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 Classified by Menufacturing Method

  Traditional soybean sauce

To make traditional Korean soybean sauce, meju (fermented soybeans) must be made first. To make meju, boil soybeans and mash them before they cool down. Shape mashed soybeans into round or rectangular lumps and dry the lumps for 2-3 days. When cracks appear in the surface of the lumps, tie them with rice-straw ropes and keep at 27-28degrees Celcius for 2 weeks. During this period, enzymes multiply inside and outside the lumps (Bacillus subtilis and Bacillus pumilus inside, Aspergillus and Mucor outside). Thus, the soybeans are fermented. Dry the fermented lumps under the sun. Wash dried meju lumps and drain off water from them. Put them in an earthenware jar and pour brine over them until the lumps begin to float. Filter out impurities from the lumps. Put "soot" (Korean charcoal made by burning wooden pieces), jujubes, and hot peppers into the jar. Keep the jar in a place exposed to the sun so have the lumps become more fermented. Wait 40-50 days for maturing. Ladle the liquid out of the jar and boil it until it is reduced to the desired volume. This final product is called "soybean sauce."


   Improved soybean sauce

Pure micro-organisms are used for this soybean sauce. Mix cooked, defatted soybeans and roasted wheat flour in equal amounts and add Aspergillus oryzae. Keep the mixture in a fermentation room at 30 degrees Celcius (plus or minus 3). Control the temperature and humidity for Aspergillus oryzae to grow and proliferate well. Mix the mixture with 18-21 Be brine and put the mixture into a tank. Keeping the temperature at a stable level, ferment and mature the mixture for 6 months. Press the mixture using a presser to separate the liquid from the solid. The liquid is called "raw soybean sauce." Add saccharine, sterilize, and filter out impurities to make "improved soybean sauce."

  Chemical soybean sauce

Chemical soybean sauce can be made in a short time by hydrolyzing protein with acid. Its taste and flavor are not as good as those of regular soybean sauce, but it is inexpensive.




 Classified by Ingredients


   Thick Soybean Sauce

Being preserved for over 5 years, thick soybean sauce tastes sweet and has a dark color. It is used in seasoning Yaksik (steamed glutinous rice mixed with honey, dates and chestnuts) and Jeonbokcho (a dish of chopped abalones boiled in oil and soybean sauce).


  Medium Soybean Sauce

Medium soybean sauce is preserved for 3-4 years and is used in seasoning stews or vegetables.


  Light Soybean Sauce

Being preserved for 1-2 years, light soybean sauce is soft and light in color. It is used in seasoning soups.




Classified by Density


  Japanese soybean sauce

This sauce is made from the mixture of soybeans and starch. It uses fungi for fermenting.


  Korean soybean sauce

This sauce is made from soybeans only, without starch. It is fermented by enzymes growing in the soybeans.


  Fish soy sauce

This sauce is made from fish bodies or intestines. It is fermented and matured by enzymes present in itself, without using micro-organisms. Fish sauce is little used in Korea, except for southern coastal areas, but it is commonly used in South-east Asian countries.




Other Classifications


  Acid-resolved soybean sauce

Amino acid is produced by hydrolyzing gluten, a by-product of defatted soybeans and wheat flour, after adding a certain amount of hydrochloric acid to it. Amino acid is neutralized to pH 4.8-5.2 with a neutralizer (Na2CO2) and filtered to separate the liquid from the solid. This liquid is "acid-resolved soybean sauce." These days, acid-resolved soybean sauce is made by reducing MCPD, obtained by hydrolyzing gluten, using low-density hydrochloric acid.

  Enzyme-resolved soybean sauce

This sauce can be made in many ways. For instance, fermented liquid is made by processing and fermenting defatted soybeans and wheat and steeping the mixture in cold brine (between -5 and 5degrees Celsius) for 2-3 days. Another fermented liquid is made and enzymes are added to this liquid. Then, both liquids are mixed together and further fermented at 35-40degrees Celsius for 2-3 days. The mixture is then steeped in cold brine and matured. This sauce is not produced in Korea.

  Mixed soybean sauce

This sauce is made by mixing brewed soybean sauce, acid-resolved soybean sauce, and enzyme-resolved soybean sauce in an appropriate ratio. This sauce combines the advantages of the three sauces while supplementing their disadvantages.