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Get your hands on Marion's NEW cookbook, Always Delicious. Shop now (we ship worldwide!)

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The THREE soy sauces your cooking is crying out for

This is the trio of soy sauce no kitchen should be without (plus a bonus fourth variety).

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Soy sauce is a true staple ingredient for me. It adds a salty, savouriness to a dish as well as a gorgeous colour. (Psst: have you tried my Soy Sauce Roast Chicken yet?) But not all soy sauces are created equal. In fact, I’d recommend stocking your pantry with three different varieties so you always have the right product to hand. But with ‘soy’ much to choose from, where do you start? If you’re wondering what type of soy sauce is best for your Asian (and even your fusion!) cooking, you’ll want to read this handy guide.

What soy sauce should I buy?

Usually, whenever one of my recipes calls for soy sauce, I’m using an everyday, Chinese variety, which for me is ‘light soy sauce’. It might sound a bit confusing at first, but the ‘light’ part actually refers to the colour, rather than its level of saltiness. Try it in my Traditional Pad See Ew recipe (which uses dark soy sauce, too!).
Thai Pad See Ew Noodles

I use two varieties of soy sauce in my popular Pad See Ew Noodles.

Dark soy sauce

Next up, I’d recommend having a dark soy sauce in your cupboard. It’s less salty than your regular light soy sauce, and has a darker, more intense colour. Because it’s been aged for longer, it has a richer flavour, and therefore adds more depth to a dish. I find it’s a good one for marinades, or when you want that deep brown hue adding to a dish. Try it in my Soy Sauce Chicken & Noodles.
Soy Sauce Chicken & Noodles

Dark soy sauce adds intensity and colour to my Soy Sauce Chicken & Noodles.

Dark sweet soy sauce

Finally, a sweet dark soy sauce – such as your Indonesian kecap manis – will give your dish a beautiful mahogany colour and a lovely layer of sweetness. You’ll notice it has a much thicker consistency than the other soy sauces I mention above. Try it in my Indonesian Nasi Goreng.
Indonesian Nasi Goreng

My version of Nasi Goreng features kecap manis, or dark sweet soy sauce.

Bonus buy: a Japanese soy sauce

I know I said three soy sauces… but just throwing this additional one out there for consideration! When I’m cooking Japanese-style dishes, like with my Shoyu Ramen, I tend to favour a Japanese soy sauce. I find it gives a rounder flavour and isn’t as salt-aggressive as the Chinese-style varieties.
Shoyu Ramen

I favour Japanese soy sauce when cooking dishes that typically originate there.

Top recipes using soy sauce

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