Why Is Soy Sauce So Good? (8 Reasons Why)

Soy sauce is a very popular ingredient used in many kitchens, but you may be wondering why soy sauce is so delicious.

You do not have to wonder why soy sauce is so good. I did the research, and here are the facts I found!

Why Is Soy Sauce So Good?

Soy sauce is so good because soy sauce is very versatile in the kitchen since soy sauce can be used to season, add color, or as a dip. Moreover, soy sauce is great because there is a variety of soy sauces available with many different flavors, meaning you can use different soy sauces for various purposes.

If you want to find out the exact reasons why soy sauce is so good, keep on reading!

1. Versatility In The Kitchen

Firstly, soy sauce is a very versatile ingredient to have in the kitchen because you can use soy sauce in so many recipes.

For instance, you can use different types of soy sauce (like light soy sauce and dark soy sauce) to season your food while you cook to enhance the flavors.

Additionally, you can use soy sauce as a coloring agent to make your food darker because darker soy sauces add a lovely hue to food.

Moreover, soy sauce is commonly used as a dip to enhance foods like dumplings, or as a marinade for meats like beef, chicken, seafood, and pork.

Therefore, soy sauce can find its way into almost any recipe, especially if the recipe calls for more complex flavors that soy sauce can offer.

2. A Good Substitute For Salt

If you do not have any salt available or you want to add more unique flavors and saltiness to your dish, then soy sauce is an amazing substitute for salt.

One of the main flavors of most soy sauces is salt since salt is one of the primary ingredients of soy sauce.

Salt is used in the fermentation process of soybeans to help prevent bacteria from growing, keeping the fermented soybeans safe to consume.

Moreover, salt also slows down the fermentation process to let the flavors develop well and adds flavor to create soy sauce’s signature taste.

3. Variety of Soy Sauces

Variety of Soy Sauces

While soy sauce is known for being salty and savory, there are many types of soy sauces that you can use to make the most out of your recipes.

For instance, light soy sauce is a golden brown color, and light soy sauce is mellow yet saltier than regular soy sauce, making light soy sauce a good option for seasoning.

On the other hand, dark soy sauce is usually a dark brown sauce that is a bit on the sweet side, making dark soy sauce a better choice for foods that need color and taste, like fried rice.

However, it is very common for people to use a mixture of soy sauces while they cook, like using light soy sauce for saltiness and dark soy sauce for color.

Moreover, there are much more soy sauces that you can try out, like sweet soy sauce which is also called kecap manis if you get the Indonesian variant.

Additionally, not all soy sauces will taste the same, even if they are labeled as such.

For instance, Kikkoman regular soy sauce has a signature taste, which tastes different from other regular soy sauce brands.

4. Saltiness

One of the primary reasons that soy sauce is so good is because soy sauce is salty, a flavor that many people love in their food.

Salt is a flavor enhancer, meaning it enhances the way food tastes especially if the food is bland. Soy sauce is a salty condiment, so soy sauce will have the same effect as salt in many recipes.

Plus, soy sauce has natural MSG (monosodium glutamate), which comes from the fermentation process, giving your food an extra salty kick.

Soy sauce can enhance foods while cooking, like meats, because the proteins from the meat will hydrolyze into amino acids, creating a lot of MSG.

5. Umami

Soy sauce has natural umami or savory flavors thanks to the fermentation process of soybeans, giving soy sauce a more complex and unique taste.

Savory flavors usually come from meatier foods, like steak or chicken, but you can get savoriness from soy sauce, which is why many people add soy sauce to their recipes.

6. Sweetness

Certain soy sauces, such as dark soy sauce and sweet soy sauce, have added ingredients like palm sugar and molasses to give the soy sauces a sweeter flavor.

While there will be obvious notes of sweetness, these sweeter soy sauces will still have salty and savory notes, creating a complete flavor to enhance your food.

However, the sweeter soy sauces tend to have a thicker consistency than regular soy sauce. For instance, kecap manis usually has a syrupy texture that is similar to maple syrup.

Therefore, you may need to dilute your sweeter soy sauce in your recipes or mix the sweet soy sauce thoroughly into your recipe to evenly distribute the sweet soy sauce throughout the dish.

7. Soy Sauce Lasts Long

Another excellent reason why soy sauce is so good is that soy sauce can stay fresh for a long time, so you can use a single bottle of soy sauce for a long time.

Fermented foods last a lot longer because specific molds and bacteria that are used in the fermentation process keep unwanted and healthy bacteria and mold away.

When bad bacteria and mold growth are inhibited, it increases the shelf life of the fermented product, which is how soy sauce lasts a long time.

For instance, an unopened bottle of soy sauce can stay fresh for 2-3 years if kept in a dark and cool place. Opened soy sauce is usable for up to 1 year if you keep the soy sauce in the fridge.

8. Enhances Aroma

Finally, soy sauce has a fantastic smell that can make your food more appetizing, and the smell of soy sauce is similar to fresh sourdough bread or a good beer.

Read our related articles to find out why soy sauce is black, why soy sauce is salty, and what soy sauce does.


Soy sauce is so good because of how versatile soy sauce is, and how many types of soy sauce allow you to use soy sauce in almost every recipe.

Moreover, the overall flavor profile of soy sauce is a fantastic way to add flavor and color to many dishes.

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