00~22:00
Closed on Tuesdays and Sunday evening
HOMEPAGE (Japanese)
Credit Cards OK
Entirely non-smoking!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento, Hapabento, Kitchen Cow, Lunch In A Box, Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

Advertisements

Japanese Gastronomy: Omelet Ribbons for Decoration!

The Japanese not only make great tamagoyaki/omelettes but extensively use eggs for decoration, especially in sushi and salads.
One such decoration is omelette ribbons.

Here is the basic recipe that could help you with future ideas!

Japanese Omelette ribbons!

INGREDIENTS:

-Eggs
-Oil

RECIPE:

-Having beaten the eggs, sieve/filter them through a large piece of gaze (this is the little secret!) into another bowl as shown on picture above.
Organize yourself so as not to spill egg everywhere. Use large bowls and plenty of gaze!
No need to season the eggs as the thin size of the ribbons will facilitate the absorption of any environmental seasoning.

-Use a square or rectangular non-stick tamagoyaki frypan.
Pour and spread a small quantity of oil.
Pour the eggs into a thin layer.
Bear in mind that the oil needs not to be so hot or the eggs will “crackle”.
Also bear in mind that not enough egg will not spread evenly all over the surface of the frypan. Not enough or too much will end in failure. Practice will soon make you a master!

-One more reason the omelette ought to be thick enough is that, when you turn it over with a long chopstick as shown on above picture, it will not break up.

-Fry both sides.

-Spread the omelette sheet on a working table while you eventually fry more.

-First cut the sheet into wide strips/bands. Think about the eventual lenghth of your ribbons.

-Finally cut across into thin ribbons.

-Enjoy the fun of easy decoration later!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Japanese Gastronomy: Chawanmushi-Basic Recipe

Chawanmushi or Chyawanmushi/茶碗蒸し is the Japanese equivalent of a French flan with the big difference that is not a dessert, but an appetizer!
It is quite easy to prepare and open to so many variations.
Here is the basic recipe. Just let your imagination fly!

Chawanmushi!

INGREDIENTS: For 2

-Eggs: 2
-Shrimps: 10 small
Shiitake mushrooms: 2
-Chopped leeks: to decorate and taste (or trefoil/mitsuba)
(you can use gingko nuts, kamaboko, crab, sea urchin, etc.)
-Dashi: 100 cc/ml (of your choice)
-Japanese sake: 50 cc/ml
Soy sauce: half a teaspoon
-Sugar: half a teaspoon
-Salt: 1 pinch
-Water: 2 cups, 400 cc/ml

RECIPE:

Take shell and head off every shrimp.
Let shrimps marinate in the sake for a while.
If you use frozen shrimps, thaw them and sponge off their water first.

Cut the shiitake in two.
If you use fresh shiitake, fry them just a little in butter and sponge them off.
If you use dried shiitake, let them marinate in lukewarm water for two hours. Their water can be used as part of the dashi.
If you use frozen shiitake, thaw them and sponge them off first.

in a saucepan, drop dashi, water, salt, sugar and soy sauce. Heat to before bubbles come up (bubbles will be the main reason for failure!).

Beat eggs and pour them slowly into the dashi, whisking them all the time.

Once all the eggs are mixed in, switch off fire and strain/sieve soup.

Place half of the shrimps and mushrooms at the bottom of each cup.

Slowly pour half of the soup in each cup/ramequin/small bowl.

Pour 3 cm of water into your steamer pan and bring to boil.

Place steaming tray inside steamer and place cups on it with lids on.

Cover as shown on above picture.
Cook over strong fire for 2 minutes, then 10 minutes over low fire (over high fire all the way through will end into failure!).

Check if chawanmushi are properly cooked. If you stab a toothpick in it, no dashi shoud come out.

Decorate with leeks or trefoil and serve!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Japanese Gastronomy: Chicken Bones Soup Stock: Tori Gara Soup-Basic Recipe

Quite a few friends, especially the ones who like ramen and any soup staock, have been asking me to re-pi\ublish the basic recipe for a very popular soup stock: Chicken Bones Soup Stock or Tori Gara Soup in Japanese!

It is called “Tori-gara soup”/鶏がらスープ in Japanese, as it means “Chicken carcass soup”.

The following recipe is basic and can be expanded and amended at will. It has also the merit to be useful for any kind of gastronomy, be it Asian, American, European, or African soups or sauces!

INGREDIENTS: As for quantities, do experiment!

-Chicken carcass and bones
-Long leeks
-Garlic
-Ginger (fresh if possible)
-Laurel (fried leaves)
-Black pepper (coarsely ground)
-Japanese sake (if you don’t have any, white wine should be ok)
-Fruit (apples are best)
Soy sauce

RECIPE:

Chicken carcass:
This is cheap and can be bought whole, unless you buy a whole chicken, dress it for another recipe and keep the bones and carcass. The latter can be deep-frozen, so don’t throw them away!

Break the bones roughly as the soup ingredients come from their insides. Clean then in running cold water. Drain them and leave them exposed in a recipient in the refrigerator for a whole night.

Leeks:
You will need a large pot to make your soup.
Use long leeks of the variety above if you can get them. Actually any leeks should do. Cut them in practical pieces.

Ginger:
If possible get it fresh. If slightly dried up as found in Asian markets abroad, no problem.
A piece 5×5 cm (2×2 inches) should be enough.
Peel it and cut into rough slices.

Garlic:
Use it as fresh as possible.
Take out their core out as it is almost indigestible.
One clove should be enough. Slice it roughly after crushing it.

Laurel:
2 dried leaves are enough.

Black pepper:
Grind it over the soup. Quantity is much up to preferences.

Japanese sake:
Use real sake or cooking sake.
You definitely need it.
If unavailable, use dry white wine.

Soy sauce:
Here too, quantity is much up to your preferences.

Fruit:
Fruit will provide you the right balance.
Apples are best.
Cut them in small pieces beforehand.

Fill the pan with water.
Drop in the whole carcass and bones.
Bring to boil.
Switch off fire.
Throw all the water away and refill with clean water. This is an important point. It might be troublesome, but if you don’t proceed accordingly the soup will be a failure!
Throw in all the ingredients cited above and stew over a low fire, scooping out unwanted matters and scum regularly.

After 3~4 hours, taste the soup, which should have become whitish and slightly opaque with bone fat floating on top. If it is still too bland, continue stewing.

Strain the soup into a clean pan.
The soup, whenever reheated, should be done so without a lid.

Having strained the soup, you will find there is still plenty of meat left on the bones.
It would be a shame to throw it away!
Just taste it and you will understand!

Pick the bones out carefully and throw away the rest.
The meat should come off easily enough to be done by hand.

Do be careful though when you do so as the meat will contain hidden bones piece, which are sharp!

I’m sure you can use all that meat for another succulent recipe!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Japanese Gastronomy: Kakuni (角煮) & Recipes!

KAKUNI-1

Kakuni (角煮) is a Japanese braised pork dish which literally means “square simmered”.

Kakuni is a meibutsu (名物/famous regional product) of Nagasaki Prefecture.
Actually this is not a strictly traditional Japanese dish as its most likely Chinese, similar to Dongpo’s pork, though not as heavy in sauce.

KAKUNI-2
Kakuni as served in some restaurants cut and cold

During the Ming Dynasty and Song Dynasty, the main Sino-Japanese trading route existed between Hangzhou and Kyūshū. Many Chinese lived in major Kyūshū port cities, such as Nagasaki and Japanese in Hangzhou. Therefore pork, was popularized in major Kyūshū cities.
These days kakuni is popular all over Japan with very many varieties depending on the region, climate and prevailing tastes.

KAKUNI-RAFTI

Okinawa, probably the region in Japan consuming the largest quantity of pork in Japan has its own recipe called “Rafti”!

PREPARATION:
Kakuni is made of thick cubes of pork belly simmered in dashi, soy sauce, mirin, sugar and sake. By cooking it for a long time over a low temperature the collagen breaks-down into gelatin keeping the meat moist while becoming extremely tender allowing it to be consumed with chopsticks easily. The dish is often served with scallions, daikon and karashi/Japanese hot mustard.

——————————————

DONG PO ROU

KAKUNI-DONGPO

For the record, as it is the origin of Kakuni, Dongpo’s pork is a famous Hangzhou dish which is made by pan-frying and then red cooking pork belly. The pork is cut to around 2 inches square in dimensions, consisting of half fat and half lean meat. The mouth feel is oily but not greasy, with the fragrance of wine.

ORIGINS:
Legend has it that while Su Dongpo was banished to Huangzhou, in a life of poverty, he made an improvement of the traditional process. He first braised the pork, added Chinese fermented wine and made red-braised pork, then slowly stewed it on a low heat. This dish was first launched in Huangzhou, then spread to Hangzhou, the capital of the Southern Song Dynasty, flourished, and then became one of Hangzhou’s most famous dishes.

——————————
KAKUNI RECIPES

1) BASIC RECIPE

KAKUNI-RECIPE-1-a

Here the first of a series of 3 recipes for Kakuni, that is, a very basic one!

INGREDIENTS:

-Large raw pork belly lumps: 1 or 2 (depending on thickness and width)
-Fresh ginger: 1 or 2 pieces (5×5 cm)
-White leek: 1
-Rice vinegar: 50 ml
Soy sauce: 50 ml
-Sweet sake/mirin: 50 ml
-Honey: 1 tablespoon
-Water: 400~500 ml

RECIPE:

-Thinly slice the fresh ginger. Cut the leeks into small trunks. Punch holes in the pork with a fork to help “taste going inside”.

KAKUNI-RECIPE-1-b

-Fry pork on a frypan on all sides on a strong fire until all colour has completely changed and fat has changed colour.

KAKUNI-RECIPE-1-c

-In a large pot, drop/pour all ingredients, add pork, cover with lid and simmer over low medium fire for 60 minutes.
If meat does not cook as quickle as wanted, raise fire after 30 minutes.
Simmer until juices have reduced as low as on pic.

-Cut the pork into large size bites and simmer again for 5 minutes.

-Place on a serving meat cuts on a serving dish. Pour juices/sauce all over and add some chopped thin leeks.

———————–
2) SIMPLE RECIPE

KAKUNI-RECIPE-2-a

Here the second of a series of 3 recipes for Kakuni, a bit more sophisticated than the first one, but still very easy!

INGREDIENTS: For 4 people

-Large raw pork belly lumps: 1 kg
-Fresh ginger: choose a root (or part of), about 5cm long and 2 cm thick/Sliced
-Brown sugar: 50 g
-Honey: 50 ml (liquid)
-Japanese sake: 60 ml
-Soy sauce: 120 ml
-Water: 600 ml
-Star anise: 1

RECIPE:

KAKUNI-RECIPE-2-b

-Steam pork in steamer on a low fire for 2 hours.

KAKUNI-RECIPE-2-c

-Cool down pork completely. This is important as this will help tenderize the meat!
Cut in bite size.
Put all the pork in deep pan. Add water, Japanese sake, sliced ginger, brown sugar and honey.

KAKUNI-RECIPE-2-d

-Add soy sauce and star anise. Simmer on a low fire for 30 minutes. Keep taking out the foam to remove harshness.

KAKUNI-RECIPE-2-e

-When ready serve with its juices/soup and strong mustard.

NOTE:
Do not add star anise at once as the taste might become overwhelming for some people.
Of course, this recipe is adapatble.
You may add chili pepper and other spices of your preferences, or even Chinese ingredients!
————————–
3) PROFESSIONAL RECIPE

KAKUNI-RECIPE-3-m

This is the third of a series of 3 recipes for preparing Kakuni.
This particular recipe can be considered as the basic “professional” one, altough it is open to variations as far as spices and presentations are concerned!

INGREDIENTS;

-Large raw pork belly lumps: 1 kg
-Fresh ginger, finely chopped, 1~2 tablespoons
-Japanese sake: 2 cups
-Soy sauce: 2 cups
-Sugar: 2 large tablespoons
-Salt: 2 pinches

NOTE:
One can and ought (according to prefences) to add mirin/sweet sake, star anise, lemon zest, green parts of leeks and so on!

RECIPE:

KAKUNI-RECIPE-3-a

-Get everything prepared first!

KAKUNI-RECIPE-3-b

-Cut the pork into about 6cm wide slices.

KAKUNI-RECIPE-3-c

-Fry pork on both sides first. This will help the meat suck in the “juices”!

KAKUNI-RECIPE-3-d

-Fry until the colour above is reached.

KAKUNI-RECIPE-3-e

-Scoop out the excess fat, taking care not to run it over the meat.
The picture above shows how much fat can scooped out!
If you use a non-stick frypan, there is no need to add oil before frying the pork, meaning less fat to scoop out!

KAKUNI-RECIPE-3-f

-In a large and deep pan, drop in the meat. Add water just to cover meat. Switch on the fire. You can add water later litle by little to keep it above the meat.
Add ginger, leeks (green part), lemon zest (whole or minced) and star anise.
If you want to make it sweet, add a whole sliced onion!

KAKUNI-RECIPE-3-g

-Make sure that all ingredients are clean. Check that the lemons are not waxed (in that case clean it out!)!

KAKUNI-RECIPE-3-h

-Once brought to a boil, add soy sauce, Japanese sake, mirin/sweet sake and sugar.
Last, add salt (important!).

KAKUNI-RECIPE-3-i

-Lower fire to low and continue scooping out any scum.

KAKUNI-RECIPE-3-j

-When no more scum appears, cover with lid or a large piece of foil paper and simmer for a whole hour.
Check from time to time if there is enough soup in the pan. If the soup level goes under that of top of the meat, the taste will become too strong. Add water and Japanese sake until the soup reaches the meat level.

KAKUNI-RECIPE-3-k

-Above picture shows starting point of the simmering process.

KAKUNI-RECIPE-3-l

-Above picture shows the finished product inside the deep pan!
Check if the meat is well cooked. A pointed (Japanese-style) chopstick should easily go through the meat all the way.
But this does not mean you can eat it at once.
It is best to switch off the fire, let the cover on, and let it cool completely. Only then, the meat will be fully impregnated with the taste!
It will taste a lot better re-heated before serving it!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London
Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, 47 Japanese Farms Through The Eyes of Its Rural Communities, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Japanese Soy Sauce Varieties (updated)

SOY-2-KINDS
Japanese meal served with two kinds of soy sauce

To answer a query by my friend Sissi at With a Glass on tamari soy sauce, I thought that the best way to answer was to republish this old article of mine!

Almost everyone knows or has heard about soy sauce (or soya sauce in Europe).
It is even used in all kinds of cuisines in the world, be they vegetarian or not.

SOY-VATS
Ancient soy vats.

Authentic soy sauces are made by mixing the grain and/or soybeans with yeast or kōji (麹, the mold Aspergillus oryzae or A. sojae) and other related microorganisms. Traditionally soy sauces were fermented under natural conditions, such as in giant urns and under the sun, which was believed to contribute to additional flavours. Today, most of the commercially-produced counterparts are instead fermented under machine-controlled environments.

Although there are many types of soy sauce, all are salty and “earthy”-tasting brownish liquids used to season food while cooking or at the table. Soy sauce has a distinct basic taste called umami by the Japanese (旨味, literally “delicious taste”). Umami was first identified as a basic taste in 1908 by Kikunae Ikeda of the Tokyo Imperial University. The free glutamates which naturally occur in soy sauce are what give it this taste quality.

SOY-3-KINDS
3 kinds of soy sauce as served in a Japanese izakaya: だし醤油/Dashi Soy Sauce, 刺身醤油/soy Sauce for sashimi, 減塩醤油/salt-reduced soy sauce

Artificially hydrolyzed Soy sauce
Many cheaper brands of soy sauces are made from hydrolyzed soy protein instead of brewed from natural bacterial and fungal cultures. These soy sauces do not have the natural color of authentic soy sauces and are typically colored with caramel coloring, and are popular in Southeast Asia and China, and are exported to Asian markets around the globe. They are derogatorily called Chemical Soy Sauce (“化學醬油” in Chinese), but despite this name are the most widely used type because they are cheap. Similar products are also sold as “liquid aminos” in the US and Canada.

Some artificial soy sauces pose potential health risks due to their content of the chloropropanols carcinogens 3-MCPD (3-chloro-1,2-propanediol) and all artificial soy sauces came under scrutiny for possible health risks due to the unregulated 1,3-DCP (1,3-dichloro-2-propanol) which are minor byproducts of the hydrochloric acid hydrolysis.

SOY-2-KINDSa
Difference in colour between 薄口醤油/light soy sauce and 濃口醤油/strong soy sauce

Japanese soy sauce varieties

Buddhist monks introduced soy sauce into Japan in the 7th century, where it is known as “shōyu”. The Japanese word “tamari” is derived from the verb “tamaru” that signifies “to accumulate”, referring to the fact that tamari was traditionally from the liquid byproduct produced during the fermentation of miso. Japan is the leading producer of tamari.

Japanese soy sauce or shō-yu (しょうゆ, or 醤油), is traditionally divided into 5 main categories depending on differences in their ingredients and method of production. Most but not all Japanese soy sauces include wheat as a primary ingredient, which tends to give them a slightly sweeter taste than their Chinese counterparts. They also tend towards an alcoholic sherry-like flavor, due to the addition of alcohol in the product. Not all soy sauces are interchangeable.

Koikuchi (濃口, “strong flavor”)
Originating in the Kantō region, its usage eventually spread all over Japan. Over 80% of the Japanese domestic soy sauce production is of koikuchi, and can be considered the typical Japanese soy sauce. It is produced from roughly equal quantities of soybean and wheat. This variety is also called kijōyu (生醤油) or namashōyu (生しょうゆ) when it is not pasteurized.
Usukuchi (淡口, “light flavor”)
Particularly popular in the Kansai region of Japan, it is both saltier and lighter in color than koikuchi. The lighter color arises from the usage of amazake, a sweet liquid made from fermented rice, that is used in its production.
Tamari (たまり)
Produced mainly in the Chūbu region of Japan, tamari is darker in appearance and richer in flavour than koikuchi. It contains little or no wheat; wheat-free tamari is popular among people eating a wheat free diet. It is the “original” Japanese soy sauce, as its recipe is closest to the soy sauce originally introduced to Japan from China. Technically, this variety is known as miso-damari (味噌溜り), as this is the liquid that runs off miso as it matures.
Shiro (白, “white”)
A very light colored soy sauce. In contrast to “tamari” soy sauce, “shiro” soy sauce uses mostly wheat and very little soybean, lending it a light appearance and sweet taste. It is more commonly used in the Kansai region to highlight the appearances of food, for example sashimi.
Saishikomi (再仕込, “twice-brewed”)
This variety substitutes previously-made koikuchi for the brine normally used in the process. Consequently, it is much darker and more strongly flavored. This type is also known as kanro shoyu (甘露醤油) or “sweet shoyu”.

Newer varieties of Japanese soy sauce include:

Gen’en (減塩, “reduced salt”)
Low-salt soy sauces also exist, but are not considered to be a separate variety of soy sauce, since the reduction in salt content is a process performed outside of the standard manufacture of soy sauce.
Amakuchi (甘口, “sweet flavor”)
Called “Hawaiian soy sauce” in those few parts of the US familiar with it, this is a variant of “koikuchi” soy sauce.

All of these varieties are sold in the marketplace in three different grades according to how they were produced:

Honjōzō hōshiki (本醸造 方式)
Contains 100% naturally fermented product.
Shinshiki hōshiki (新式 方式)
Contains 30-50% naturally fermented product.
Tennen jōzō (天然 醸造)
Means no added ingredients except alcohol.

All the varieties and grades may be sold according to three official levels of quality:

Hyōjun (標準)
Standard pasteurized.
Tokkyū (特級)
Special quality, not pasteurized.
Tokusen (特選)
Premium quality, usually implies limited quantity.

Other terms unrelated to the three official levels of quality:

Hatsuakane (初茜)
Refers to industrial grade used for flavoring, powder.
Chōtokusen (超特選)
Used by marketers to imply the best.

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
With a Glass,
Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!

2nd Great Shizuoka Local Food Meet by Nagashima Liquor Shop!

Shizen No Chikara Organic Farm was participating!

A great consciousness of the merits, both gastronomic and healthy, of locally produced foods, drinks and processed foods has developed into a veritable revolution in Shizuoka Prefecture.
Uncountable events are organized and eagerly participated to all over the Prefecture, and one such event of note is the “Chisan Chishou.Shindofuji-Umai Mon Kai
./地産地消.身土不二・旨いもん会/ Locally produced and Consumed. Good Food Slogan and Association organized on May 29th by Nagashima Liquor Shop (Shizuoka City) at Fugetsuro/浮月楼, the former last residence of the Tokugawa Shogun Family.
Shindofuji/身土不二 was a slogan created in 1907 to exhort citizens to produce and eat local food!

Nagashima Liquor Shop was also contributing part of the fees paid by guests to help the victims of the recent terrible earthquake and tsunami in the north east of Japan!

As usual I came a bit early to check the preparations and take pictures of all participants before the guests would be in the way!

Amano Shoyu/a producer of great soy sauce made with the water of Mount Fuji in Gotenba City!

Local processed foods by Suzuyo Stores from Hamamatsu City!

Naturally the sake from Shizuoka Prefecture were well represented:
Shidaizumi Brewery in Fujieda City!

Fuji Takasago Brewery in Fujinomiya City!

Eikun Brewery from Yui, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!

Sanwa Brewery from Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!

Kanzawagawa Brewery from Yui, Shimizu Ku, Shizuoka City!

Suruga Brewery from Suruga Ku, Shizuoka City!

Isojiman Brewery in Yaizu City!

Hatsukame Brewery from Okabe, Fujieda City!

Oumuraya Brewery in Shimada City!

Morimoto Brewery from Kikugawa City!

Hana No Mai Brewery from Nishi Ku, Hamamatsu City!

Aoshima Brewery from Fujieda Citry!

Sugii Brewery from Fujieda City!

Sorry, but I did not have the time to take a picture of Takashima Brewery, Numazu City!

Shizuoka wine was also represented by Naka Izu Winery all the way from the Izu Peninsula!

Wines from Yamanashi Prefecture were represented by three guest wineries!

Superlative organic vegetables from Shizuoka Prefecture were introduced by Shizen No Chikara farm!

All the food, cold and hot, was prepared by Fugetsurou!

Roast beef salad!

Japanese appetizers!

More Japanese appetizers!

And more Japanese appetizers!

Chirashi Sushi!

I finished my round of pictures just in time before the guests made their entrance!

The place was soon crowded with more than 120 guests!

Some well-known faces!

Well, after that I was very busy for the next two hours tasting, eating, chatting and introducing many friends to each other.

At the end of the party Nagashima Liquor Shop and Kasai Izakaya expressed their sincere thanks to all the guests for a very successful party again!
More of the same is planned in the very near future, I can tell you!
Anyway this will lead to many interviews in the near future!

Nagashima Liquor Shop/長嶋酒店
420-0804, Shizuoka City, Aoi Ku, Ryuunan, 1-12-7
Tel.: 054-245-9260
Fax: 054-245-9252
BLOG (Japanese)

RECOMMENDED RELATED SITES:
With a Glass,
Bread + Butter, Zoy Zhang, Hungry Neko, Think Twice, Frank Fariello, Mangantayon, Hapabento, Elinluv Tidbit Corner, Tokyo Terrace, Maison de Christina, Chrys Niles,Lexi, Culinary Musings, Wheeling Gourmet, Comestiblog, Chronicles Of A Curious Cook, Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Palate To Pen, Yellin Yakimono Gallery, Tokyo Terrace, Hilah Cooking, More than a Mount Full, Arkonite Bento, Happy Little Bento; 5 Star Foodie; Jefferson’s Table; Oyster Culture; Gourmet Fury; Island Vittles; Good Beer & Country Boys; Rubber Slippers In Italy; Color Food daidokoro/Osaka;/a; The Witchy Kitchen; Citron Et Vanille, Lunsj Med Buffet/Estonian Gastronomy (English), Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Chrisoscope, Agrigraph, The Agriculture Portal to shizuoka!