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Old 05-15-2006, 07:32 PM   #1
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What is Light Soy?

Is there something called light soy sauce? Or is it just a marketing ploy?

What is it, light in colour or light in calories?

I have lived in China for over 20 years and I have never seen light soy on sale.

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Old 05-15-2006, 07:47 PM   #2
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my bottle of low-sodium soy sauce is labled 'lite'
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:49 PM   #3
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Advoca, I'm sure they don't have it in China.
Lite Soy Sauce has about half the sodium of the regular kind. It still tastes like soy sauce, just not so salty. I like it. My husband prefers the original.
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:50 PM   #4
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Humm ... now THAT is interesting ... according to everything I have ever heard the various grades of soy sauce are more prevalent in China than they are in America!

The general concensus of what I could find seems to be:

The two main types of soy sauce are light and dark. As the name implies, light soy sauce is lighter in color, and also more sweet 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. Aged for a longer period of time, dark soy sauce is thicker and blacker in color. It is also less salty than light soy.

And - there is a difference between "Lite" and "Light".

But - what do I know - I'm just a "round-eye" devil?
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Old 05-15-2006, 08:05 PM   #5
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Michael, go to the grocery store and look for "Lite" (not light), and check the label. La Choy and Kikoman both have one.
Regular soy sauce has such a high salt content, that it is very unhealthy for those of us who need to avoid sodium.
The lite type has like 50% less sodium, and still tastes like soy sauce.

I do appreciate your classical information, however. I believe that as long as I keep learning, I'm still growing.
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Old 05-15-2006, 08:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
The two main types of soy sauce are light and dark. As the name implies, light soy sauce is lighter in color, and also more sweet 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. Aged for a longer period of time, dark soy sauce is thicker and blacker in color. It is also less salty than light soy.
This is my understanding as well. Light (the version Michael describes) is generally used in dishes and sauces which will not be cooked, such as salads, dipping sauces and to drizzle over food at the end.

In dishes where a sauce will be added to, for example, a stir-fry then it is generally dark soy sauce that is used, however it s very common to see both dark and light soy used together in this situation. My understanding is that it balances and rounds out the flavours of soy when using both together.
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Old 05-15-2006, 10:16 PM   #7
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Let's see, there's soy (regular soy) and dark soy. There is also a light soy that contains less sodium than regular soy. Also, as I learned earlier today from Jennyema, dark soy contains molasses.
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Old 05-15-2006, 11:26 PM   #8
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I think light soy sauce (as in lower-in-sodium) is something geared to American nutrition paranoia. I've only seen it marketed by Kikoman, usually with a green lable. NOT lighter in calories (soy sauce isn't very heavy calorically, it is the salt content). I've never "gotten" it ... "Light" soy sauce tastes like soy sauce mixed with water. I'd rather take soy sauce (or as we called in in Hawaii, shoyu) and mix it with mirin, vermouth, etc. Darker soy sauces are really richer and I think have molassas or other dark sugary ingredients, sometimes aged (sort of like comparing a red wine vinegar to a balsamic).
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Old 05-16-2006, 11:47 AM   #9
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Michael and Haggis are right.

"Light" soy sauce refers to color and taste, not sodium. It is also called "thin" soy sauce. It's thin and salty tasting. In contrast, "dark" or "back" soy sauce, is thicker and sweeter.

Reduced sodium soy sauce is a good thing (IMO Kikkoman is the best and I use it all the time) but it's a product created for the American market. It's called "light" or "lite" but low sodium is not the culinary definition of the product.
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Old 05-16-2006, 03:01 PM   #10
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As far as I know it is called light if, in fact it has less sodium. At least that is what La Choy brand sells it as light.
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