Thursday, January 5, 2017

Chinatown Soy Sauce

Chinatown Soy Sauce 

Chinatown soy sauce is a great product, and I’m so glad to have discovered it. Finding a truly low sodium soy sauce – what a journey it has been! Before CHF (congestive heart failure), we used Kikkoman regular soy sauce: 920 mg sodium/tbsp. Once my husband was placed on a salt restricted diet, we switched to the “less sodium” version: 575 mg sodium/tbsp. Lower but not exactly low sodium. You can imagine my joy when I discovered World Harbor Angostura Lite Soy Sauce with only 380 mg sodium/tbsp at our local supermarket. Much better! But sadly, as often happens in the low sodium world, the grocery store stopped carrying it and eventually World Harbor stopped making it. Not to worry – Healthy Heart Market to the rescue. It carried House of Tsang Less Sodium Soy Sauce with only 320 mg sodium/tbsp. Even better!

In the meantime, several folks touted the low sodium content of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos. The problem is that most of the people hyping the low sodium properties of Bragg’s hadn’t done the math correctly. One single teaspoon contains 320 mg sodium. That works out to a whopping 960 mg per tablespoon (more than Kikkoman’s regular). I didn’t see how that could be considered a truly low salt alternative.

Then, of course, there were all the DIY salt free/super low sodium soy sauce recipes available online and in cookbooks. I tried a few of them and was not pleased with the results. They all seem to be basically some sort of combination of beef broth, molasses, and vinegar with a bit of ginger and garlic thrown in for good measure. That combo didn’t taste good to me. Plus not every Chinese dish worked well with beef broth, molasses, and vinegar. And the homemade mixtures didn’t last long in the fridge.

Anyhow, I ordered House of Tsang faithfully for a several years. But eventually Healthy Heart Market started carrying an even lower sodium soy sauce option: Chinatown. It’s the lowest sodium by far ‒ only 145 mg. per tablespoon. Now that’s super low! And it tastes pretty good. True, it doesn't have the more refined taste of saltier soy sauces, but it's a very good low sodium option. And apparently it’s very popular for cooking authentic Jamaican dishes.

Only 145 mg Sodium/Tbsp

Chinatown is available online at Healthy Heart Market, Amazon, and at Jamaican Depending on where you purchase it, there may be some shipping costs and a slightly higher price tag. But, for me, it’s worth it. It’s one of the few products I would order no matter what the cost.

It has freed me to cook more Chinese style food. I look for recipes that do not call for more than ¼ cup of soy sauce to start with. Instead of the ¼ cup, I’ll generally just use 2 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce. However, since Chinatown is so low in sodium, I may use 2 - 4 tbsp when preparing a dish that serves 4 and with no worries whatsoever.

I realize that Chinatown may not taste as good to some as the higher quality, authentic Chinese or Japanese sauces. And it may not appeal to those with more refined palates. But, hey, we’re talking low sodium cooking. It tastes pretty good and is definitely much better than the DIY concoctions. To me, it’s the perfect soy sauce solution when you’re following a low sodium diet.

For more about my search for a good low sodium soy sauce, click HERE.

For another low sodium soy sauce alternative, click HERE.


ryan weems said...

Chinese style, Love it. I just ordered a bottle. Thank you

JMom said...

I, too, use this one and like it very much! Highly recommended! You're right, it's not the same umami as other soy sauces, but I can live with that!

Cory said...

I disagree that Chinatown Soy Sauce doesn't taste quite as good as some of the other high-sodium varieties. In my opinion, it tastes better — far better!

I've never been a fan of salty food and always steered clear of adding extra soy sauce because of it. After developing Meniere's disease (an inner ear thing), the doctor put me on a low-sodium diet. Like others, I began looking around for low- and no-sodium products. I found Healthy Heart Market, where I discovered ChinaTown Soy Sauce. On a whim, I ordered some and loved it! It's soy sauce without the overpowering saltiness of regular soy sauce. I'd continue to use it even if I wasn't on a low-sodium diet.

shambo said...

Cory, I agree with you. I think Chinatown tastes fine. My reference was that some others might not think it tastes as good as more authentic Japanese or Chinese soy sauces. For some, not me, soy sauce is akin to fine wine. Lots of nuance.

I'm just glad there is a tasty and low sodium alternative out there for us. I've never been a fan of the homemade versions. And, apparently, Chinatown brand is very popular in Jamaican cooking.