Tamari vs Soy Sauce
If you are a lover of Chinese food, you must have seen a bottle of brown liquid placed as a condiment on every table and also seen people sprinkling this sauce generously over all sorts of Chinese dishes. This brown liquid is, in fact, soy sauce that has its origins in China and has been used as a condiment for almost 3000 years now. There is another condiment called Tamari found in restaurants and people remain confused between soy sauce and tamari because of their similarities. This article attempts to find out the differences between tamari and soy sauce.
Soy sauce is a salty liquid made by fermentation of soybeans. The paste obtained with fermentation is pressed, and the liquid is strained and used as soy sauce while the solid is used to feed animals. Soy sauce is used very commonly in all Asian cultures and today it has reached the western world where it is used to season the food while cooking and even after serving. There are many varieties of soy sauce because of addition of various ingredients in different cultures.
Tamari is a type of soy sauce made in Japan that looks similar to the Chinese soy sauce but is actually thicker and darker. Tamari is also richer in taste than soy sauce as is vouched by those who have tasted both the condiments. It is somewhat less salty and has a smother flavor than soy sauce. Tamari can be with added wheat or without wheat to make it ideal for those who want a gluten free diet. Tamari is used as a condiment just like soy sauce, but soy sauce can be added for seasoning even while cooking, whereas tamari is mostly used for dipping food item to make it tastier.
Tamari is a pure Japanese product and has its origins in soy sauce as it may have been introduced to Japan from China, but Japanese made several changes and the result is there in the form of tamari. In fact, there is a Japanese word for soy sauce called shoyu and Tamari is a type of shoyu. Now there are many types of tamari in Japan but, when introduced to the west, tamari meant soy sauce. Now it cause confusion among the westerners as those interested in gluten free diet avoided tamari as well as soy sauce whereas the fact is that many types of tamari are gluten free.
What is the difference between Tamari and Soy Sauce?
• Tamari has a Japanese origin while, soy sauce was originated in China 3000 years ago
• Tamari is richer in taste than soy sauce, but soy sauce is saltier than tamari
• Soy sauce can be used as a condiment as well as for seasoning while the dish is being cooked whereas Tamari is always added as a condiment
• Tamari can be made by adding wheat while there are wheat free varieties of tamari also making it gluten free.
• Japanese word for obtaining liquid from pressed and fermented soybeans is tamari