Soy sauce is something that many of us use on various dishes, as it’s a rather tasty type of sauce that goes perfectly with certain types of meals.
You can easily buy some from the store if you want to. However, many people have taken to making their own at home.
Homemade soy sauce can be quite delicious, but it’s not uncommon to run into issues.
For example, you might make some that turns out a little bit too thin. In this situation, is there anything you can do to thicken it up?
Read on for some simple ways to go about thickening soy sauce to get it to a better consistency.
1 – Use Cornstarch
Using cornstarch might be the most practical way to thicken soy sauce. Cornstarch is good to keep around in your kitchen area because it’s such a great thickening agent.
The basic idea is to mix cornstarch with a bit of water to make a slurry. Typically, when making a cornstarch slurry, you’ll combine cornstarch with an equal amount of water.
You mix things up until you’re left with a homogeneous mixture. It shouldn’t take things long to be exactly right.
Just mix things up well to ensure that there are no clumps. The mixture that you’ve made should be runny.
Your soy sauce should be simmering in a saucepan on the stove. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir it constantly.
Keep on stirring the sauce and after five minutes have passed it should thicken. Some will choose to add seasonings during this time as well, but that’s not necessary to thicken the sauce.
2 – Flour Works Too
It should also be noted that flour will work just as well as cornstarch to get this job done. You can use the same idea above but substitute cornstarch for flour.
Many people will be more likely to have some all-purpose flour in the pantry than they will cornstarch. If you only have flour to work with, you can still get great results.
It’s best to use corn flour, wheat flour, rice flour, or potato flour to do this. You want a very starchy type of flour that will do the job nicely.
Just mix the flour with water and ensure that the mixture isn’t clumpy. You’ll be adding the runny mixture to the simmer soy sauce in the saucepan.
Stir it continuously, just as described earlier for the cornstarch method. Once the time has passed, you should have the thickened soy sauce that you need.
3 – Any Type of Starch Should Be Fine
You should be able to use most types of starch to thicken the soy sauce. Using cornstarch and flour will simply be the most common choices.
Other types of starches that people have used to get the job done include potato starch and rice starch. If you have some of these starches, you might choose to utilize them.
The process is going to be the same no matter what starch source you’re using. You’ll just be combining the starch ingredient with water and then adding it to the simmering soy sauce.
4 – Using Brown Sugar Works
You might not think that adding brown sugar to the soy sauce will help to thicken it, but you would be wrong. If you don’t want to add a starch ingredient, adding brown sugar will be a good option.
All you really need to do is add a bit of brown sugar to the soy sauce. Allow it to simmer and everything should thicken up.
The more brown sugar you add, the thicker the soy sauce is going to get. This isn’t going to be as fast as using cornstarch or flour, though.
It might test your patience to go this route, but it can indeed be done. Just try not to add more brown sugar than you need to.
Some people wind up going overboard and making the soy sauce way too sweet. This will likely make it harder to enjoy so be careful not to add too much brown sugar to the mix.
5 – Reduce the Sauce
Reducing the sauce is another way that you can thicken it up. Essentially, you just need to use heat to make the water boil and evaporate.
By doing this, you’re going to eliminate some of the water from the sauce. It’ll make it substantially thicker once you’re finished.
To get this done, you just need to pour your soy sauce into a saucepan. Place it on the stovetop and then bring it to a boil.
After it has started to boil, you want to reduce the heat and allow it to simmer. Stir it every so often and it should thicken over time.
There are some downsides to using this method that you should be aware of. Firstly, if you aren’t careful, you could wind up burning the sauce.
This is why it’s imperative to use lower heat after you’ve got the sauce boiling again. It’s also important to know that this method is time-consuming.
If you aren’t a patient person, reducing the sauce might be frustrating for you. It’s still a good method to choose, though.
This option won’t alter the flavor of the soy sauce in any way. It’ll simply allow it to become thicker.
You’ll just have to keep a close eye on things to be safe. Don’t get distracted while trying to reduce the sauce or you could ruin your batch of homemade soy sauce.
Why Is Commercial Soy Sauce Always Thin?
If you decided to buy some soy sauce from a grocery store, you might be disappointed to learn that it’s a bit on the thin side. This is unfortunate, but generally all store-bought soy sauce will be somewhat thin.
This is because the sauce isn’t really aged properly. You’re pretty much always going to get sauce that is a little bit thin.
If you find soy sauce that has been aged for three or four years, you might be able to buy sauce that will be a bit thicker. Otherwise, you should always expect store-bought options to be on the runny side.
Those who want an authentic, thick soy sauce will be better off making their own. It’s satisfying to make it and it’ll turn out better than the commercial stuff.
Making Soy Sauce Is a Bit Difficult
Making soy sauce is a bit difficult, and this might make it so that you will prefer to buy it from the store. It takes quite a bit of time to properly make it.
The fermentation process is going to take up to six months. Since many people aren’t willing to put this amount of effort in, it might not be practical for you to make your own sauce.
It really comes down to how dedicated you are and if you think it sounds fun to try to make soy sauce. Getting the steps right isn’t necessarily that tough, but you do need to pay attention.
Finding a good recipe is important and you’re also going to need to have everything that you need. This means that researching the topic ahead of time is a good idea.
Non-brewed sauces can be made much more quickly. These will only take a few days to make, but they often have harsh flavors that aren’t nearly as enjoyable.
Soy Sauce Has Many Uses
Of course, you should know that soy sauce has many uses. Many people think of it as something that they put on stir fry.
However, this sauce is much more versatile than that. It’s going to go nicely with many different types of roasted or pan-fried meat.
People commonly use soy sauce to make roasted vegetables taste even better than normal. It’s also going to be a popular option when you want to make fish for dinner.
Some people have even used it to baste roasts. It can make a standard beef roast turn out even better than usual.
If you’re trying to cut down on salt, you can also use it as a salt substitute. It’s definitely going to be worthwhile to keep some soy sauce in your cupboards.
Learning about how to thicken soy sauce should make things easier for you. This wonderful condiment is going to be perfect to keep in your kitchen.
You might use it as a dip or you could simply pour it on roasted meat or veggies. Either way, you’ll be able to ensure that your homemade sauce has the right level of thickness.
If yours is a bit too thin, you can thicken things up by adding some type of starch ingredient to it. Using flour, cornstarch, rice starch, or potato starch will do the trick.
Another option is to reduce the sauce to make it thicker. This is a time-consuming method, but it’s going to work nicely.
Even brown sugar can work to help you thicken up the soy sauce. Just be careful not to add way too much sugar and make it sweeter than it should be.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.