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Mushroom soy sauce?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Saw it in the Asian grocery. Is it good for anything in particular (a specific dish) or is it just another of the 57 varieties of Chinese soy products, just tailored to a different taste?

It was manufactured in China according to the label, and "mushroom extract" was the only thing listed in the ingredients that was different than regular soy sauce.
post #2 of 12
Live to cook,

The next time you go to an Asian store go over to where the soy sauces are take notice of the plastic that covers the screw caps. There are usually two colours one dark and one white. The white colour represents more flavor (salt) but less colour. The darker colour represents more colour less flavor.

Hold two bottles (of two diffrent plastic colours) and tilt them back and fourth. You will notice that one of the soy sauce is a lot darker than the other.

The mushroom soy (and one or two others) being the darker soy, I use for colouring. For example; when making fry rice, the rice needs a little colour, I use the mushroom soy, and the light soy for flavor. Most of the time I do not need to add much if any salt because the two soys do have a lot of salt.

D. Lee

[This message has been edited by Dlee (edited 12-11-2000).]
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the clarification.

It prompts another soy question, if you would be so kind: when recipes in Chinese cookbook call for "dark" soy sauce, are they referring to the deeper colored, i.e. the mushroom soy?

I ask because I have a bottle of "dark soy" of Indonesian extraction and it's thick and sweet, a bit like molasses.

I recognize that I could be confusing two soy lexicons (Chinese and Indonesian). Perhaps you could enlighten me?
post #4 of 12
Good thing I have today off for you my friend...HAHAHAHAHAHA.

Ok here is my answer. Look for dark sweet soy. But for me personally, I would just get the dark and light soy and then add my own suger. More control over the colour, salt, and sweet.

D Lee
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Excellent suggestion, thank you. Next time you're off, the subject is: bean paste, Chinese vs. Japanese vs Korean...
post #6 of 12
Here is my experience with the dark soy sauces. I use Black soy made by Koon Chun, blue and yellow label, for recipes using dark and black soy sauce. Usually this is a cold noodle dish, like Orchid's Cool and Tangy noodles from Barbara Tropp, which are a regular item in my house. The sauce clings and does not run off noodles. Also there is some molasses in it. I am recently experimenting with Kimlan Dark Soy's and they make several varities, so I am trying to get to know them. Thanks to D. Lee for the tip on using for fried rice.

The Indonesian soy sauce 'Kecap Manis' seems to be even sweeter and thicker so I would not use it as a substitute. It is good in marinades when you have sweet and savory flavors. I use it in a pork marinade.
post #7 of 12
1. Light soy sauce from Japan has a thinner consistency and a saltier flavor than the darker varieties. It is preferred when a darker sauce will ruin the appearance of a dish, or when a lighter flavor is sought, especially when serving seafood.

2. Dark soy sauce is used throughout Asia and is a bit richer and thicker than the lighter varieties. It tends to have a chocolate brown color, and a pungent, rather than overly salty, flavor.

3. Mushroom soy sauce is a dark soy sauce from China which adds straw mushroom essence to the sauce's brew. It has a deep, rich flavor and can be used in place of other types of soy sauce in most recipes. It is especially nice as a table condiment where its unusual flavor can come through.

4. Tamari is a deeply colored Japanese soy sauce which has a rich texture and intense flavor. It can be used anywhere regular soy sauce is called for, and is especially good to use as a table condiment and dipping sauce.

from: http://www.cuisinenet.com
post #8 of 12
Live to cook,

I do not know anything about Indonesian ingredents. Yet!

I would answer "yes " to your question, "when recipes in Chinese cookbook call for "dark" soy sauce, are they referring to the deeper colored, i.e. the mushroom soy?" But be careful when using Mushroom or any other dark soy. They are really dark! So use a little at a time till "YOU" aquire the colour that you like.

There is also a chinese dark and sweet soy. I am sure the flavor is probably similar.

When I cook any stirfry I usually like to add alittle sugar for balance... you know "the ying and yang thing". I would use the dark and light soy, a little salt, pepper, ginger, garlic, escellion and sugar in most of my Chinese stirfrys.

Hope this helps.

D Lee
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks Dlee.

One more question and I'll stop, I promise.

If I want to get the sweet, dark Chinese soy at the Asian market, do I look for "Dark" or "Black" soy on the label (I've seen both), or what? If you can help, thanks.

I'd ask the guy but the place I go that's not a possibility.
post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the primer, cchiu.
post #11 of 12
ok, here we go:

There are 2 types of chinese soy - light or shengchou, almost like a extra virgin olive oil - in the aspect that both are first pressings.

Second type of soy is Laochou, having been fermented longer and has burnt sugar additives for a darker color.

General soy rules are - use light for white meats, seafood, soups and stirfrying and dark for red meats, braising, roasting, stewing and marinades.

Indonesian soys have other stuff like molasses (kecap manis and manis sedang)

From my recollection, there is a 3rd indonesian soy, but i cant recall the name.

Getting back to the shroom soy, apparently it is a dark soy, good for: seasoning meats, stirfried veg, soups and stews. There is also a chilli soy about somewhere for the spiceheads.

[This message has been edited by Nick.Shu (edited 12-19-2000).]
"Nothing quite like the feeling of something newl"
"Nothing quite like the feeling of something newl"
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Nick.Shu, thanks again... I wonder if I could ask for a bean paste primer or should I start a different thread? Cause this here is my own little cooking school thanks to you all, and I want to make the most of it.
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