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What is shoyu?

Shoyu is Japanese soy sauce, a fundamental ingredient in the seasoning and flavoring of Japanese food. It is a dark soy sauce that is generally made with wheat, lending it a somewhat sweeter taste than the Chinese variety, which is made with just fermented soybeans. It also has a sherry-like quality.

There are five types of shoyu, each with its own attributes. About 80 percent of the shoyu that is produced is called koikuchi, from the Kanto region. It's made with an equal mixture of fermented soy beans and wheat.

Tamari is a dark, rich Japanese soy sauce that generally does not contain wheat. Its flavor is closest to the original Chinese recipe for soy sauce.

Don't confuse Japanese shoyu with Hawaiian Shoyu - the Hawaiian type refers to a very popular specific brand of soy sauce produced by the Aloha Shoyu Company.
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