Soy sauce, also known as “shoyu”, is one of the main flavors prominent in many Japanese dishes. It is a versatile sauce that heavily aids in seasoning and marinating foods and is even used as a dipping sauce on its own. By using genuine, high-quality Japanese shoyu, you can easily recreate authentic Japanese cuisine in your home too. We previously shared a complete guide to shoyu, which has led to many consumers becoming more interested in premium Japanese soy sauces, as well as where to purchase high-quality and genuine ones outside of Japan.
Whether you have a casual interest or a deep passion for authentic Japanese soy sauce, we’re going to share the best barrel-aged, high-quality soy sauces that are available for purchase on Japanese Taste. In this article, we’ll focus on artisan soy sauces that are made with only quality ingredients, are free of additives, AND are only processed using traditional methods.
As an authentic barrel-aged koikuchi shoyu made by Daitoku Shoyu, this Tokiarubeshi organic dark soy sauce is rich in umami aroma and has a uniquely deep flavor. Daitoku Shoyu is a soy sauce brewery that strives to stick to traditional brewing methods as much as possible, in order to retain the genuineness of Japanese shoyu.
What makes this Japanese shoyu sauce remain superior is that it only contains domestically sourced soybeans, wheat, and salt that are JAS-certified. Like other genuine-aged Japanese soy sauces, this soy sauce is free of additives. The full-bodied flavor of this soy sauce only comes from the natural power of yeasts and microorganisms developed during the fermentation process.
This soy sauce is a great option for those looking for an all-purpose soy sauce for cooking and seasoning their dishes. It will enhance the flavor of any food you add it to, as well as its unique signature barrel-aged aroma.
Daitoku Tokiarubeshi Organic Koikuchi Shoyu Japanese Dark Soy Sauce 300ml
Barrel-aged soy sauce can also come in the form of gluten-free tamari too! Allow us to introduce you to this premium tamari sauce from Minamigura, an artisanal miso and tamari producer located in Aichi prefecture. This is a traditional tamari soy sauce made with the simple ingredients of Japanese soybeans and salt, which are slowly aged for 3 years in 145-year-old wooden kioke barrels. The result is an extremely luxurious-tasting tamari shoyu with a rich texture.
This special tamari soy sauce is only produced in limited batches because it is extracted as a by-product from the liquid that accumulates during the miso production process. Its rich flavor is also due to the fact that it is made with a higher ratio of soybeans than other shoyu, in a 1:3 ratio.
We recommend enjoying this tamari shoyu as a dipping sauce for sashimi or red meat. It is also a great shoyu to use when making pan-based sauces like teriyaki. Once you try this tamari shoyu for yourself, you’ll be amazed by how well-balanced the sweet and salty flavors are, especially mixed with the aroma of the kioke barrels.
Minamigura Premium Tamari Shoyu Gin Warabeuta (3-Year Barrel Aged Gluten-Free Soy Sauce) 200ml
Teraoka’s naturally fermented soy sauce is made with organic and domestically produced soybeans and wheat and is carefully processed in an organic-certified traditional brewery. This soy sauce has an aromatic aftertaste and is full of natural ingredients that have been fermented by skilled soy sauce artisans.
A mellow taste and the aroma of the wooden vat used for fermentation prevent this shoyu from being too sharp in taste. This authentically fermented shoyu pairs excellently with sashimi, chilled tofu, and grilled fish. It can even be a great secret ingredient for ramen broth or nabemono (Japanese hot pot).
Teraoka Organic Shoyu Japanese Barrel Aged Soy Sauce 500ml
Another koikuchi shoyu option, but this time from Adachi Jozo, a certified organic brewery located in the Hyogo Prefecture. Those who are a fan of purchasing natural products should definitely check out this organic dark soy sauce.
This organic koikuchi shoyu from Adachi lives up to that sentiment. Containing only the simple ingredients of domestically produced organic soybeans, organic wheat, and sea salt local to Ako city, Adachi has ensured that these ingredients are carefully matured together to create the most flavorful and well-rounded product. Adachi allows their koikuchi shoyu to ferment in historic wooden barrels for over one year before bottling and selling it to consumers.
Flavorwise, this soy sauce is rich in natural umami flavor which remains intense even when diluted with water. It is a flavorful soy sauce thats depth can be highlighted in even small amounts. Therefore, a little goes a long way.
Adachi Koikuchi Shoyu Organic Japanese Dark Soy Sauce 500ml
Starting out with a premium shoyu from Takesan Kishibori, this traditionally brewed soy sauce is a must-have soy sauce for those who often cook Japanese cuisine at home. The carefully selected whole soybeans, wheat, and solar salt are combined together and are fermented in a cedar barrel for more than one year. Since this product is the freshly squeezed liquid of moromi (immature soy sauce), it has a beautiful amber color that is lighter in hue than ordinary koikuchi soy sauces. The sweet aroma of wheat and the mellow scent of the wooden vat give this shoyu a unique aroma and tons of flavor. In short, this shoyu has a complex flavor and refined aftertaste.
This product has consistently gained 5-star reviews from many Japanese Taste customers who simply can’t get enough of its flavor. Some of them also commented that this soy sauce boosts the flavor of wagyu beef, or that it can be a great ingredient to add to gyoza dipping sauce and oyakodon (Japanese chicken and egg rice bowl).
Takesan Kishibori Shoyu Premium Japanese Soy Sauce 360ml
Based in Wakayama prefecture, which is said to be the origin of Japanese soy sauce, Yuasa is a well-known shoyu brewery for producing natural shoyu with only a few ingredients. In fact, this naturally brewed Japanese soy sauce exhibits all of the qualities that high-quality soy sauce should have, while only containing 3 ingredients!
This soy sauce has an extra rich flavor that pairs perfectly with soups, stews, and even stir-fried dishes. According to a sommelier who tried this soy sauce, the flavor profile of this shoyu can be described as being salty at first, but then having a strong flavor, deep-roasted coffee-like or bitter chocolate flavor that spreads in your mouth.
Yuasa Shoyu Naturally Brewed Japanese Soy Sauce 200ml
When it was revealed that many chefs from 3-star establishments around the world give their patronage to this Yamato Hishio shoyu, many core fans of Japanese cuisine sought out this product by searching in stores or on the web for it. You can bet that yes, this is an amazing shoyu.
Raw soy sauce, or nama shoyu (sometimes pronounced as nama jyoyu), is a soy sauce that is processed without heat sterilization. This gives the shoyu an extra-mellow flavor that preheated soy sauces do not have. You don’t have to worry about the hygienic aspect because the soy sauce is filtered using a special microfilter that effectively removes any impurities without disrupting its original taste. Yamato Hishio shoyu also contains natural enzymes, which actively help your body’s digestive system keep moving.
Yamato Hishio Shoyu Japanese Raw Soy Sauce 180ml
Last, but certainly not least, is an organic and additive-free barrel-aged shoyu from Yamahisa. This organic and JAS-certified shoyu is made only with domestically produced soybeans, wheat, and solar salt. These three ingredients are left to ferment in a large, cedar barrel for a year and a half to create a delicious soy sauce. The methods that the shoyu makers use for preparing this soy sauce are those of which have been used for more than 400 years.
This soy sauce also has a unique robust flavor that cannot be found in mass-produced soy sauces, according to Yamahisa. In order to enjoy the flavor of this soy sauce to the fullest, use it as a seasoning for grilled meats, seafood, or root vegetables. You can also use it as a seasoning for your general cooking.
Yamahisa Koikuchi Shoyu Organic Japanese Dark Soy Sauce
Have you tried any of these barrel-aged soy sauces yet? If not, which barrel-aged soy sauce piqued your interest the most? Let us know down below in the comments.