The Origins of Soy Sauce

Do you ever wonder where soy sauce came from? For the most part, this global phenomenon may be nothing more to you than the sauce you dunk your sushi or sashimi in at our Japanese restaurant in Seattle. However, there is a long history behind this condiment that goes far, far back into the ancient world.

The specifics of soy sauce’s inception are not entirely known, though it is clear that it first came about somewhere in ancient China. In times before people could refrigerate their food, the Chinese preserved their food with seasonings like salt. To the ancient Chinese, preserved food and the seasonings that were used to preserve them were called jiang. There was meat jiang, seafood jiang, vegetable jiang, and even grain jiang. The grain jiang was simple and easily accessible to most of the populations, so the fermentation of soybeans and wheat developed rapidly. Eventually, this lead to the soy sauce we know today.