Dark vs Light Soy Sauce
One condiment a Chinese household is incomplete without, especially its dining table, is soy sauce. It is a seasoning liquid that is salty in taste and dark in color. Whether you need to sprinkler it on fried rice or Chow-mien, dip chicken chilly before eating, or add to the recipe while it is cooking, soy sauce remains indispensable in Chinese cuisine. It has become equally popular in the western world of late, and some American restaurants keep the sauce bottle on their tables to please their customers who are fond of Chinese cuisine. However, people become confused when they see the color of the sauce placed at their table, which is light sometimes while it is dark at other times. Is there any difference between the dark and light soy sauce? Let us find out.
Light Soy Sauce
Light soy sauce, as the name implies, is light in color and is also the thinner of the two sauces. It is mainly used to flavor a dish. The light color is because of addition of wheat during the fermentation process of the soybeans. Light soy sauce is referred to as sang chau in Cantonese language. In English, this translates to fresh sauce. This light sauce is considered ideal for marinating meats and also to stir fry without the need to add salt. There are also light soy sauces available in the market that are low in sodium and are believed to be healthy for those watching their salt intake. For making light soy sauce, a blend of soybeans is fermented in wheat water and salt after adding yeast and bacteria for a period of at least 6 months. Afterwards, the paste is removed, and the filtered liquid is collected to act as soy sauce.
Dark Soy Sauce
This kind of soy sauce is considered usual by most people as they have grown used to this variant of soy sauce on the tables of Chinese restaurants. In reality, among the ingredients, wheat is absent while salt is also less than the light sauce. However, rather than 6 months, this sauce is made with a longer fermentation period which may be more than a year. Dark soy sauce is also thicker in consistency and richer in taste. Its dark brown color is used to add to dishes, but it also flavors dishes nicely.
What is the difference between Dark and Light Soy Sauce?
• Light soy sauce is made by the addition of wheat to the ingredients required to make soy sauce
• Light soy sauce is thinner in consistency than dark soy sauce
• Dark soy sauce is richer in flavor to light soy sauce
• One can substitute light soy sauce for dark soy sauce in a recipe
• While light soy sauce is fermented for 6 months, dark soy sauce is fermented for a longer time period
• Light soy sauce is saltier than dark soy sauce though a low sodium version of light soy sauce is available for the health conscious people in the market