• 10 Best Soy Sauces in the Philippines 2021(Kikkoman, Lee Kum Kee, and More) 1
  • 10 Best Soy Sauces in the Philippines 2021(Kikkoman, Lee Kum Kee, and More) 2
  • 10 Best Soy Sauces in the Philippines 2021(Kikkoman, Lee Kum Kee, and More) 3
  • 10 Best Soy Sauces in the Philippines 2021(Kikkoman, Lee Kum Kee, and More) 4
  • 10 Best Soy Sauces in the Philippines 2021(Kikkoman, Lee Kum Kee, and More) 5

10 Best Soy Sauces in the Philippines 2021(Kikkoman, Lee Kum Kee, and More)

For Filipino households, no pantry is complete without the ubiquitous soy sauce. It is a staple ingredient right next to patis and suka. It is definitely accessible; you can get it from most groceries or your local sari-sari stores. This versatile condiment serves as the base for many marinades and sauces in cooking as well as in sawsawans.


As present as soy sauces are in our kitchens, did you know that there are different varieties to this indispensable sauce? Read on to find out more about the different types of soy sauce as well as the methods of producing them. Later on, we'll also share with you the 10 best soy sauces and an easy soy sauce chicken recipe for you to enjoy! 

  • Last updated: 06-04-2021
  • 365 views
Table of Contents

What Is Soy Sauce?

What Is Soy Sauce?

Soy sauce or toyo is a fermented sauce made from a mixture of soy, wheat, water, and salt. It is often used as a condiment in cooking, dipping, and marinating ulam. It is known for its distinct salty and umami flavor, which enhances a dish’s taste.


It is considered one of the oldest condiments in the world, which can be traced back to China’s Han dynasty as an alternative means to salt. It has since found its way to Japan, Korea, and other Asian countries. 


It is heavily featured in Asian cuisine and in everyday Filipino cooking. You’d be hard-pressed to find ulams that don’t include toyo as a condiment or sawsawan from adobo, pancit, and barbecue to suka at toyo dipping sauce!

How to Choose a Soy Sauce - Buying Guide

No doubt soy sauce is an important condiment in our kitchens. And knowing the different types allows you to explore various flavors beyond this grocery staple. Here's a quick guide to soy sauces and what to know before buying one.

Determine the Production Process

The production process pertains to how the soy sauce was made, which can either be done naturally or chemically. You might prefer the subtlety of a natural brew or perhaps you like your soy sauces to have a stronger taste. 

Naturally Processed Produces a Rich Taste

Naturally Processed Produces a Rich Taste

Also known as the traditional method, this process requires roasting soybeans, adding cultures such as Aspergillus to kick-start the fermentation process, combining it with salt brine, and letting it brew for a certain amount of time.


This can take anywhere between a few days to a few months. Some even take up to a year! Letting soy sauce naturally ferment gives it that rich, brown color and umami taste, which occurs naturally during the fermentation process.

Naturally Processed Produces a Rich Taste

This way, you would get to taste its complexities. A naturally brewed soy sauce would only contain a short ingredients list, which is comprised of soy, water, wheat, and salt. This is ideal if you want to emphasize certain flavors in cooking or in a dish. 


However, the downside is it can be quite expensive. Also, this type of soy sauce does not have the best shelf life as it can oxidize fairly quickly and lose its taste when you don't use it right away.

Hydrolyzed Soy Sauce Packs a Saltier Punch

Hydrolyzed Soy Sauce Packs a Saltier Punch

A chemically processed soy sauce, also known as hydrolyzed soy sauce, means it was prepared using hydrolyzed soy protein. This shortens the process and produces much quicker results that only last a few days.


This type of soy sauce makes use of food coloring as well as additional ingredients such as corn syrup, caramel, and sugar in order to replicate the traditional soy sauce taste. 

Hydrolyzed Soy Sauce Packs a Saltier Punch

This type is ideal for everyday cooking, especially if you tend to consume a lot of soy sauce. And it has been noted to taste just a tad saltier than its natural counterpart, which is great if you want to add a stronger flavor to your dish.


Although some people scoff at the shortcut method, it does have its merits, as it is more accessible and affordable - you can even buy it from your local sari-sari store! Its production process also enables it to have a more stable formula and shelf life.

Select the Type of Soy Sauce

Now that we have differentiated the techniques in making soy sauce, we will now identify the types of soy sauce. You might be surprised, but there is more than one variety of soy sauce and they have different uses too!

All-Around Light Soy Sauce

All-Around Light Soy Sauce

Made from the first press of soybeans, it is also known as premium soy sauce, and sometimes, thin soy sauce. This type of soy sauce is characterized by a thinner consistency and a light, reddish-brown color. 


Many people mistake light soy sauce as having reduced sodium content. But in reality, this particular type leans saltier. This makes it a great all-around companion in the kitchen as you can use it to flavor soups, stir fry’s, and basically any dish that needs a flavor boost.


If a recipe does not indicate what type of soy sauce you need to use, this is what is usually being pertained to. It can even be referred to as regular soy sauce. This can also be used as a dipping sauce for dumplings and sushi.

Flavorful and Bold Dark Soy Sauce

Flavorful and Bold Dark Soy Sauce

Dark soy has a darker, thicker, and almost syrupy appearance in contrast to light soy sauce. It is also fermented for a longer period of time. Molasses, caramel, or sugar is often added to it. This gives it a sweeter, bolder, and flavorful taste


In this regard, it is great to use in meat dishes particularly if you are going to slow cook them to really bring out the flavor as well as the marinade. Think of those slow-cooked sarsa dishes. It is also great for fish, as you can bring out the umami taste without it being too salty!

Add a Twist With Sweet Soy Sauce

Add a Twist With Sweet Soy Sauce

Sweet soy sauce can be identified by its sticky consistency and dark color. It contains palm sugar, anise, and a bit of spice and other flavorings such as mushrooms. It is often used in stir-fry and fried noodle dishes


It is also great if you want to use it as a marinade. Why not try braising pork using this soy sauce? It is definitely a great option especially if you want to switch up your everyday ulam.

Consider the Country of Origin

Consider the Country of Origin

From its origins in China, soy sauce is now a staple in the majority of Asian countries. So, it makes sense that it would have different variations depending on the region. Knowing the country of origin could also clue you into the variety of soy sauce.


When it comes to soy sauce, the most notable regions that come to mind are China and Japan. Both are the purveyors of light and dark soy sauce. Chinese light soy sauce makes for an excellent seasoning and dipping companion, as you only need a few drops.


On the other hand, Japanese light soy sauce has a milder taste and aroma. It usually contains more soybeans and less wheat. It is commonly used to flavor soups and noodles. And sometimes it is even used as a dipping sauce for fish and sushi!

Consider the Country of Origin

Sweet soy sauce is mainly used in Southeast Asia, particularly in Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia. It is a common ingredient in making their sauces for satays or in stir-fried noodles.


In the Philippines, toyo is noted to be saltier and darker in color. It is often used for dipping as well as in cooking. We even have a liquid seasoning sauce, which we often pair with fried food as much as we use it for cooking! 

Take Note of Its Ingredients

Take Note of Its Ingredients

Ideally, soy sauce should only consist of soy, wheat, water, and salt. You want to check if the soy sauce contains additional ingredients and added preservatives. This is because soy sauce is widely used in Filipino households, so you can be sure that you will consume a lot of it. 


We also have to make sure that we are not ingesting anything harmful to our body as it could contain choloropropanols, which are carcinogens that may be present in chemically-produced variants. In addition, soy sauce has a naturally high sodium content. If you are conscious of your sodium intake, you can go for reduced-sodium varieties

Think About the Size and Packaging

Think About the Size and Packaging

When it comes to soy sauce, bigger isn’t always better, as it is prone to oxidation. This in turn darkens the sauce and results in a stronger flavor. Hence, take note of how much you consume. 


If you have a big household, you can opt to purchase a bigger quantity. On the other hand, if you live alone or have a smaller household, then it is better to go for a smaller one.

Think About the Size and Packaging

This is to better preserve the flavor and taste and ensure your soy sauce does not taste lipas even if it is well before its expiration date. Moreover, in terms of packaging, soy sauce in glass bottles fare better than those in plastics. 


This type of packaging ensures that any chemicals don’t leach off in your soy sauce, which some plastics tend to do. However, one thing to consider is that it can be more expensive.

10 Best Soy Sauces to Buy Online

We now present to you the 10 best soy sauces. You'll find quite the variety ranging from all-purpose light soy sauces to sweet ones. Knowing more than one style lets you get creative with your dishes too!


**Prices may vary depending on the website and their campaign period**

1

KikkomanStandard Grade Soy Sauce

Red Label

From ₱118.75

Brewing MethodNatural
Type-
IngredientsWater, Soybeans, Salt, Sodium Benzonate
Country of OriginJapan
PackagingPlastic Bottle
Net Weight500 ml
2
Brewing MethodNatural
TypeLight
IngredientsWater, Salt, Soybeans, Sugar, Wheat Flour, Disodium 5′-Inosinate and Disodium 5′-Guanylate (As Flavor Enhancer)
Country of OriginHong Kong
PackagingGlass Bottle
Net Weight500 ml
3

AmoyGold Label Dark Soy Sauce

From ₱165

Brewing MethodNatural
TypeDark
IngredientsWater, Soybeans, Salt, Color (Plain Caramel), Sugar, Wheat Flour, Preservative (E202), Yeast Extract
Country of OriginHong Kong
PackagingGlass Bottle
Net Weight500 ml
4

ABCSweet Soy Sauce

Kecap Manis

From ₱240

Brewing Method-
TypeSweet
IngredientsPalm Sugar, Soy Extract, Water, Salt, Sodium Benzoate, Acidity Regulator, Stabilizer
Country of OriginIndonesia
PackagingGlass Bottle
Net Weight620 ml
5

Pearl River BridgeSuperior Light Soy Sauce & Premium Oyster Sauce Bundle

From ₱118

Brewing MethodNatural
TypeLight
IngredientsWater, Soybeans, Wheat Flour, Sugar, Salt
Country of OriginChina
PackagingGlass Bottle
Net Weight500 ml
6

HaiTian HadayClassic Mushroom Dark Soy Sauce

From ₱110

Brewing Method-
TypeDark
Ingredients-
Country of OriginChina
PackagingGlass Bottle
Net Weight500 ml
7
Brewing MethodNatural
TypeReduced Sodium
IngredientsWater, Organic Soybeans, Salt, Alcohol to Preserve Freshness
Country of OriginJapan
PackagingGlass Bottle
Net Weight296 ml
8

MarukinKoikuchi Soy Sauce

Japanese Dark Soy Sauce

From ₱189

Brewing Method-
TypeDark
IngredientsWater, Soybeans 18.1%, Wheat, Salt, Alcohol
Country of OriginJapan
PackagingPlastic Bottle
Net Weight1 L
9
Brewing Method-
TypeSweet
IngredientsBrown Sugar, Salt, Corn Syrup, Soy Bean Extract, Water, Acidity Regulator
Country of OriginThailand
PackagingGlass Bottle
Net Weight730 ml
10
Brewing MethodHydrolyzed
Type-
IngredientsWater, Soy Beans, Caramel Color, Cane Sugar, Salt, Sodium Benzoate As Preservative
Country of OriginPhilippines
PackagingPlastic Bottle
Net Weight385 ml

Compare the Best Soy Sauces

Image
1
Kikkoman Standard Grade Soy Sauce  1

Kikkoman

2
Lee Kum Kee Premium Soy Sauce 1

Lee Kum Kee

3
Amoy Gold Label Dark Soy Sauce 1

Amoy

4
ABC Sweet Soy Sauce 1

ABC

5
Pearl River Bridge Superior Light Soy Sauce & Premium Oyster Sauce Bundle 1

Pearl River Bridge

6
HaiTian Haday Classic Mushroom Dark Soy Sauce 1

HaiTian Haday

7
San-J Organic Tamari Reduced Sodium 1

San-J

8
Marukin Koikuchi Soy Sauce 1

Marukin

9
Pantai Sweet Soy Sauce  1

Pantai

10
Marca Piña Soy Sauce 1

Marca Piña

Name

Standard Grade Soy Sauce

Premium Soy Sauce

Gold Label Dark Soy Sauce

Sweet Soy Sauce

Superior Light Soy Sauce & Premium Oyster Sauce Bundle

Classic Mushroom Dark Soy Sauce

Organic Tamari Reduced Sodium

Koikuchi Soy Sauce

Sweet Soy Sauce

Soy Sauce

Features

Quality Soy Sauce That Enhances Any Dish

Mellow Taste That Delicately Flavors Your Dishes

Season Meat Dishes With Its Flavorful and Bold Taste

Add More Oomph With Its Sweet and Salty Taste

Versatile Companion in the Kitchen

Make Tasty Dishes With Its Delicious Flavor

A Healthier Soy Sauce Alternative

An Authentic and All-Purpose Japanese Soy Sauce

Perfect Balance of Sweetness and Saltiness

Make Comfort Food With Its Robust Flavor

Price Starts at₱118.75₱87.75₱165₱240₱118₱110₱415₱189₱250₱20
Brewing MethodNaturalNaturalNatural-Natural-Natural--Hydrolyzed
Type-LightDarkSweetLightDarkReduced SodiumDarkSweet-
IngredientsWater, Soybeans, Salt, Sodium BenzonateWater, Salt, Soybeans, Sugar, Wheat Flour, Disodium 5′-Inosinate and Disodium 5′-Guanylate (As Flavor Enhancer)Water, Soybeans, Salt, Color (Plain Caramel), Sugar, Wheat Flour, Preservative (E202), Yeast ExtractPalm Sugar, Soy Extract, Water, Salt, Sodium Benzoate, Acidity Regulator, StabilizerWater, Soybeans, Wheat Flour, Sugar, Salt-Water, Organic Soybeans, Salt, Alcohol to Preserve FreshnessWater, Soybeans 18.1%, Wheat, Salt, AlcoholBrown Sugar, Salt, Corn Syrup, Soy Bean Extract, Water, Acidity RegulatorWater, Soy Beans, Caramel Color, Cane Sugar, Salt, Sodium Benzoate As Preservative
Country of OriginJapanHong KongHong KongIndonesiaChinaChinaJapanJapanThailandPhilippines
PackagingPlastic BottleGlass BottleGlass BottleGlass BottleGlass BottleGlass BottleGlass BottlePlastic BottleGlass BottlePlastic Bottle
Net Weight500 ml500 ml500 ml620 ml500 ml500 ml296 ml1 L730 ml385 ml
Link

Try Marion’s Twice-Cooked Soy Sauce Chicken

Marion Grasby of Marion's Kitchen shares her recipe on how to transform chicken drumsticks into this delicious twice-cooked soy chicken. Her recipe is ideal if you want to switch up your usual prito and sabaw chicken dishes! 


Ingredients: 

  • 1.5 kg chicken drumsticks
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 large mild red chili, sliced
  • 1/3 cup spring onions, sliced into small batons
  • 1/4 Chinese black vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 small cucumber, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • Coriander, roughly chopped, to serve
  • 2 tablespoons dark sweet soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • Sesame oil for drizzling (optional)

Procedure: 

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C or 350°F. 
  2. Prepare drumsticks by making 3-4 deep cuts into each piece. This allows the marinade to really seep into the chicken. Place them into a bowl and combine dark and light soy sauce, honey, Chinese cooking wine, and ginger. Alternatively, you can use apple juice as a substitute for the cooking wine. Mix until it is well-combined. 
  3. Line a baking tray with foil. Place the chicken onto the foil and drizzle any leftover marinade. Roast chicken for an hour until dark golden brown or just cooked through. 
  4. Just before the drumsticks are done, heat the vegetable oil in a wok or frying pan over medium-high heat. Throw in the garlic, chili, and spring onion and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add black vinegar, soy sauce, and sugar and simmer for 3 minutes. If you don't have black vinegar, you could use half white and half balsamic vinegar.
  5. Take out the drumsticks from the oven and transfer them to the pan with the sauce. Toss well until the chicken is thoroughly coated and the sauce has slightly reduced. You can finish it off by drizzling a little bit of sesame oil. Pouring it at an earlier stage will make the oil lose its fragrance and intensity. 
  6. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with cucumber and coriander. The cucumber helps to add a bit of cooling sensation and crunch in contrast to the hot chili. Enjoy!

Make Flavorful Dishes With These Condiments

Make Flavorful Dishes With These Condiments

No meal is complete without a sawsawan. It enhances a dish's taste and cuts through oiliness and lansa to keep you from becoming too umay. Check out these condiments that you can use in cooking, marinating, dipping, and dressing!

Summary

Soy sauce is an ever-present condiment in our pantry because of its versatility from being used in cooking to a sawsawan. It can bring out a dish's flavor or deepen it with just a few drops, which makes it an indispensable item in our kitchens. 


From light to sweet variants, soy sauce has a lot of options you could explore to add more flavors to your dish. Now that you are familiar with its different types, you can expand your range of recipes as well. Happy cooking!


Author: J. Cuizon


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    10 Best Tequilas in the Philippines 2021 (Don Julio, 1800, Olmeca, and More)
    No parties and celebrations are complete without alcohol and spirits. It is true in most Filipino gatherings. Whether there be a reason to celebrate or recreational consummation, a bottle of alcohol drink makes everything memorable. Locally, Tequila is one of the go-to party drinks that is a known main ingredient in creating margaritas and similar cocktail blends.If you wonder what Tequila brings a good swig, we prepared a top 10 list and a buying guide to steer you closer to your preference. Before anything else, make sure you are of legal age, remember to drink responsively, and don’t drink and drive. With it, come and dig in for your next glass of euphoria and as always, drink moderately.
    Food and drinks
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