What is white soy sauce?

Author: Maya Kerthyasa
Photography: Andrew Finlayson

Shiro or white soy sauce is a Japanese soy that's lighter in both appearance and flavour than its more common darker counterpart. Its pale colour and delicate taste are the result of a higher wheat-to-soy ratio, and it's popular among chefs for its ability to add flavour to a dish without overpowering. "We use it when we don't want to add too much colour to something while cooking," says Rockpool's Phil Wood, "and also in dressings for the same reason."

Bentley's Brent Savage likes it for its subtlety. "We use white soy often because I find you still get a nice amount of umami from it," he says, "and I like the fact it has a much lighter flavour and doesn't dominate the dish."

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