SHIRO SHIBORI, premium wheat soy sauce
SHIRO SHIBORI, premium wheat soy sauce
From Marushin Honke Company
SHIRO SHIBORI is a wheat soy sauce made from 80 percent wheat and 20 percent soybeans. This special soy sauce comes from the city of Yuasa, where Japanese soy sauce was born 750 years ago. How did the art of soy sauce making begin? A Japanese monk, Kakushin, who visited China to study Buddhism, came back to Japan versed not only in Buddhism, but also with additional culinary knowledge on methods for preserving summer vegetables. At his temple Kakushin began to pickle local summer vegetables such as melon, eggplant, ginger and cucumber in a pickling base consisting of a combination of wheat, rice, soybeans and salt in a wooden vat just as his colleagues did in China.
After placing a lid and a heavy stone on top of the vat, he left the mixture for one month in the hot and humid weather. When the lid was opened, a fragrant, flavorful and nutritious chunky preserve was discovered in the vat to be shared with his fellow monks. Toward the end of the pickling the monks found a delicious by product - a thin layer of golden brown savory liquid covered the top of the preserve It had gradually seeped out from the vegetables, grain and soybeans over months of fermentation. Someone tasted it and exclaimed "Wonderful! Amazingly delicious!" And so, the story goes, the monks began to use it in cooking. This is the beginning of Japanese shoyu, soy sauce.
The production of SHIRO SHIBORI follows the ordinary shoyu manufacturing process. The roasted wheat and cooked soybeans are mixed and tossed with koji mold which produces an enzyme necessary for fermentation. The mixture is left in a fermentation tank along with spring water, sea salt and the liquid in which the soybean were cooked. This liquid gives SHIRO SHIBORI its unusually rich and tasty flavor. The short three month fermentation process preserves the golden yellow lighter color. SHIRO SHIBORI tastes pleasantly "gamey" with lots of umami. Its mild saltiness, complex unique flavors and light color make SHIRO SHIBORI an excellent enhancement well suited for any cuisine - Japanese, American, European or Asian! The salt content is 17%.
Shelf life: 1 year before opening; after opening refrigerate and preferably used in about 3 months for best flavor and nutritional value; in a professional kitchen where the shoyu is frequently used, store it in a cool, dark and dry place
The Company: Marushin Honke Company was founded in 1881. It is located in the town of Yuasa, Wakayama Prefecture. Under the present fifth generation family member president, Toshio Shinko, the company continues to produce varieties of the very best artisan shoyu products in Japan. Some of them have been received repeated prestigious Le Monde Selection Awards in Europe. Toshio Shinko's mission is grand and long-term. He has a passion to instruct the younger Japanese generation in the traditional quality food culture of Japan.
He began offering a very special "Shoyu making" class at local elementary schools three years ago. In the first year Mr. Shinko and the school children plant soybeans and a few months later they harvest some of them and cook them at the school kitchen to enjoy fresh green soybeans, edamame. He dries the remaining soybeans with the students and tells them "See you at next year's class". The next year eager children learn how to make shoyu using their own dried soybeans. Each student brings an empty plastic water bottle from home to be used as a "fermentation tank".
As fermentation develops in the clear plastic bottle, it displays natural miracles - the build-up carbon dioxide expands the bottle, and the liquid continuously changes the color and appearance of the soybeans and wheat, while bubbles continuously jump out of the brew. The result is a delicious shoyu that the children take home for their family's use. What lucky children they are!