Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

By Flavor & The Menu
November 1, 2019

Robert Danhi, R&D chef and chef-consultant for Lee Kum Kee, says the difference between Chinese soy sauce and Japanese soy sauce is similar to the difference between chicken stock and chicken broth. “When making stock, only bones, vegetables and aromatics are used,” he says.

“In broth, a chef uses meat, along with the stock elements, creating a more rich and flavorful base, thanks to the added protein.” Lee Kum Kee uses whole soybeans, rather than defatted ones, in making their Chinese soy sauces.

“I think that non-GMO whole soybeans possess more flavor than defatted soybean meal, often a byproduct of making soy oil, soy milk or other products,” he says.

Using whole soybeans helps Chinese soy sauce stand out with full-body texture and a richer, more pleasing aroma. The other differentiating factor is its fermentation process.

Fermented, Naturally

Fermentation might be in sharp focus today, but for companies like Lee Kum Kee, it’s simply a long-held tradition in making Chinese-style soy sauce. A process invented by the Chinese thousands of years ago, the company follows the traditional methods of letting soybeans naturally ferment under sunlight.

This fermentation process, coupled with the sourcing of non-GMO whole soybeans, gives Lee Kum Kee, a naturally brewed Chinese-style soy sauce, its umami-heavy flavor, rich color and full body.

Dial Up Umami

“Soy sauce’s versatility is unmatched,” says Danhi. “Cuisines around the globe have welcomed this flavor elixir with open arms.” With umami extending its reach across American menus, Danhi suggests a splash of soy sauce in unexpected places can introduce that lingering, savory, complex flavor that only umami can deliver.

He suggests adding soy sauce to:

  • Any type of tomato sauce
  • Stocks and broths, creating a more savory, aromatic and balanced
  • Chocolate (ganache, chocolate cake batter, chocolate sauce)
  • Caramel sauce for a rich sodium kick that salted caramel fans are ready for
  • Cheese sauces (mac and cheese, queso dip, nachos)
  • Certain cocktails (Bloody Marys, micheladas, coffee cocktails
  • Drizzle over avocado toast, fried egg, black pepper and drizzle of Lee Kum Kee soy sauce

Lee Kum Kee sources non-GMO whole soybeans grown in a natural and safe environment.

For more information on Lee Kum Kee, go to LKK.com.

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