||Soy sauce, or better known in Hawaii as Shoyu is a fermented sauce made from soybeans, roasted grain, water, and salt. The sauce, originating in China, is commonly used in East and Southeast Asian cuisine and appears in some Western cuisine dishes.
Virtually all soy sauce has some alcohol added during bottling, which acts as a preservative to protect against spoilage. Accordingly, soy sauce should always be kept refrigerated and out of direct light. An opened bottle of soy sauce that has been left unrefrigerated could become slightly bitter.
Although there are many types of soy sauce, all are salty and earthy-tasting brownish liquids used to season food while cooking or at the table. What some westerners can only describe as a flavorful, kind of sweet taste is a distinct basic taste.
Soy sauce originated in ancient China and has since been integrated into the traditional cuisines of many East Asian and South East Asian cultures including Hawaii. Soy sauce is widely used a particularly important flavoring in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean cuisine. However, it is important to note that despite it's rather similar appearance, soy sauces produced in different cultures and regions are very different in taste, consistancy, and fragrance. As such, it may not be appropriate to substitute soy sauces of one culture or region for the other.