Soya sauce: Whenever I buy new Soya sauce, it tastes quite different. Normally I use it in noodles and manchurian.

Any tips to buy it. During my reading, people mentioned thick/thin soya sauce. But in groceries I did not found something like this mentioned in description.

The latest one I bought, (it's same brand as previous one, same colored bottle), tastes too hot :(

  • I'm having trouble understanding what your question is. Can you try to be a little more specific than "any tips to buy it"?
    – Aaronut
    Commented Feb 12, 2011 at 21:48
  • Do you mean too salty or too strong?? Normally soy-sauces are not hot..
    – notthetup
    Commented Feb 14, 2011 at 13:12
  • @ntt: if add too much pepper then it's too hot. this hot I mean. Sorry for my poor English. Hope I am able to explain the taste.
    – Saar
    Commented Feb 15, 2011 at 17:47
  • Wow!! That's very unusual.. Normally Soy-sauces are strong (intense soy taste) or salty. But rarely hot (chilli/pepper hot).. Maybe it'd be interesting to see a photo of your Soy-sauce bottle.. :)
    – notthetup
    Commented Feb 15, 2011 at 18:39

2 Answers 2


If you heard people talking about "thick" vs. "thin" soy sauce, they were probably actually referring to dark vs. light soy sauce.

Dark soy sauce does not actually refer to the colour. It does tend to be darker than natural fermented soy sauce, but if you're comparing to the hydrolyzed kind (the most common sold in stores), it will look about the same in terms of colour. What actually distinguishes dark soy sauce is that it is aged longer and has added molasses, which makes it thick, sticky and syrupy.

Dark soy sauce does taste quite different from light soy sauce, even when it's the same brand. Dark soy sauce replaces some of the saltiness of light soy sauce with sweetness instead, and in general just has a "bolder" taste. It's usually used as a cooking ingredient, not a condiment. I've heard, but can't verify, that it is more common in Japanese cooking than other Asian cuisines (although I have used it with much success in Chinese and Thai dishes).

I've started to see a lot more ordinary grocery stores carrying dark soy sauce, but until recently it was difficult to find unless you went to an Asian grocery store, and may still be difficult in some regions. Unless the bottle specifically says dark soy sauce, it is light soy sauce.

You should not directly substitute one for the other.

As for your comment about the one you bought tasting too "hot" - you must have bought a chili-infused soy sauce or something. Ordinary soy sauce (dark or light) is never spicy-hot.

  • I've also seen dark soy sauce sold as 'superior soy sauce', but I don't know if that's just an american thing. There's also the japanese tamari, which can be found in wheat-free varieties, which is useful if you're cooking for someone who has a wheat sensitivity, and the indonesean kejap (might be spelled ketjap or kecup) of which there's multiple varieties, such as kejap manis, a spiced, sweetened thick soy sauce. (and I mean thick, not just dark)
    – Joe
    Commented Feb 15, 2011 at 2:54
  • @Joe: In the Asian supermarkets here (and a few of the regular ones) you can buy Superior Light or Superior Dark soy sauce - I'm not sure what the "superior" means but it seems to be independent of the type of sauce and specific to a few brands like Pearl River Bridge.
    – Aaronut
    Commented Feb 15, 2011 at 3:43

If you're buying different brands they probably have different ingredients. If you find one kind that you enjoy you should stay with it and keep track of what works in your dishes.

Otherwise I'm also having difficulty understanding exactly what your question is.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.