Korean Soy Sauces...

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Author: LuccaQ
Date: 3-21-12
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I've been cooking Korean dishes for a few years now but still have some confusion about the different soy sauces used. Some recipes call for soy sauce for "soup" while others do not specify a type. Also, some recipes say that fish sauce can be a substitute for the soup soy sauce. So my question is are the different types of soy sauce interchangeable with each other and/or fish sauce, and what makes this soy sauce for soup different?  Are there different types of soy sauce like this used in other cuisines as well?  Thanks!

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tess wrote 2 yearss ago

I would just add that fish sauce is never a replacement for soy sauce! Both have umami, yes, but fish sauce is generally pretty salty (and so is soy, but in a different way). 

umma wrote 2 yearss ago

                                                                                            Hi, there are two types of soy sauces in Korean soy sauces.  One is called guk gan jang  (means soup soy sauce), and the other one is called jin ganjang(means dark/thick soy sauce). -  First guk gan jang - there are many different brands of kuk gan jang, Arirang, Assi, Sam pyo, and many more.  These type of soy sauces are traditional Korean style soy sauce which are light in color, not as thick, and clear.  These are used for mostly making soup that requires clear soup stock - you can use these types of soy sauce for making moo guk (radish soup) , kongnamul soup(bean sprout soup - mostly uses salt, but add a little to taste), miyuk guk (sea weed soup) or any soups or casserole type dishes that need clear soup base with some soy sauce taste in it.   Also type soy sauces are also used for making side dishes - use it in addition of salt.  Can be added in addition to the fish sauce, but would not entirely subsitute the fish sauce.  Korean cuisine doesn't require using much of the fish sauce, but in recent years, some modern Korean dishes seem to use fish sauces.  -  The second one is jin gang jang (dark soy sauce) - it is more of Japanese style soy sauce, most commonly known Kokkoman soy sauce. It is thicker form of soy sauce which is a little less salty and they are made by the same brands of soy sauce makers.  Koreans now use these types of soy sauce as well in their cuisine, in jorim (browning effect) dishes, kalbi (bbq rib), bulgoki (marinated beef), and lots of other dishes dishes.  This soy sauce is not typically used for the soups because it will make the soup base a bit darker than you intend, and the taste as refreshing as the guk kang jang.