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General Discussion

Chinese thick soy sauce vs dark soy sauce

ethnicchower | Jul 11, 201105:14 PM     30

I recently picked up a copy of Yan-Kit So's "Classic Chinese Cookbook", which calls for both thick and thin soy sauce. I decided this was the perfect opportunity to upgrade from my "use Shoyu for all Japanese and Chinese cooking" sloppy approach to purchasing the right ingredients for the job.

I went to my local Asian store and purchased "Koon Chun" thick soy sauce (in a glass jar) and the thin soy sauce from the same brand. Since this brand is imported from Hong Kong, I thought it would help me to cook more authentic Chinese dishes.

However, I've been very disappointed with the results from using their thick soy sauce. The sauce is really thick (thicker than honey) and it tastes very sour like molasses (in fact, molasses is the first ingredient). I am thinking that I may have purchased the wrong ingredient. Stir-fry recipes in the book call for "thin soy sauce" mostly for marinades, and "thick soy sauce" as part of the sauce added at the end. I've cooked with this sauce a couple of times, and I can very clearly taste the sourness of the sauce in the finished result, and it does not taste good at all.

I did a bit of research on the internet, and it seems that some people refer to dark and thick soy sauce interchangeably (for Chinese cooking). "Koon Chun" is the only brand in my local Asian store that brands their product as "thick soy sauce", but I did find a few selling "dark soy sauce".

I am wondering if I should be using dark soy sauce for my stir-fry sauces. If you have any favorite brands, I'd love to know.

I am also wondering what I can use my molasses-tasting thick soy sauce for (if anything).

And last, for those of you who grew up eating home-cooked Chinese food, I am wondering if your moms had both soy sauces at home and use them for different purposes, or did they just use thin soy sauce for everything?

Thanks in advance!

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