Kikkoman Soy Sauce (What Is It, Where Is It Made + Other FAQs)

Soy sauce is a well-loved kitchen staple that can be used in a multitude of recipes, and one of the most popular brands of soy sauce is Kikkoman.

However, you may be wondering what Kikkoman soy sauce is and why Kikkoman is so popular. I did the research and here’s what I learned!

Kikkoman Soy Sauce

Kikkoman soy sauce is a type of naturally brewed soy sauce created in Japan, and the company Kikkoman is over 100 years old. Kikkoman is one of the most popular brands of soy sauce since Kikkoman soy sauce is sold in over 100 countries. Moreover, there are many types of Kikkoman soy sauce that you can choose from.

Are you still curious to learn more facts about Kikkoman soy sauce? Keep on reading the rest of the article to find out!

What Is Kikkoman Soy Sauce?

Kikkoman soy sauce is a Japanese brand of soy sauce that is popular around the world, and Kikkoman is a type of naturally brewed soy sauce you can find in most grocery stores.

Is Kikkoman Soy Sauce Chinese Or Japanese?

Kikkoman soy sauce is Japanese because the brand was created in Japan, and the recipe Kikkoman uses for soy sauce is a 300-year-old Japanese recipe.

However, the origins of soy sauce itself come from China, and China introduced soy sauce to Japan.

Despite soy sauce having Chinese origins, Kikkoman as a brand and recipe is truly Japanese, especially since Kikkoman tastes different from Chinese soy sauces.

Who Invented Kikkoman Soy Sauce?

Two Japanese families, the Takanashi and Mogi families, created Kikkoman soy sauce, and the company was originally called Noda Shoyu until they changed the name to Kikkoman Shoyu.

Where Is Kikkoman Soy Sauce From?

Kikkoman was created in Noda, which is located on the Kanto Plain, Japan. Kikkoman was a recipe of soy sauce where this region of Japan created their version to create a unique flavor.

What Does Kikkoman Taste Like?

What Does Kikkoman Taste Like?

Kikkoman soy sauce’s main flavors are salty and savory since Kikkoman is soy sauce, and the main ingredients of soy sauce create savory and salty tastes.

However, Kikkoman has a unique flavor compared to other soy sauces because Kikkoman soy sauce also has notes of sweet and sour tastes, creating a complex flavor profile.

Moreover, Kikkoman creates a variety of soy sauces, meaning each type of soy sauce will have a slightly different flavor from Kikkoman’s original soy sauce.

How Is Kikkoman Soy Sauce Made?

Kikkoman soy sauce is made by steaming soybeans at a high temperature then mixing the steamed soybeans with crushed roasted wheat.

Manufacturers then add salt into the wheat and soybeans because salt is a preservative, anti-bacterial agent, and flavoring.

Next, they add a type of fungus into the mixture to aid the fermentation process, then the mixture is left for about three days to create the soy sauce’s base.

This base gets put into a tank where saline solution gets mixed into the base, creating a type of mash.

Now, the mash will be allowed to age for several months to let the fermentation process create hundreds of flavor compounds.

During this fermentation process, many other organic processes occur, such as the development of alcohol and lactic acid, similar to how beer and wine create alcohol.

Once the fermentation process is complete, the mash gets pressed through fabric layers for about ten hours to separate the mash from the liquid to create raw soy sauce.

Finally, the raw soy sauce gets left alone for 3-4 days to separate then steam is used to pasteurize the raw soy sauce.

Once the pasteurization is finished, the final product will be soy sauce, which will be ready for inspection then bottling.

How Long Is Kikkoman Aged?

Kikkoman soy sauce is aged for several months, and most types of Kikkoman soy sauces are aged for at least 6 months to achieve a natural brewing process.

However, the exact time it will take to age Kikkoman soy sauce will depend on what type of soy sauce it is since Kikkoman products many kinds of soy sauce.

How Old Is Kikkoman Soy Sauce?

Kikkoman soy sauce is over 100 years old because Kikkoman soy sauce was created on December 7, 1917.

Soy sauce was introduced to Japan from China, and sometime during the mid 17th and 18th centuries, the soy sauce industry boomed in Japan.

Eventually, after this boom, Kikkoman soy sauce was created since Noba was one of the top producers of soy sauce.

What Is Kikkoman Soy Sauce For?

Typically, Kikkoman soy sauce is used for a variety of Japanese recipes since many Japanese restaurants will use Kikkoman soy sauce.

For specific recipes, Kikkoman soy sauce can work as a regular, dark, or tamari soy sauce in many recipes.

For instance, Kikkoman soy sauce can be an excellent way to season and add color to a fried rice recipe.

Moreover, the regular Kikkoman soy sauce, sushi and sashimi sauce, and tamari soy sauce can work as an excellent dipping sauce for sushi and sashimi.

However, Kikkoman does not have a light soy sauce, so Kikkoman soy sauces cannot function as regular light soy sauce in most recipes.

Are There Different Kinds of Kikkoman Soy Sauce?

There are many kinds of Kikkoman soy sauce, and the most popular and “original” type is Kikkoman Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce.

Amongst Kikkoman’s other products, Kikkoman also creates tamari, less salt, organic, sweet soy sauces along with a soy sauce for sushi and sashimi.

Moreover, they also make other types of sauces that often involve a soy sauce base, such as teriyaki sauce.

Is Kikkoman Soy Sauce The Best Soy Sauce?

Kikkoman soy sauce is considered the best soy sauce by some people, but not everyone will agree with that statement.

Some people choose Kikkoman soy sauce as their preferred Japanese soy sauce, and they may call it the best soy sauce because of that preference.

However, everyone has different needs and tastes, meaning Kikkoman may not be the best for everyone.

Despite that, it is undeniable that Kikkoman is one of the most well-known and loved brands around the world, so Kikkoman soy sauce is a good soy sauce.

Why Is Kikkoman Soy Sauce So Popular?

Kikkoman soy sauce is very popular in many countries because Kikkoman creates a high-quality soy sauce that is versatile, meaning you can use Kikkoman soy sauce in many recipes.

Moreover, Kikkoman soy sauce has a distinct flavor profile that many people love, and many people can taste the difference between Kikkoman soy sauce and other types of soy sauces.

How Many Countries Sell Kikkoman Soy Sauce?

Kikkoman is sold in over 100 countries around the world, including the United States of America and countries in Europe, Asia, and much more.

Kikkoman started marketing themselves in the United States of America over half a century ago, making themselves a staple in the US.

Moreover, many countries consider Kikkoman soy sauce as their go-to brand for Japanese soy sauce.

Does Kikkoman Have MSG?

Kikkoman does not have added MSG (monosodium glutamate) because Kikkoman does not add artificial flavors and colors.

However, MSG is naturally present in all soy sauce because MSG is a by-product of soy sauce, making MSG a natural ingredient in soy sauce.

For instance, other foods like parmesan cheese, clams, oysters, tomatoes, and more create natural MSG.

Can I Use Other Soy Sauce Brands Instead Of Kikkoman?

You can use other brands of soy sauce since Kikkoman is mostly a type of soy sauce, meaning other soy sauce brands will work as a good replacement.

However, you need to make sure you are using the same type of Kikkoman soy sauce and other soy sauce brands to achieve an ideal substitute.

For instance, Kikkoman tamari soy sauce should be replaced with another brand of tamari soy sauce to achieve the same flavor profile, color, and consistency.

Read our related posts to learn about tamari soy sauce substitutes, what is Japanese soy sauce, and what is regular soy sauce.


Kikkoman soy sauce is an old Japanese brand that has created one of the most popular brands of soy sauce around the world.

While Kikkoman’s original soy sauce has a distinct flavor, Kikkoman also creates a variety of other soy sauces to suit different recipes.

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