Any fan of sushi will know that soy sauce is a must when eating their favourite dishes; it provides a unique saltiness to the food that no other condiment is able to properly replicate. For most people, soy sauce is either usually found either at a restaurant or at the shops, and it’s a common misconception that it’s extremely difficult to make. In fact, soy sauce can be made at home relatively easily, all it takes is the right ingredients, plenty of time and patience, and a willingness to keep trying even if a batch comes out wrong. For those that want to take their home-made recipes to an entirely new level with their own soy sauce, this is how it’s made.
The Basics of Soy Sauce
Soy sauce is a thin condiment that originated in Asia, and is made through the fermentation of soy beans. Specifically, different kinds of fungus are grown on the soybeans, which are then allowed to ferment for extended periods of time until the sauce has acquired the correct taste and consistency. One of the appealing reasons for making soy sauce at home is the lack of pasteurisation, and while this is done to ensure that the soy sauce is good for long term storage, many people believe that the process detracts from the overall taste of the sauce, and that home-made soy sauce tends to be far superior.
- Wheat berries
- Sea Salt
- The desired fungus; this depends on the kind of sauce being made. For this recipe, an aspergillus oryzae is probably the best starter.
Take the soybeans and rinse them well under clean water, making sure to wash them as well as possible. Place them in a large jar and cover with water until all of the beans are completely submerged. Once in the jar, they need to be soaked between 12 and 16 hours, plenty of time to read a book or check out big wins this way, but letting them soak for as long as 24 hours is also fine. It’s important to watch them as they will swell to more than double their size.
Place in a slow cooker and cook for up to 6 hours until soft enough to easily crush. The wheat needs to be toasted on a skillet until golden brown and then added to a food processor, where they are ground until they turn into a course mixture. Mix the wheat and soybeans together and sprinkle the starter over the top of the mixture before mixing until everything is well incorporated. If possible, use a thermostat to keep track of the temperature of the mixture, and it should always be as close to 32 degrees Celsius as possible, which can be done by putting them in an oven. Mix the starter with a mixture of brine, and allow both mixtures to ferment for a few days. It takes about 6 months for the soy sauce to properly develop, after which it can be strained and served with any sushi dish imaginable.