RecipiesSaucesHow to make soy sauce at home

How to make soy sauce at home

Soy sauce is a Japanese condiment that is as popular as it is delicious. How to prepare it at home? It takes a lot of patience, but you can make it with this recipe.

The soy sauce is almost certainly one of the sauces most known and popular of the world, not only used precisely in Asian cuisine but each time it is used for a wide variety of recipes that actually have nothing to do with that one. But, did you know that it is also one of the oldest sauces -or condiments- in the world?

As surely know you are also known by the names of soy saucesoy sauce (Cantonese) and shoyu (in Japanese), and is basically characterized as a seasoning produced from the fermentation of soybeans with fungi, such as Aspergillus sojae or Aspergillus oryzae.

The origin of this delicious and characteristic condiment is found in China, specifically towards the end of the Zhou dynasty, which ruled this country between around 1050 BC and 256 BC, standing out for being the third dynasty in traditional history and the second after the Shang dynasty, and the last of the pre-imperial dynasties of kings.

At that time, with the spread of Buddhism in the Far East, vegetarianism also spread with it, leading to the need to look for vegetable substitutes for those ancient condiments that contained meats. At this point we find salty and fermented soybean paste, which ultimately became the true precursor of modern soy sauce.

How was traditional soy sauce made?

Although at present the preparation of soy sauce is faster and cheaper than the traditional one (known as chemical soy sauce), the traditional preparation is made by fermenting soybeans with toasted wheat, which It was arranged in blocks and they were dipped and dipped several times in a cold broth containing water and salt.

This process lasted about a year and was carried out exclusively in clay pots, sometimes adding dried mushrooms, such as mushrooms.

However, did you know that in Japan today it is illegal to produce or import any artificial soy sauce? That is why in this country all soy sauces are made following the traditional way.

Recipe for making soy sauce at home

The ingredients for the preparation of traditional soy sauce are actually only 4: soybeans, wheat, salt and water. As we can see, they are very simple ingredients but in reality they must be selected carefully, since choosing some of these ingredients in poor condition can directly change the flavor and aroma of the sauce.

Its preparation requires a lot of patience, since it is an arduous and somewhat complicated process.


  • 450 gr. soy
  • 340 gr. Of flour
  • 225 gr. of salt
  • 3.7 liters of water

Preparation of the soy sauce:

First, cook the soybeans well in water until the beans come out almost completely (or until the soy melts when pressed with a finger). Then finely chop the cooked soybeans and put all the beans in a large bowl. Blend them well until they have a puree-like texture. You may need to add some of the cooking water to get a proper texture.

Add the flour little by little and knead the mixture until you get a fairly compact dough.  Knead it again and shape it into a log or roll. Now cut it into several pieces of 2 centimeters thick.

Now cover the pieces of flour and soy with towels and leave them for 10 days in a room where they are around 30ºC. You will observe how as the days go by, a kind of mold will begin to form.

After 10 days, dry the pieces in the oven at 60ºC, until they have completely dried.

Put the soybean paste in brine to cover them completely, cover them with a mesh and leave them in the sun during the day with the lid open, and during the night covering it to prevent it from losing too much heat. Stir the preparation at least once each day. You will observe how as the days go by, the brine will acquire a darker tone.

Now the only thing left is the most patient: wait between 3 to 6 months repeating the process every day.

After this time you can filter it and consume it as is, or pasteurize it for 3 hours at 70ºC (very low heat to prevent the temperature from increasing further).


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