Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Traditional Japanese soy sauce or “shoyu” is a condiment made by fermenting a mixture of soy, wheat, water, salt and koji in cedar barrels for long periods of time. It is the most commonly used condiment in Japanese cuisine and is essential in the preparation of many dishes and as a dipping sauce for sushi.
The 3 main varieties are dark soy sauce (koikuchi), light soy sauce (usukuchi) and Tamari. Koikuchi dark soy sauce is the most common and versatile of soy sauces; it can be used for cooking and dipping. Usukuchi light soy sauce, lighter in colour and saltier, is used in broths or to replace salt while adding depth and umami. Tamari soy sauce, with its earthy and slightly sweet aftertaste, is ideal as a finishing touch on meats or as a dipping sauce for dumplings.
The first step to make traditional Japanese soy sauce is to inoculate steamed soybeans and roasted wheat with the mold Aspergillus oryzae (koji). The ingredients are then mixed with water and salt to prepare the moromi and stored in large open top Japanese cedar barrels where the long fermentation process takes place. Once the fermentation process is complete, such process lasting from 6 months to 3 years depending on the variety of soy sauce, the moromi is pressed to extract the soy sauce which is then pasteurized and bottled.
Tokusen prides itself in selecting unique Japanese products made by local artisans. Having both lived in Japan, the co-founders Sara and Samuel developed an appreciation for Japanese craftmanship. Tokusen offers an alternative to the commercial Japanese products found in local grocery stores by importing food items from the highest quality directly from small regional producers. We are proud to offer you one of the best soy sauce on the market.
Japan, and especially the island of Shikoku, is renown for its citrus production. The yuzu citrus saw its popularity skyrocket over the last decade, but other native citrus fruits such as the iyokan (Japanese mandarin) are gaining in popularity. Tokusen works with a small producer in Ehime prefecture who transforms citrus peels in natural candies with a low sugar content. Click here for more details on our selection of Japanese candied citrus peels.