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Old 03-27-2011, 11:23 PM   #1
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Citrus & soy sauce reduction help?

Specifically, orange juice and soy sauce, but I suspect my difficulty is universal to any citrus, some sort of chemical reaction from the salt in soy sauce, sugar and citric acid. I simmer fresh squeeze OJ with soy sauce and a bit of sugar. I keep tasting as it reduces, like every five seconds, happy as it sweetens and thickens, and then BAM! the next taste is the most sour thing to have ever touched my tongue. It's like there's some sort of hardline tipping point. If anyone can explain what's happening, how to detect/anticipate this sudden transition from sweet to sour, or any basic sauce recipes for orange and soy, thanks!


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Old 03-28-2011, 07:19 AM   #2
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Sorry, no help...but, I did have to put the Fish Sauce I purchased outside.

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Old 03-28-2011, 10:58 AM   #3
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The usual addition to an OJ and soy sauce is garlic, and maybe a little rosemary, not sugar. can't vouch for the chemistry but maybe the extra sugar is changing the taste as it's heated. If not that, then as that OJ-soy sauce combo is so often used in marinades, no idea why you're having the problem.
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:40 AM   #4
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Generally when you make that sauce you reduce the orange juice forst and then add the soy sauce. I've never had it turn on me like yours does.

Here's Thomas Keller's recipe

Orange Juice Sauce Recipe for Fish


1 cup orange juice
2 tbs soy sauce
1-2 tablespoons butter

Reduce the orange juice in a small pot until the juice is reduced by half. Add the soy sauce and butter.
Less is not more. More is more and more is fabulous.
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Old 03-28-2011, 10:05 PM   #5
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Try heating the orange juice & soy together then just befor serving add a little honey instead of sugar.
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Old 03-28-2011, 11:22 PM   #6
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Well, I have never tried to reduce this combo before, but, I do use the oj & soy (along w/other things-I use soda in this as well) to marinate my beef flanken ribs for boulgogi(sp?). Matter of fact, I have a bag in the fridge now. Can't wait til tomorrow to grill them up later on today!
My dh thinks this "marriage of flavors" is disgusting, but,...heck on him...my recipe came from my childhood, in which a very lovely Korean lady taught my mum the recipe, &, bang on - those 2 ingredients mix VERY well together!
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Old 03-29-2011, 05:45 AM   #7
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In place of sugar try using corn syrup for your sweetener. It's more temperature stable and will bind with the fructose of the orange juice. Just as there are "stages" while making candy from regular sugar, there are also stages in heating fructose. I've never heard of it turning sour before, but you might try this different approach.

You might also turn down the heat to a low medium. Sauce will heat up when reducing, so you might need to stay ahead of it by not letting it get so hot and reach that stage of turning sour.

"Food is our common ground, a universal experience." - James Beard
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