With soy sauce being an incredibly popular ingredient, many countries have made varieties of soy sauces to suit different recipes, such as light soy sauce.
You may be overwhelmed with the soy sauce variants and wonder what light soy sauce is. I did the research, and here is what I found!
What Is Light Soy Sauce?
Light soy sauce is a pale soy sauce ranging from reddish-brown to amber in color. Typically, light soy sauce is mild yet salty in flavor, making light soy sauce an excellent seasoning for soups along with meat, noodle, veggie, and rice recipes. Additionally, light soy sauce is commonly used in Chinese recipes.
Do you want to learn more about light soy sauce’s uses, taste, and more? Keep reading!
What Is Considered Light Soy Sauce?
Soy sauce is considered light soy sauce when the soy sauce’s color is light, typically featuring a nearly see-through reddish-brown or amber-like color.
Generally, light soy sauce has a very thin consistency with a mild yet salty taste, which is why most people use light soy sauce to season food.
Moreover, light soy sauce typically has a lighter color and taste because light soy sauce usually ferments for a shorter time compared to other soy sauces.
What Does Light Soy Sauce Taste Like?
Light soy sauce’s main flavor is salty, but the overall flavor of light soy sauce is often described as bland yet salty despite not having much salt.
While light soy sauce contains less salt than dark soy sauce, dark soy sauce has a strong soy taste that masks how salty dark soy sauce is.
Therefore, light soy sauce is noticeably salty since light soy sauce has a weaker soybean flavor.
How Do You Use Light Soy Sauce?
Light soy sauce is often used as a seasoning when dishes need a salty yet not overpowering flavor.
Since light soy sauce is very mild yet salty, light soy sauce is the perfect seasoning to add to soups, stews, stirfries, and more.
Moreover, light soy sauce’s mild flavor enhances dishes, especially meat, rice, and noodle dishes, to make the ingredients shine instead of masking flavors.
However, light soy sauce also makes an excellent addition to marinades and dips if you want to add a saltier taste to your food.
Additionally, light soy sauce is a very common ingredient for Chinese cuisine, particularly Cantonese cooking.
Usually, when a Chinese recipe mentions “soy sauce” and uses the soy sauce as a seasoning, the recipe often refers to light soy sauce.
It is also important to adjust the amount of salt you add to a recipe if you want to use light soy sauce.
Since light soy sauce is very salty, you may want to reduce or not add salt to your recipe. Otherwise, your dish can become overwhelmingly salty if you use salt and light soy sauce.
Is Light Soy Sauce The Same As Soy Sauce?
Technically, light soy sauce is not the same as soy sauce because light soy sauce is usually pale whereas most regular soy sauces are a deep brown or nearly black color.
Moreover, regular soy sauce often has a bolder, savorier flavor compared to mild and salty light soy sauce.
Additionally, regular soy sauce can be considered an all-around soy sauce because regular soy sauce is versatile while light soy sauce’s main use is to season food.
Is Light Soy Sauce The Same As Lite Soy Sauce?
Light soy sauce and lite soy sauce are not the same because lite soy sauce is usually another name for low-sodium soy sauce.
Low-sodium soy sauce tastes like regular soy sauce but has around 40% of the sodium removed, making low-sodium soy sauce dark brown with savory and salty tastes.
However, light soy sauce does not remove any sodium after the brewing process and light soy sauce is pale and distinctly salty compared to low-sodium soy sauce.
Is Light Soy Sauce The Same As Sweet Soy Sauce?
Light soy sauce is not the same as sweet soy sauce because they have different flavors with light soy sauce having a mild and salty taste while sweet soy sauce being distinctly sweet.
Moreover, light soy sauce and sweet soy sauce have different consistencies since light soy sauce is very thin whereas sweet soy sauce is thick with a maple syrup-like texture.
Is Light Soy Sauce Chinese?
Most light soy sauces are Chinese, and in Chinese light soy sauce is also called “fresh soy sauce” because light soy sauce usually comes from the first pressing of soybeans.
Who Makes Light Soy Sauce?
Some popular brands that create light soy sauce include:
- Lee Kum Kee
- Pearl River Bridge
- Koon Chun
- Blue Dragon
What Can I Substitute For Light Soy Sauce?
You can use regular soy sauce diluted with water and mixed with salt to replace light soy sauce, but keep in mind that even diluted regular soy sauce could darken your dish.
Additionally, you can also dilute and add salt to dark soy sauce to replace light soy sauce, but dark soy sauce’s flavors may still be noticeable after you add salt and dilute it.
Miso paste mixed with water can also be an excellent alternative to light soy sauce, but the miso will have an earthier and less salty taste than light soy sauce.
Take a look at our related articles to learn about light soy sauce VS dark soy sauce, what thin soy sauce is, and what mushroom soy sauce is.
Light soy sauce is a pale soy sauce that is usually reddish-brown or amber in color, and light soy sauce has a mild yet distinctly salty taste.
Since light soy sauce is so salty, light soy sauce is usually used as a seasoning in Chinese recipes, but you can use light soy sauce as a marinade ingredient, dip, and more.