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Thread: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

  1. #1
    Mahk
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    Default Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    What's the difference? I've tried to taste a difference but find they all seem pretty much the same to me. Do other people find a difference?

    The only one that I can tell a difference in is Bragg's aminos, which I know is fundamentally different, so no surprise there. It does have a distinctive taste that I prefer in some applications (like in soup recipes).

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    I don't really know the difference, but I have tamari and all I know is that it's good. It's just like light soy sauce.

  3. #3
    Can't cook. Sarah_'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    I'm confused about the whole soy sauce thing. Is it okay to eat? I know it's made of soy beans but is there something about the processing that makes it non-vegan? Or am I on crack and eating all my rice with Bragg's for no reason?
    Either this wallpaper goes, or I do.

  4. #4
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    They are all vegan, high in sodium even if you get the "low sodium" variety, stain the teeth with chronic use (as does cola, coffee, and blueberries, so says my dentist) and have no real nutritional value because we use just very small quantities, but boy are they good especially in Asian food.

  5. #5
    Mew Mew Mew! Kitteh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    Tamari is wheat free I lub it.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    As no one else has answered, this is my understanding:

    Shoyu is Japanese for soy sauce, of which they are many varieties. But the version we get is usually made with about equal measure of wheat and soya beans. When the proper fermented version was introduced to the US it was called Tamari to distinguish it from the, usually artificially processed, sauces already available. It is used to enhance the flavour of a dish.

    Tamari is made without wheat, traditionally from the liquid by products of miso production. It it used more to add flavour to a dish, and makes a good healthy alternative to using salt. Because the name Shoyu had been used for other stuff, and Tamari for Shoyu, to distinguish it from the rest it was released to the US market as the tautologous Wheat Free Tamari.

    Soy Sauce usually refers to Chinese style sauces (from where it first entered Japanese culture many centuries ago), and is made with a higher proportion of soya beans than wheat. Dark soya sauces, which are only used in cooking, are fermented for longer than light ones, also include molasses to give it its colour and sweeten the taste.

    Michael.
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  7. #7
    [LMNOP] ellaminnowpea's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    ICkkk I hate all of the above! Way too salty and they give me headaches.

    Otherwise, I'm pretty sure Tamari tastes different but its been a while so it's hard to remember.
    I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship. ~ Alcott

  8. #8
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    I just threw out an empty bottle of tamari that contained wheat so not all tamari is wheat free. San J was the brand.

    Does everyone keep it in the fridge like me? Does it ever go bad if one buys an alcohol free variety? Their site says to use it up within 1-3 months of opening but I've had some last a year or more.

  9. #9
    perfect RedWellies's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    Wow, I've just been reading about soy sauce on Wikipedia. I never knew there were so many versions!
    "Do what you can with what you have where you are."
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  10. #10
    cobweb
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    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    Tamari is my favourite, i think it tastes 'cleaner' than than the others.

  11. #11
    Anouk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    i've only tried tamari and it goes very well with tofu and some other food.

  12. #12
    75% Chickpea Cumin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    Quote Mahk View Post
    They are all vegan, high in sodium even if you get the "low sodium" variety, stain the teeth with chronic use (as does cola, coffee, and blueberries, so says my dentist) and have no real nutritional value because we use just very small quantities, but boy are they good especially in Asian food.
    Mahk, just a comment...
    Although you may well be right about _all_ soy sauce brands currently being vegan, I think it's risky to make statements to that effect without being specific about brands. Experience shows that there's nothing to stop a manufacturer from putting unexpected, pointless non-vegan substances in a particular brand. Subsequently, I always check out the ingredients on any product I've not encountered before, however innocent it may seem. For a new vegan, or inexperienced label-reader, I think this is a good policy to recommend.

    P.S. I LOVE soy sauce of all types. Just nice on rice.
    Last edited by Cumin; May 3rd, 2008 at 09:59 AM. Reason: added PS.
    How good it is to be well-fed, healthy, and kind all at the same time. Henry J. Heimlich

  13. #13

    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    Quote Mahk View Post
    I just threw out an empty bottle of tamari that contained wheat so not all tamari is wheat free. San J was the brand.
    As I said, in the US the name Tamari is used for Shoyu and Shoyu for processed sauces. What you had is not real Tamari in the Japanese sense that the rest of the world uses, it is just confusingly named.

    Michael.
    If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find me...

  14. #14
    IRBFUIPTHITCS Fungus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    I'd be very hesitant to say that all soya sauce brands are vegan though .. I have seen lactic acid in quite a few and they dont say its vegan on the packet so ..
    Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe-Albert Einstein

  15. #15
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    Cumin, yes, true, a vegan, new or old, should always read the ingredients of everything. Even us old timers should every time because you never know when a company may switch an ingredient or two as they often do. I doubt we'll ever see a non-vegan soy sauce but who knows.

    Michael, I'll take your word for it that real tamari shouldn't have wheat in it but some brands in both my country and yours do, and some are even made by Japanese based companies claiming to be "authentic". I currently have wheat-free in my new bottle but like I said before, I'm not sure I can tell the difference. I would have to do a double blind taste test to be convinced personally I wasn't just fooling myself into thinking I could tell a difference.

    Fungus, although Peta has been spreading some false information that other vegan groups have reiterated as being factual, I personally consider lactic acid to be safe because all convincing reports state that although milk contains lactic acid, it is not the base material for modern day lactic acid production used in non-dairy foods.

    Bacteria excrete lactic acid from eating sugars and carbohydrates. [This acid is what causes tooth decay BTW; bacteria in your mouth eat residual food particles trapped in the crevices of your teeth, and the lactic acid they excrete dissolves the tooth enamel, causing tooth decay.] This is how it is made, today, according to several sources:

    "The source of commercial lactic acid used in consumer products is almost always carbohydrate fermentation.. The carbohydrates used are almost always obtained from plant sources.If the ingredient label on a food product or cosmetic product says "lactic acid," the lactic acid almost certainly comes from carbohydrate fermentation."

    [Read more from the source about how Peta has goofed up in their "caring consumer" (vegan food list) entry on this matter.]

    "Although it can be fermented from lactose (milk sugar), commercially used lactic acid is derived by using bacteria such as Bacillus acidilacti, Lactobacillus delbueckii or Lactobacillus bulgaricus to ferment carbohydrates from nondairy sources such as cornstarch, potatoes and molasses. Thus, although it is commonly known as "milk acid", vegan products can contain lactic acid as an ingredient."

    From wikipedia.

    "Lactose, or milk sugar, should not be confused with the much more common lactic acid, or with galactose, which are not dairy derived. Lactose is generally indicate by -lacto- while lactic acid is indicated by -lact- in an ingredient name. Lactic acid can be safely assumed to be vegan unless its part of a compound such as a stearate"

    Source.

  16. #16
    AR Activist Roxy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    I find Tamari to have a stronger flavour than soy sauce. Personally, I prefer the lower sodium soy sauce though.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    Quote Mahk View Post
    Michael, I'll take your word for it that real tamari shouldn't have wheat in it but some brands in both my country and yours do
    I suspect that might be a mistake on the site as that page contradicts itself:

    Product Description

    The most important difference is that Tamari is a Gluten-Free soy sauce. This means that it is suitable for coeliacs and those with a wheat intolerance. It has a slightly richer taste than the Shoyu.

    Ingredients

    Water, Soya Beans, Wheat, Sea Salt, Koji (Aspergillus Oryzae).
    I will try to remember to take a look t a bottle this week when I am next in a store as I have a different brand in my cupboard.

    Michael.
    If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find me...

  18. #18

    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    I was able to visit H&B today and check a bottle of Sanchi Tamari. As I thought, and as stated on their web site, wheat is not an ingredient and it clearly states "gluten free" on the front of the bottle. It is a mistake on that shopping site which seems to have just copied and pasted the ingredients from their Shoyu.

    Michael.
    If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find me...

  19. #19

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    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    And here is a bit of supporting evidence:

    http://www.sanchi.co.uk/products3.as...ductRangeID=30

  20. #20
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    OK, a typo I guess.

    How about Kikkoman Tamari? They're the world's largest manufacturer of soy sauces I believe, you see them all over here in the states and they have at least some UK distribution I see. Going straight to their own site mentions they contain ("just a touch of") wheat.

    Is the brand as well known in the UK as it is here?

    [Note: I'm not saying "world's largest" equals "world's best or most authentic", after all the world's largest restaurant is McD's and they are the worst.]

  21. #21
    Mew Mew Mew! Kitteh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    I buy Sprial Foods Tamari, it's wheat-free and lovely. I think other soy sauces taste stronger, but it's been years since I ate regular soy sauce and my tastes have changed.

    I would say experiment with them all, see which you prefer

  22. #22

    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    Quote Mahk View Post
    Is the brand as well known in the UK as it is here?
    I would say fairly well known, if not by name by the shape of the bottle!

    But they only sell a single Shoyu "soy sauce" here competing with the Chinese sauces, they do not sell a Tamari.

    http://kikkoman.co.uk/range/index.shtml

    Michael.
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  23. #23
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    Quote maikeru View Post
    they do not sell a Tamari.
    With this new blue background color I notice hyperlinks are harder to spot. Did you not see the link I provided to the UK Asian supermarket which sells it?

    http://shop.waiyeehong.com/index.php...6&currency=GBP

    2.35. You can buy on-line, they have UK delivery, or you can buy in person at their Bristol store. A cursory search indicates it is the only tamari they sell and they have lots of other Kikkoman products not shown at your link as well.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    Quote Mahk View Post
    With this new blue background color I notice hyperlinks are harder to spot. Did you not see the link I provided to the UK Asian supermarket which sells it?
    That is not a UK product but an imported one, though. You can find web sites that sell all manner of products that are not officially available in this country.

    I really am not sure what point you are trying to make, but my link was to Kikkoman's own British web site showing the products they make for and sell in the UK market. These are the only ones you are be able to buy in a normal high street store. Obviously they do not list products they produce elsewhere but do not sell here.

    Michael.
    If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find me...

  25. #25

    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    Hey! I just thought I could add something quickly.


    I bought some Japanese Rice Crackers on wednesday from Tescos, they were some other brand, cant remember which.


    Anyway, the ingredients listed Shoyu and said wheat was involved during the making of the soy sauce.

    However, they said that it was OK for coeliacs as the wheat has changed so dramatically through fermentation. They seemed to know what they were talking about and said how the coeliac society ( I cant remember the name) approved of wheat being in the soy sauce, so therefore the rice crackers being OK for coeliacs.

    Ill find out the brand, so that more can be found out. It seemed pretty geniune.

    They were Vegan and tasted amazing too! Better than any other rice crackers ive tried.

    I find that Tamari is much thicker than standard Shoyu. I prefer the taste of Tamari as I love Miso (Hatcho - clearspring) soup so much. I also find that its nicer for dipping sushi into as the tamari sticks to the rice more.

  26. #26
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    Quote maikeru View Post
    I really am not sure what point you are trying to make,
    My point is that 100% authentic, real, tamari, sold all around the world and meeting Japanese standards, may or may not contain some wheat. It's not just some American bastardization that "tamari" may contain wheat, which you implied here:

    As I said, in the US the name Tamari is used for Shoyu and Shoyu for processed sauces. What you had is not real Tamari in the Japanese sense that the rest of the world uses...
    The sixth page of this 8 page article, History of Soy Sauce, Shoyu, and Tamari, from the Soy Info Center, says tamari is "low wheat" or "no wheat":

    "Tamari-Shoyu: A close relative of Chinese soy sauce, is made with a large percentage of soybeans (80-100%) and little or no wheat (0-20%, average 10%)...There is no legal limit on the amount of wheat that can be used in tamari-shoyu. Produced and consumed mostly in central Japan (Aichi, Mie, and Gifu prefectures) it has a slightly darker color, richer consistency, and deeper flavor than regular shoyu..."

    Also, it turns out that the San-J brand tamari I had (which contained wheat) is the largest tamari manufacturer in Japan (and over 200 years old):

    "According to San-jirushi, the largest manufacturers of tamari-shoyu, ..."

  27. #27
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    Quote AlexKunzill View Post
    Anyway, the ingredients listed Shoyu and said wheat was involved during the making of the soy sauce.

    However, they said that it was OK for coeliacs as the wheat has changed so dramatically through fermentation. They seemed to know what they were talking about and said how the coeliac society ( I cant remember the name) approved of wheat being in the soy sauce, so therefore the rice crackers being OK for coeliacs.
    That makes sense I think. Many vodkas are made from wheat yet the end product is so far from being like wheat that I'd think people with wheat sensitivities wouldn't be bothered. I'd think we can also safely call vodka "gluten free" too. Gluten is a protein and I don't think vodka has any protein.

    Those crackers sound yummy. Do report back on the brand when you find out.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    Quote Mahk View Post
    My point is that 100% authentic, real, tamari, sold all around the world and meeting Japanese standards, may or may not contain some wheat.
    I am really lost now, you asked what was the difference between the various types of sauce and yet you apparently know. So why ask?

    As I said, it was only my understanding and backed up to me by the fact I have never seen a Tamari sauce contain wheat. But having just performed a quick web search it also shows several sites all claiming genuine Tamari is wheat free. Admittedly I was wrong to have sounded like I was certain what you had was not a Tamari, but I had already stated I was not speaking with supreme confidence. And given that web sites contradict each other I am not any more inclined to believe one over another. I also still fail to understand why you are claiming there is wheat in Sanchi's sauce etc. when there clearly is not.

    As for my statement that the name Tamari is used differently in the US to where it instead refers to Shoyu sauces, and that Wheat Free Tamari was therefore used to market genuine Tamari, that is explained in detail on the site you linked:

    http://www.soyinfocenter.com/HSS/soy_sauce1.php

    Michael.
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  29. #29
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    Quote maikeru View Post
    I am really lost now, you asked what was the difference between the various types of sauce and yet you apparently know. So why ask?
    Actually, I had no interest (nor knowledge) in the compositional makeup of them in my original post at all. All I wanted to know is if other forum members could taste a difference between them and describe it to me so I too could attempt to differentiate between them myself. My opening line:
    What's the difference? I've tried to taste a difference but find they all seem pretty much the same to me. Do other people find a difference?
    I’ve only subsequently become somewhat knowledgeable about the compositions of them and only because my San-J brand tamari was accused of being bogus (since it contained some wheat) so I had to research what the FDA, FSA, and JAS (Japan Agriculture Standards) rules are regarding permissible wheat content in tamari. [The FDA and FSA don’t say and the JAS says 0-20% allowed. Since tamari is a Japanese product I’m inclined to go by Japan’s standards myself.]

    I also still fail to understand why you are claiming there is wheat in Sanchi's sauce etc. when there clearly is not.
    Huh? "You still fail"? Did you not see here where I immediately conceded that the wheat listing shown for the Sanchi tamari at that Auravita store site was most likely a typographical error as well?
    OK, a typo I guess.
    That was two days ago, right after the correct ingredient list discovery by you and Bryzee86 from Sanchi’s own site, and I haven’t mentioned Sanchi since in my subsequent three posts… Wait a minute, you’re not confusing San-J with Sanchi are you? I must admit they do sound very similar don’t they. They are totally different brands. San-J, short for San-Jirushi Corporation of Mie, Japan was largely responsible for bringing real tamari to the US and correcting any name misuse in the late 1970‘s/ early 1980‘s:

    “Because of the curious widespread popularity of the term "tamari" in America, Japanese makers of real tamari (which contained little or no wheat) began to take serious interest in the growing American natural-foods and macrobiotic markets. The first company to market real Japanese tamari in America was San-Jirushi, a large company in Kuwana, Mie prefecture (central Japan). Founded in 1804, it was reported to be Japan's largest maker of real tamari. …San Jirushi's vigorous campaign of nationwide full-page color ads stressing that it was the "real tamari" helped to stop the misuse of the term "tamari" to refer to natural shoyu.”

    Soy Info Center

    They make both wheat-free and low wheat tamari.

  30. #30
    cobweb
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    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    i don't think maikeru was confused, sanchi tamari is the only brand i ever see here in the U.K and is always labelled as wheat-free, and it's very nice, too!

    i think this thread is making us all look like vegan weirdos!

  31. #31
    Mahk
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    Default Re: Tamari? Shoyu? Soy sauce? Wheat free?

    ^ Isn't that what being a vegan is all about?

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