Soy sauce taste test

April 9, 2012

There are so many soy sauces on the shelf at the grocery store. In the past I have always grabbed the same thing. Most likely the most popular brand of basic soy sauce. But since soy sauce is made with - you guessed it - soy, I was looking for a fermented version. Fermented soy products are (supposedly) healthier than regular soy. I do not have any sources at the moment, but maybe that will be a future post.

Soy sauce traditionally is made with fermented soybeans. Some brands will use a hydrolyzed soy protein. Tamari generally has little or no wheat in it.

And then there are some that might use no soy!
The vegetable protein is most likely from soy, but who knows!

I used my family as a testing group. Very scientific! I had some packets of soy sauce from a local Chinese restaurant, a bottle of Kikkoman naturally brewed Tamari, and a bottle of organic, unpasteurized soy sauce from Ohsawa.

Methodology :)
My number of subjects was 5.
2 females, 3 males

Soy sauce 1 was the Kikkoman Tamari
Soy sauce 2 was the Chinese food packets
Soy sauce 3 was the Ohsawa Organic Nama Shoyu Unpasteurized Soy Sauce 

I placed each type of soy in a cup numbered 1, 2 or 3. I gave each family member a post it and asked them to taste each and write down which they preferred.
There was not a 4th soy sauce. Someone was just being funny. They wrote 3 in the corner.

The results:
Soy sauce 1 - 2 votes
Soy sauce 2 - 1 vote
Soy sauce 3 - 2 votes

Obviously the votes were split. What I would consider the lowest quality, the packet, one person still voted for.  I would consider #3, the Ohsawa brand, the highest quality. The reason 2 people did not vote for that was because they said it was too salty. The two people who did vote for that are the 2 Filipinos in the family, who grew up with salty food.

My SIL is one of the ones who voted for the organic soy sauce. She even added notes to her voting "ballot".

#1 - Beany note
#2 - Sour note at end
#3 - good balance

She has a background in food science, so it does not surprise me that she took good notes. My #1 (hubby, not soy sauce #1) also voted for the third one. Which makes me very happy. That is the one I would prefer to buy and I am glad that it is also the one he likes best. I think that will be the one we will be buying now and in the future.