Category: Organic Groceries

Why soy sauce just might be the greatest seasoning. Ever.

All about soy sauce

Soy sauce is salty, sweet, and savoury. With a note of bitterness and a touch of sour it activates all of our taste buds to create a balanced range of sensations.

Used in place of salt, it brings all of these other elements into play. Use to enhance flavours and create a sense of depth. Embrace the unique and complex full-bodied flavour. Start simple, switching it out with salt, and then get creative.

See where the magic of soy sauce will take you.

All about soy sauce

soy sauce

Thousands of years ago, in Ancient China, they used to make a fermented soy bean paste similar to the miso we know today. At some point it was discovered that the liquid from this could be used too, and soy sauce was born. Use spread across the East, where regional variations were developed, and eventually spread to the West. It is now one of the most widely used condiments in the world. But are we getting the most from our soy sauce? Do we liberally splash it on anything we regard as Asian and think no more about it?

In the East, they take soy sauce very seriously indeed. Hundreds of variations exist, each as subtly different as fine wine or olive oil. Only a handful of traditional producers are left, creating complex soy sauce that takes years to perfect. A simple preparation of soy beans, wheat, salt and water, fermented with a starter of micro-organisms, it is time and nature that result in the astonishing depth of flavour in soy sauce.

In Japan and China they both categorise soy sauce as light or dark. Light soy sauce is thinner and saltier, whilst dark soy sauce is thick, rich and sweet. Standard soy sauce is somewhere in between. Japanese soy sauce is lighter and less salty in general.

A brief lesson in flavour

Soy sauce delivers the full range of taste sensations. In technical terms taste is the broad physical sensations of salt, sweet, umami, bitter and sour. Flavour is all of the aromas that add the detailed nuances.

Used to draw out and enhance complex flavours, soy sauce is a masterclass in seasoning by itself. Not only does it trigger all of the taste sensations, but has a complex flavour profile of its own. The aim of all carefully considered dishes is to balance the tastes and enhance the flavours of the ingredients.

Soy sauce is salty, sweet, savoury, bitter, and sour, in varying degrees. Saltiness magnifies flavour, working in tandem with umami that makes the mouth water and makes food feel fuller, richer and more satisfying. Sourness brightens the palate, clarifying and defining flavours, whilst sweetness rounds everything out. Bitter flavours add a little interest. A sense of intrigue. Together, they create balance. A satisfying sense of completeness.

10 things you can do with soy sauce

Make a marinade

Marinade chicken, fish, vegetables or tofu. Anything you like really. Keep it Asian inspired with aromatics such as garlic and ginger, or just use the soy sauce in place of salt.

Mix a dressing

Mix up a dressing for salad or roasted vegetables. Try 3 parts oil, 2 parts low sodium soy sauce, to 1 part vinegar.

Reduce a glaze

Mix 200ml soy sauce, with 100ml red wine, and 1 tbsp honey. Place in a small saucepan over a medium heat and simmer to reduce by half.

Add to desserts

Use instead of salt in a salted caramel sauce, or add an extra dimension to your chocolate brownies. Try adding a dash of sauce sauce to your affogato.

Enhance poaching liquid

Add a quarter cup to your poaching liquid for depth of flavour.

Prepare pickles

Mix soy with rice vinegar and sugar to create a simple pickling liquid for cucumber, carrot, onion or even hard boiled eggs.

Deepen your braise

Add to your beef stew or braised short ribs for deep meaty flavour. A tiny piece of star anise won’t be detected but will bring out even more meaty flavour.

Super savoury your sauce

Add a tablespoon to your homemade tomato sauce for sweetness and savoury depth

Brush onto ingredients

Brush onto simple grilled meats or vegetables, yakitori style.

Give guts to your gravy

Add a splash to your gravy for rich body and colour.

 

We have a range of high quality Asian sauces and wholesale prices on Asian groceries at our online store at Opera Foods.


This Article was reproduced with permission from an Opera Foods article:- “Why soy sauce just might be the greatest seasoning. Ever.

Using organic Asian sauces and spice pastes. Shortcuts to superb Asian dishes.

Title shortcuts with Asian sauces

Let’s face it, who always has the time or energy to cook full-on Asian recipes? Many of our favourite Asian sauces and spice pastes have a long list of ingredients that involve much grinding, crushing or both.

But nothing else will do. You want fragrant heat. Something sharp and spicy with creamy coconut. The thought of lemongrass and lime leaf just will not let go.

That’s when you need a shortcut to fast food.

Quick and easy recipes with organic Asian sauces

Shortcuts with Asian sauces

Quick and easy hot and sour soup

Serves 2

The organic Thai chili paste is hot, sweet and sharp with palm sugar, garlic, shallots and tamarind. So all the work has been done for you. Don’t be put off by the dried lime leaf, lemongrass or galangal. These organic powders retain their sharp fresh qualities and there is nothing there that a Thai cook would not use.

1 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp organic Thai chili paste

1/4 tsp organic lime leaf powder

1/4 tsp organic galangal powder

1/2 tsp organic lemongrass powder

2 cups chicken stock

3 tbsp fish sauce

10 king prawns, shelled and deveined

Juice of 2 limes

To garnish

Fresh coriander, chopped
  1. Heat the coconut oil in a saucepan. Add the Thai chili paste and the spice powders.
  2. Cook for 1 minute, and add the chicken stock with the fish sauce.
  3. Simmer for about 3 minutes to allow the flavours to combine.
  4. Drop in the prawns and cook for about 1 minute until they are opaque.
  5. Squeeze in the lime juice and serve into bowls.
  6. Garnish with fresh coriander.

 

Quick and easy Singapore black pepper chicken

Serves 2

A simple stir fry supper to serve with rice or noodles. The flavours are already in the sauce for you, but you can add a pinch of our organic ginger powder for an extra kick.

1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 chicken breasts, chopped

1 red pepper, sliced

4 spring onions, sliced

200g fine green beans, topped and tailed, and cut into 2 

1 tsp organic ginger powder

200g jar of organic black pepper sauce
  1. Heat the oil in a wok.
  2. Add the chicken, pepper, onions and green beans.
  3. Stir fry until the chicken is golden and the beans are tender crisp.
  4. Add the ginger and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add the black pepper sauce, stir to combine, and cook for a few minutes or until the sauce has thickened slightly.
  6. Serve hot with rice or noodles.

 

Quick and easy Thai red fish curry

Serves 2

Thai red curry is more spicy and robust than Thai green curry and is perfect for the firm flesh of monkfish or the richness of salmon. Serve with steamed rice and some Asian greens.

1 tbsp coconut oil

3 tbsp organic Thai red curry paste

400g monkfish fillet, cubed

300g coconut milk

Juice of lime

To garnish

Fresh coriander, chopped
  1. Heat the coconut oil in a wok or saucepan.
  2. Add the curry paste and cook for 2 mins, stirring.
  3. Now add the fish and stir to coat with the curry paste.
  4. Pour in the coconut milk, bring to the boil, and then simmer for about 3 minutes or until the fish is just cooked.
  5. Add the lime juice and serve.
  6. Garnish with the fresh coriander.

Check out our range of Asian groceries and condiments or enjoy wholesale prices from our online Asian grocery store.

 


This Article was reproduced with permission from Opera Foods  article:- “Using organic Asian sauces and spice pastes. Shortcuts to superb Asian dishes.”

 

Differences between Conventional and Organic foods

Problems with a lot of Conventional Foods.

A Range of chemicals are involved in the production and processing of what are now conventional food products.

Conventional agriculture often uses pesticides that leads to the compromising of local, regional or even global ecosystems.

Often fortified with vitamins and nutrients using various artificial processes.

The residues of these chemicals and additives in food products have suspicious effects on human health and there are risks associated with exposure to pesticides.

Organic Foods

Organic foods rely on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of foreign inputs that have adverse effects.

The entire production from planting to post harvest follows strict protocols and standards.

Organic food production considers what is good for our environment, our safety as food product consumers, and the workers’ welfare.

Food Products without artificial additives retain more of the rich natural nutritional content from the organic produce.