All About Soy Sauce

Soy sauce
Bill Oxford / Getty Images

Invented by the Chinese approximately 3,000 years ago, soy sauce is made from fermented soy beans, wheat flour, water, and salt. The two main types of soy sauce are light and dark.

Light Soy Sauce

As the name implies, light soy sauce is lighter in color and saltier than dark soy sauce. In Chinese cooking, it is used more often than dark soy - always use light soy in a recipe unless dark is specifically called for.

Dark Soy Sauce

Aged for a longer period of time, dark soy sauce is thicker and blacker in color. It is also less salty than light soy. It is used in recipes to add color and flavor.


Store soy sauce at room temperature.

Recommended Brand 

Pearl River Bridge. You can also use Kikkoman Soy Sauce as a substitute for light soy sauce in cooking. You may, however, want to adjust the amount of salt used in the recipe as Kikkoman contains less salt than light soy sauce.

Other Names

Soya sauce, Shoyu (Japan)