As you may already know, there are a few varieties of soy sauce you can use for cooking. Typically, people are most familiar with either koikuchi or usukuchi soy sauce. However, saishikomi soy sauce is a kind of soy sauce like no other, and you should keep it in your kitchen to enjoy its deep flavor profile you can’t get from different types of soy sauce.
What is Saishikomi Soy Sauce (Double-fermented Soy Sauce)?
Usually, soy sauce is made by combining and brewing brine and koji. Saishikomi soy sauce, as the name suggests, is made by blending with other soy sauces. Since it’s “double-fermented” with other soy sauce, the end product is deep in color, scent, and flavor than regular soy sauce. Creating good saishikomi soy sauce requires skills and time, and the method differs by each soy sauce brewery.
Kajita Shoten brewery was founded in 1874. It’s one of the few breweries in Japan that still does every step of soy sauce production in-house when many rely on outsourcing and new technology to reduce the production time to increase profit. Coexisting with the climate of Ehime prefecture, they use the traditional method of brewing soy sauce in their cedar barrel, aging more than 100 years.
At Kajita Shoten, they first brew soy sauce for two years. Then, they brew the soy sauce for two more years to make their robust double-fermented soy sauce. The price-point of this soy sauce is much higher than your everyday grocery store brand; however, every drop of this luxuriously deep soy sauce is worth it.
How to Enjoy Saishikomi Soy Sauce
Saishikomi soy sauce is best enjoyed at the table. The way you should treat this particular kind of soy sauce is similar to how you treat good wine: enjoy the scent and savor the multilayer of flavor on your tongue.
You can use this soy sauce for dishes like sashimi, sushi, and simple tofu. But you can also use it to add a finishing touch for fatty and robust dishes like steak, barbecue, yakitori, or grilled eel. It also works great for stir-frying and glazing as the aroma of this soy sauce remains even after heating.
Easy Katsuobushi Rice with Saishikomi Soy Sauce
Sometimes, a simple dish is the best way to enjoy saishikomi soy sauce. All you need is quality bonito flakes (katsuobushi) and hot steamy rice. Simply place tons of bonito flakes on a bowl of rice, and pour saishikomi soy sauce. You’ll be able to enjoy the depth of this unique soy sauce. Thinly shaved katsuobushi works best, as the smaller flakes increase the smokiness of the bonito flakes. Yamaki is one of the leading companies for quality katsuobushi with over a hundred years of expertise.
As for the rice, high-end, award-winning “Himenorin” rice from Ehime prefecture goes well with saishikomi soy sauce. Each grain of Himenorin is slightly bigger than regular rice, making the texture chewier. Once bitten, the juiciness of the rice fills your mouth with a subtle fragrant and sweet aroma. They are great for dishes that use liquid (curry rice or donburi) as the rice doesn’t get soggy in the sauce.
In addition to saishikomi soy sauce, katsuobushi, and himenorin rice, Ehime prefecture produces a variety of great flavors thanks to its vibrant climate. Check out many more products from Ehime prefecture to try at home!