Your favorite soy sauce brands and more

Not for me.

No soy added to fried rice, except at serving time here, if needed. I whisk 2 eggs in a bowl and add garlic salt and toasted sesame oil. That gives it good flavor and preserves the nice color.

I have gone back to my cookbook (I remember that most fried rice do not need soy sauce, but I clearly remember a few do). According to my cookbook, most fried rice indeed do not need soy sauce, but Yang Chou fried rice 揚州炒飯 need one teaspoon of soy sauce in 6 cups of fried rice. So we are still talking about very small amount.

In this Chinese article, it also states for soy sauce for Yang Chou fried rice (for anyone who read Chinese)

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Yes, fried rice shouldn’t contain soy sauce. Although fried noodles is another story.

Talking about MSG, some soy sauce does contain that, check ingredients carefully.

As this thread seems to have migrated to thoughts re: fried rice in particular, my two cents is that I much more often make it in a Thai-style, which I recommend. No soy sauce at all, so I guess i’m off topic.

We have an interesting fried rice thread here.


Well… you mean additional msg? Glutamates are found in a plentiful amount in soy sauce anyways due to the hydrolyzed breakdown of soy bean products in fermentation. Add salt to that process of making soy sauce and voila mono sodium glutamate.

In any case, just bought a bottle of Kowloon Soy Sauce back from HK. Curious how that’ll taste. But I usually go with Lee Kum Kee’s soy sauce for tastes

Thanks for the info, I find it very interesting. In case it wasn’t clear in my post, I meant that we don’t use ss in the cooking process at our house for fried rice. BUT, we will often drizzle it on top if we feel like it needs more salt.

Thanks Naf.

I think we may need a new thread for MSG!

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I remember seeing MSG in bottles, but forgot which one, maybe a Taiwanese brand. Don’t know if they still do it.

I agreed with you, when soy sauce is made with premium beans and with fermentation, should be with the natural glutamates. Unfortunately, many used colourings. Also many aren’t gluten free, wheat starch is used.

As far as I remember, we have these MSG threads:

A new thread if you have a new perspective.

I remember as such. Some of the Lee Kum Kee soy sauces have MSG. Others do not have MSG per se, but have other chemical flavors, like disodium 5’-guanylate. Then, others have none…

For example: Soy sauce (water, salt, soybeans, wheat, caramel color, high fructose corn syrup), monosodium glutamate and disodium 5’-inosinate and disodium 5’-guanylate as flavor enhancers, water, high fructose corn syrup, caramel color, sugar, salt.

Coloring is very common for the so called dark soy sauce. Usually, it is with caramel. It is pretty much a requirement for the darker coloring. As for wheat, that is a very common practice with Chinese style soy sauce. Luckily, there are still soy sauce without flavor enhancers like MSG and without preservatives.

As mentioned, Koon Chun soy sauce has a simpler ingredient list without additives: water, soybeans, salt and flour (no flavoring additives nor preservatives)


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Hmmm - phone won’t let me upload pics right now -

I’m a Pearl River fan - light soy sauce.


I thought the brown fried rice of my childhood got that color from some kind of browning agent, like gravy master. I used to keep some specifically?!y for that! I have no idea where I read that.

It is true, fried rice in Asia is not brown - but in the US the “dark soy sauce”, which has a slight molasses flavor, can be used to quickly give dishes the “brown” color without having to add lots of soy sauce.

The light soy sauce I use doesn’t color dishes nearly as much as even Kikkoman does.

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I’m a sucker for anything made in Japan, but the Trader Joe’s soy sauce from Japan is no good. It took me a long time to accept that.

I started with Pearl River, then moved to Kimlan. Then, my local HMart and Great Wall were out of both for a few weeks, so I sampled far too many other brands and eventually settled on Koon Chun as my new favorite. It’s made in Hong Kong.

I do this, too! And I really think it makes a difference. The Koon Chun bottles would often leak for me, so I actually transfer all of it to another bottle first. I use mostly the “thin” variety.

I’ve given up trying to convince people fried rice should not be brown. I’ll take some out for myself (and immediate family) and “brown” the rest. If I’m out of soy sauce, I’ll add tamarind and people tend to enjoy that a lot (we are Pakistani so tamarind is a familiar flavor.) I agree the dark soy sauces are better for coloring, but I wasn’t using them for much else, so I only keep the thin soy sauce now.


Kimlan is good too. (Well, soy sauce is kind of a personal thing, so everyone has their favorite). The only thing is that I think some of Kimlan soy sauce has sugar. I have nothing against sugar. It is just that I rather have the ability to adjust sugar for my dishes. A minor thing really.
Yeah, same here for me, I don’t use dark soy sauce very often – only maybe a few dishes here and there. I am talking about less than 2-4 tablespoon in a year…

Tamarind is nice, but I don’t use it often. I think the last time I use it for was for Pad Thai noodle…Tamarind fried rice will be yellow, right? Not brown. What about turmeric? :slight_smile:

I don’t think that’s just soy sauce that gives the Chinese-American fried rice it’s super dark coloring. My dad used to work in one of those places and they added additional sauce that made it that color. My parents made fried rice with soy sauce, and they both lived in HK and cooked that style of food for many years, yet our fried rice came out looking like your picture above. That’s how I make mine too, and it doesn’t look darkened.


Ah! Good to know!

Somewhere I was told it was Gravy Master in old school (Queen’s?) NYC “Chinese Fried Rice”.

Who remembers “Egg foo yung”? Pretty sure THAT’S an interesting story. I LOVED the ribs. I can finally afford them, and they are not to be found anywhere around here. i can make do with the chopped ones.

From The Telegraph, circa 2006
Spare ribs, egg foo-yung, chop-suey and plenty of fried rice: how to murder a Chinese