How to make soy sauce at home

The soy sauce is, almost in all likelihood, one of the most popular and popular sauces in the world, not only used precisely in oriental cuisine but is increasingly used for a wide variety of recipes that really have nothing to do with it. But did you know that it is also one of the oldest sauces -or condiments- in the world?.

As you surely know, it is also known by the names of soy sauce, sillao (in Cantonese) or shōyu (in Japanese), and is basically characterized by being a seasoning that occurs from the fermentation of soybean seeds with mushrooms, such as Aspergillus sojae or Aspergillus oryzae.

The origin of this delicious and characteristic seasoning is found in China, specifically towards the end of the Zhou dynasty, which ruled this country between around 1050 a.C. and 256 BC, standing out as the third dynasty in traditional history and the second after the Shang dynasty, and the last of the kings' dynasties before the imperial dynasties.

At that time, with the spread of Buddhism in the Far East, vegetarianism also spread with him, leading to the need to look for vegetable substitutes for those ancient condiments that contained meats. At this point we find the salty and fermented soybean paste, which ultimately constituted the true precursor of modern soy sauce.

How was traditional soy sauce made?

Although at present the preparation of soy sauce is faster and cheaper than traditional (known by the name of chemical soy sauce), traditional preparation is elaborated through the fermentation of soybeans with toasted wheat, which was accommodated in blocks and submerged and extracted several times in a cold broth that contained water and salt.

This process lasted about a year and was carried out exclusively in clay pots, sometimes adding dry mushrooms as for example is the case of mushrooms.

However, did you know that in Japan it is now illegal to produce or import any artificial soy sauce? Therefore in this country all soy sauces are prepared following the traditional way.

Recipe for making soy sauce at home

The ingredients for the preparation of the traditional soy sauce are really only 4: soy beans, wheat, salt and water. As we can see, they are very simple ingredients but in reality they must be selected carefully, since choosing some of these ingredients in poor condition can directly change the flavor and aroma of the sauce.

Its preparation requires a lot of patience, given that it is an arduous and somewhat complicated process.


  • 450 gr. soy
  • 340 gr. Of flour
  • 225 gr. of salt
  • 3.7 liters of water

Preparation of soy sauce:

First of all, cook the soybeans well in water until the grains come out almost completely (or until pressing them with a finger, the soybean falls apart). Then finely chop the cooked soy and put all the beans in a large bowl. Tritúralos well until they acquire a texture like puree. You may have to add a part of the cooking water to get an adequate texture.

Add the flour little by little and knead the mixture until you get a fairly compact dough. Feel it again and give it the shape of a trunk or curl. Cut it now in several pieces of 2 centimeters thick.

Now cover the pieces of flour and soy with towels and leave them for 10 days in a room where they are around 30ºC. You will observe how, as the days go by, a kind of mold will start to form.

After 10 days dry the pieces in the oven at 60ºC, until they have dried completely.

Put the soybean paste in brine until it is completely covered, cover with a mesh and leave it in the sun during the day with the lid open, and during the night covering it to avoid losing too much heat. Remove the preparation at least once each day. You will observe how, as the days go by, the brine will acquire a darker tone.

Now only the most patient remains: wait between 3 to 6 months repeating the process every day.

After this time you can filter it and consume it as is, or pasteurize it for 3 hours at 70ºC (very low heat to avoid further increase in temperature). ThemesSoy

How to make Soy Sauce (Homemade Shoyu) (December 2021)