A special ingredient from Japan’s southwestern Kumamoto prefecture transforms Japan’s most traditional cooking essential into something new.

The exact shade of soy sauce varies by the exact maker and recipe, but you can just about always expect Japan’s most important seasoning to be a dark brown, and sometimes almost black. That inky appearance is what allows clever dishware designers to create soy sauce dishes with contours that use it like paint on a canvas, producing poured pictures of familiar faces from kabuki and Star Wars.

But there’s a new type of soy sauce being offered in Japan that’s unlike anything we’re used to, because it’s bright red.

Bottled in an appropriately avant-garde glass container, this eye-catching sauce is indeed soy, and the company behind it, Shinsei, promises a proper bonito-stock flavor. There’s a little something extra in the ingredient list, though: tomato.

Specifically, the soy sauce is made with the addition of a puree ofHatibee tomatoes, grown in the Yatsushiro district of Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan’s top tomato producer. Aside from giving the sauce its unique color (the red soy sauce contains no artificial colorings), the tomato puree also adds a refreshing tartness to soy sauce’s ordinarily salty-only flavor, Shinsei says.

In addition to traditional Japanese dishes like sushi or tamagokake gohan (raw egg on white rice), Shinsei also recommends its red soy sauce as a condiment on sliced cheese, making for a stylish, original, and extremely easy-to-make hors d’oeuvre.

Of course, the red soy can also be used for any other recipe that calls for soy sauce as well, with Shinsei’s chefs adding it to a number of meat and vegetable dishes in their promotional photos.

As a new innovation, Harabee Tomato Red Soy Sauce isn’t quite ready for a regular supermarket debut just yet. However, it is being offeed through a crowdfunding campaign on website Makuake here, with reward tiers starting at 3,500 yen (US$32) for a two-bottle set.

Source: Makuake via Japaaan
Images: Makuake
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