Industrial soy sauce is like drinking liquid salt. Avoid that and look for the complex flavors of artisanal soy sauce that coaxes out the best in Asian food such as good sushi and hearty noodle bowls. There are two basic kinds of soy sauce in U.S. stores: Japanese shoyu, a dark soy sauce made from fermented soybeans and wheat, and Chinese soy sauce, commonly made with fermented soybeans only. Go with Japanese shoyu for its rich umami flavor and sweeter, sherrylike qualities. The Marukin and Ohsawa brands are worth every penny. [Ohsawa Organic Nama Shoyu, $12 for 10 oz; goldminenaturalfoods.com, and Marukin Shiboritate Shoyu, about $6 for 17.6 oz; amazon.com or good Japanese markets]
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