Soy sauce (Recipe: gingered Napa cabbage salad)
Updated February 2011.
The last time I wrote about lower-sodium soy sauce, I took a photo of the little bottle in my refrigerator.
Yesterday, I took a photo of the jug that's now in my fridge. You know what they say about something that comes in a jug, like the jug wine we used to drink in my college days.
And you probably use it a lot.
True, and true. I have six other kinds of soy sauce -- Chinese light, dark, mushroom, and black; Japanese tamari; Indonesian kecap manis -- in my pantry, but Kikkoman less-sodium is the only one I buy by the jug.
This lower-sodium (or less sodium) sauce is brewed, and after the fermentation (aging) process is complete, 40 percent of the sodium is removed. Though not as salty as regular brewed soy sauce, the reduced-sodium product works in harmony with very salty oyster sauce in the Cantonese Trinity (soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil) and Spicy Trinity (soy sauce, oyster sauce, chili paste with garlic) that are fundamental seasonings for my stir-fry dishes.
Kikkoman lower-sodium soy sauce has a lighter flavor than some other brands and certainly than full-sodium varieties, so it's best added to sauces or lighter dishes, or as part of the Trinity seasonings. I love this soy sauce in salad dressings and with fish, but also in meatier recipes like chow fun noodles or chicken wings.
Once opened, soy sauce likes to be kept in the fridge, where it will be happy for 6-12 months.
If you don't think you'll use this amount in less than a year... well, you're not quite ready to step up to the jug.
Gingered Napa cabbage salad
Adapted from a recipe in Gourmet. Serves 6.
For the dressing:
2 Tbsp lower-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp grated peeled fresh ginger
1/4 tsp chili paste with garlic, or more to taste
2 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 lb fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, caps sliced
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp agave nectar (or honey)
1 small Napa cabbage (approx 1-1/2 lbs), trimmed and sliced thin crosswise
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 Asian pear or Bosc pear, cut into 1/4-inch julienne strips
2 scallions, sliced thin
1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro
In a shallow bowl, stir together dressing ingredients.
Heat the oil in a nonstick skillet, and add the mushrooms and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the dressing, 1/4 cup water, and agave nectar, and bring to a boil. Remove skillet from heat and cool mixture for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl combine cabbage, bell pepper, pear, scallions, and cilantro. Add mushroom mixture and toss to coat.
Other recipes that use soy sauce:
Soy sauce brined turkey, from gas•tron•o•my
Savory oatmeal with scallions and soy sauce, from A Veggie Venture
Chinese soy sauce eggs, from Use Real Butter
Soy-grilled mahi mahi with Korean dipping sauce, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Cold somen noodles with sweet-soy ginger sauce, from White on Rice Couple