By Sherilyn Siy
Since visiting the Soy Sauce Kingdom for the first time, I have been back several times to replenish my supply of soy sauce favorites. Here is my list of 5 must-buys for soy sauce aficionados.
Organic soy sauce
Yugeta's prize-winning organic soy sauce is made from 100% domestic JAS certified organic soybeans, grown with organic fertilizer and without the use of chemical pesticides. Brewed in the traditional method using only microbes (no lactic acid bacterium or enzymes added), the soy sauce is fermented in wooden vats for over a year, resulting in a superior soy sauce that is naturally rich. It is less salty than commercial soy sauce and is excellent for dipping and for boiled dishes.
Yuzu soy sauce
Yuzu is a Japanese citrus with a distinct tartness and aromatic fragrance that is often described as a cross between a grapefruit and a mandarin orange. I say that this desciption fails to capture the essence of yuzu and is simply one of those things that must be experienced. If you love yuzu, you will love this soy sauce. Once you try it, you will understand why it won the Diamond Taste Award. This soy sauce goes best with fried dishes and hot pots.
I highly recommend grabbing a pack of these yuzu thick-sliced udon to go with your yuzu soy sauce. It is our family's favorite quick meal.
Smoked soy sauce
You may be put off by the ¥740 price tag on such a small bottle but the shop encourages you to sample their soy sauce and boy, oh boy, you will want to get a bottle of this for yourself. Smoked using chips from the cherry tree, this soy sauce instantly upgrades your dishes to gourmet level. Salmon takes on the sumptuousness of smoked salmon, and your simple egg dishes suddenly become amazingly flavorful.
Smoked soy sauce almonds
If you went gaga over the smoked soy sauce, then this is for you -- almonds flavored with smoked soy sauce. I can almost guarantee that you will finish a bag in one sitting.
Soy sauce candy
As you browse the shop and fill your basket, chances are, you will miss these which are hiding on the bottom shelf under the cash machine. But as you ring up your purchases, staff will encourage you to try one of these for free. As you pop one into your mouth, you will be overcome by the delicious sweet-salty combination characteristic of the ever popular salt caramel flavor. You will have to ask the staff where these are located because you just have to buy a bag or two of these. At ¥120 a bag, it makes a great souvenir too. These are perfect for replenishing lost salts in the hot, humid Japanese summer.
The nearest station is Komagawa Station (JR). However, the Soy Sauce Kingdom is still a 30 minute walk along vast fields which could feel like forever. You can take a taxi from Komagawa Station. Most people travel by car and parking spaces are available.
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For Sherilyn Siy, Asia is home. Born in Hong Kong, Sherilyn spent time in the Philippines, China, and now lives in Japan. She speaks English, Filipino, Chinese (or putonghua), and Hokkien, her family's local dialect. Running is one of her favorite ways to explore Japan. She proudly finished the 2015 Tokyo Marathon -- her first ever full marathon -- in 4 hours and 37 minutes. She was absolutely psyched when she got selected again to run the new Tokyo Marathon route in 2018. She hopes to complete other races in Japan.