The other day I said “Shoyu” to some friends visiting from the mainland and they looked confused.
“What is shoyu?”
I explained it was just what we call soy sauce.
I had no idea why. I grew up saying it, cooking with it, and consuming it… but I had no idea what what is even in it.
So I did some research. Turns out soy sauce is one of the oldest condiments in the world ( 3 millennia worth of history). It is a by-product of fermented soybeans and wheat that have been mixed with brine. they are packed with sea salt, which acts as a preservative, and koji, a type of mold.
And did you know that Soy sauce and Shoyu are actually 2 different things? Soy Sauce is Chinese made with 100% soy, and “Shoyu” is Japanese (wheat based) and slightly sweeter and thinner than Chinese sauces.
The traditional process can take months and years, or just days using Chemical Hydrolysis.
Fermented soy sauce made using the traditional method is said to have multiple health benefits because of the process it goes through when being made. It supposedly helps the digestive system, cardiovascular system and immune system. And it contains antioxidants that help the large intestine to produce good bacteria.
Honestly, they could have told me it was made from old engine oil and I don’t think it would matter to us. Hawaii loves our shoyu. #shoyuloveforlife