Our resident soy sauce fanatic gives it a try and breaks her brain in the process.

Soy sauce is an indispensable member of the team when it comes to Japanese cooking. Whether you’re enjoying a plate of sushi or a bowl of ice cream, you’d be hard pressed to find a dinner table in Japan that doesn’t have a bottle of soy sauce on it.

Our Japanese reporter K. Masami is such a fan of soy sauce that she often finds herself using it with reckless abandon, which inevitably leads to dark soy sauce stains on her clothes.

And while soy sauce aficionados may have resigned themselves to only wearing dark coloured clothing whenever they go out to eat, it turns out there’s an easier solution — transparent soy sauce.

Japan is no stranger to a transparent beverage or two, but even Masami had to double take when she came across this bottle in the condiment section, simply labeled Transparent Soy Sauce, from soy sauce company Fundo Dai.

Masami wasn’t entirely convinced it was some sort of joke product, but it was only 500 yen (US$4.38) so she decided to give it a try.

▼ Even Masami’s cat seemed puzzled at the concept.

Masami poured out the soy sauce into a bowl and scooped some up in a spoon. It didn’t look remotely like soy sauce, and it might as well have been a bottle of water for all she knew. There was no colour to it at all.

She decided to test the lack of colour further and poured out some of the transparent soy sauce onto a kitchen towel. She also used some regular soy sauce to compare.

▼ As expected, the transparent soy sauce didn’t leave any stain at all on the kitchen towel.

At this point, Masami was convinced she had just bought a bottle of plain water in a fancy soy sauce bottle, so she decided to give it a taste to make sure.

The taste was soy sauce… ish.

Part of how we taste food is through our eyes. For example, cockroaches may be perfectly edible, but even the most delicious cockroach might taste revolting if your brain is aware of what you’re eating. So while the taste was undeniably soy sauce, the fact that the liquid was clear affected how Masami’s brain processed the taste.

In fact, Masami felt the clear soy sauce tasted a bit saltier than usual, but that might have just been because her brain was struggling to process what her tongue was tasting. Sure, it tasted somewhat familiar, but the section in Masami’s brain labeled “soy sauce” wasn’t quite lighting up yet.

▼ Yes, there is actually soy sauce in this dish. Trust us.

Of course, soy sauce is meant to be eaten as a condiment, not by itself, and so Masami decided to taste test it with some dishes.

▼ First up was this tofu dish.

As she went to pour out the soy sauce, Masami was immediately faced with her first problem: the white tofu mixed with the clear soy sauce meant that she wasn’t able to see how much soy sauce had actually been poured. 

As she took a bite, Masami’s brain started to recognise the mysterious liquid as soy sauce, but it wasn’t quite there yet, possibly due to the bland nature of the tofu. So she decided to try it with one more dish:

▼ Some sashimi with avocado.

This time, the strong taste of the sashimi coupled with the salty taste of the mysterious liquid blended perfectly together and the “soy sauce” section of Masami’s brain lit up immediately. This was soy sauce, even if it didn’t look like it. In fact, the clear element of the soy sauce added a sense of sophistication to the dish, and Masami recommends it as a stylish addition to your dinner table.

So if you’re looking to jazz up your meals and make them a bit more classy, or are just tired of washing out stains from your shirts whenever you enjoy some sushi, give this transparent soy sauce a try.

If you’re unable to get your hands on it though, here’s a life hack to keep your shirts free from any potential soy sauce stains.

Photos: SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]