What is Soy Sauce (Jin Ganjang) ?
Ganjang (soy sauce) is a liquid condiment made with fermented soybeans. Fermented bean blocks (meju) are put into brine, then strained and made into bean paste which is Doenjang. The left-over brine is further fermented into Guk Ganjang at first but then when it has matured over 5 years, it grows darker, less saltier and turns into Jin Gangjang.
Because it takes so many years to make Jin Ganjang, people mostly buy Jin Ganjang is the most commonly known type of soy sauce. The commercial Jin Ganjang is made from soybean paste, brine, koji cultures and caramel coloring.
Koreans use Jin Ganjang in meat marinades, dipping sauces, braising and more.
Not To Be Confused With
Guk Ganjang 국간장 (Soup Soy Sauce), Chinese Dark Soy Sauce
Where and What To Buy
Korean Grocery Stores or Asian Grocery Stores. You can also buy the Organic Sempio Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce (my favorite) online at my Kimchimari shop HERE. You can also find it on Amazon but it's usually expensive so check the price before you buy.
Sempio is a well-known soy sauce company with a long history. Make sure you buy "Naturally Brewed" or Yangjo Ganjang 양조간장 but NOT Sanbunhae Ganjang 산분해간장 which is made chemically.
If you can, buy one with a high T.N. number which is a good indication of whether the sauce was naturally brewed or not. Read all about different types and more in my Korean Soy Sauce Guide article on how to buy the best soy sauce.
Here's what I like to buy when I feel I can afford to 😉.
I SELL these at my NEW Kimchimari Shop online store - BUY NOW.
but if you can't find this or feel it's too expensive, go for ones that say it's 자연 (natural).
How to Use/Cook
Soy sauce are great in
- dipping sauce
- braising meats
- many korean side dishes
How to Clean/Store
Store at room temperature and the soy sauce will keep for years. Can be refrigerated but not necessarily.
- Does not contain the level of isoflavones that are associated with other soy products like doenjang or tofu.
- High in Sodium content.