Soy sauce is an East Asian liquid condiment, widely used in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, and other south-east Asian cuisines. The sauce is made from fermented soya beans. Soy sauce was first originated in China during the Zhou dynasty in around 1000 BCE. During that time it was known as jiang, and made from fermenting meat, fish or grain.
During the Han dynasty, the Jiang was only made of soybean, because of its wide availability, and it was more like a paste than a liquid sauce. It was known as douchi. This douchi evolved and came to known as jiangyou, during the Song dynasty in the 9th century AD. In the 13th century AD, Buddhist monks took this sauce to Japan. And Japanese food culture widely adopted it and even spread to other neighbouring countries like Korea and Vietnam. The word soy sauce also derived from the Japanese word, shoyu.
Meanwhile, in China, Jiangyou was more refined in the 12th and 13th century AD. By the early 16th century AD, soy sauce became one of the most important condiments in Chinese cooking. Furthermore, different varieties were prepared from light soy to dark soy and soy having molasses consistency (known as kecap manis). These varieties were used according to the food preparation all around east Asia. In the 18th century AD, European traders took soy to the western world and in the west, the soy sauce was blended to make more complex sauces like Worcestershire sauce, barbecue sauce and many more.
Making of Soy sauce
1. Koji mixture
First, the soya beans are cooked properly, and malted wheat is mixed with the soya beans in an incubator. Then koji moulds (aspergillus sojae or aspergillus oryzae) are added to the incubator and the mixture is incubated for three days
2. Making Moromi
The koji mixture is then mixed with brine(concentration of 17-19%). This mixture is known as moromi, then the moromi is transferred to fermentation tanks.