Recently I was asked to review and taste test a new brand of soy sauce. Soy sauce being something that I use on a regular basis, it seemed like a good fit for Mary Makes Dinner. Plus, I just really like soy sauce. That might sound kind of strange, but growing up on sushi has left its mark. I crave soy sauce like other people crave powdered sugar. Sometimes I just need that fix of salty, umami goodness.
I put soy sauce on everything. Stir fries, noodles, sautee'd veggies, rice, sushi, sometimes even on my salads. Historically, I'm a Kikkoman girl. There is something I like about the tounge burning saltiness of straight up soy sauce. It's probably the same thing I like about any sodium-packed junk food, really. I guess I never gave a whole lot of thought to tasting the soy over the salt. That's not something I am super proud of, but it's a fact. I've been a sucker for salty soy sauce all my life. It wasn't until I started using Little Soya that I had a change of heart.
The first thing about Little Soya that I want to talk about is the packaging. It is hella-cute. The sauce is bottled in tiny plastic fish, with resealable caps. This is great for folks with gluten sensitivities, since they can pop a fish or two in their purse and be prepared for spontaneous sushi dinners. As a cook, I think that I would prefer to have a regular bottle though. Even though the little fish are recyclable, I still feel like they are a tad wasteful for everyday cooking.
Little Soya touts it's soy sauce as being "the world's best-tasting, gluten-free, less-sodium and non-GMO gourmet soy sauce". That's some tagline. I was curious to see whether or not I could get into a low-sodium soy. Usually I find them to be a little sweet for my liking, and often slightly artificial tasting. My expectations for enjoying Little Soya were actually quite low. But, in the interest of food journalism I decided to give it a shot.
After receiving my Little Soya package in the mail, I piled up a plate of sushi for a little taste test. I must admit, it took a few bites for the sauce to grow on me. I had a dish of my trusty old Kikkoman next to the Little Soya so that I could compare flavors.
As usual, the Kikkoman provided the intense bomb of saltiness that I was accustomed to. Little Soya, on the other hand, is almost not salty whatsoever. At first that was a little strange. I kept trying it though, again and again, and I started to notice how strong the soy flavor was. Little Soya has a seriously intense taste, one that is not boosted by tons of salt. Unlike other low sodium soy sauces I have tried, this one had a really great flavor that tasted totally natural. I knew immediately that I was going to love Little Soya for cooking. By the end of my sushi roll I even liked it for sushi!
Since the initial sushi test I've used Little Soya in a number of dishes. I love adding it as a last minute seasoning in roasted vegetables, soups, or anything that needs a boost of umami. Because the sauce has such a strong soy flavor it does a great job of enhancing the savoriness in a recipe without drowning it in salt. If I want more salt to go with the soy flavor I can season it myself with sea salt or kosher salt.
Overall, I'd give Little Soya Soy Sauce an enthusiastic "thumbs up". However, if they don't come out with a larger bottle for cooking I'll be disappointed. The little fish are perfect for lunch boxes and handbags, but are seriously impractical in the kitchen. As far as using the soy sauce as a low sodium and gluten-free alternative to regular soy sauce, I'm really glad that it is out there, but folks should know that it doesn't taste much like your classic, everyday soy sauce. It definitely tastes better, but very different. It might take a few bites to get used to the strong soy flavor and the lack of salt.
The folks at Little Soya have graciously offered sponsor a giveaway for my readers. If you'd like to try out some Little Soya of your own, please use the snazzy widget below to enter. Six winners will be randomly selected after the contest end and contacted by email shortly thereafter.
Full Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Little Soya Soy Sauce. Being an awesome blogger, I pledge to always review products with honesty and openess. The opinions expressed in this post are my own.