Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Soy Sauce - The Greatest Condiment of All

Today I feel the need to write about an under-appreciated condiment, Soy Sauce. In all the talk about great condiments, ketchup, mustard, salt, pepper, mayo, etc. get mentioned all the time but perhaps the greatest of all (in my humble opinion), soy sauce, rarely gets put into the discussion. Now what made me even consider this topic? Well, last night I made some chicken fried rice and I did a little taste test before it was done. It seemed a little bland and I quickly realized why. I forgot to add the key ingredient, soy sauce.

For all you naysayers out there who find this idea offensive, let me try to persuade you. First off most of you will initially come at me with, "how dare you say anything is better than ketchup, I hope you die alone and unhappy". Now the latter part is just hurtful and not nice but I'll let that slide this time. A condiment should enhance the flavor of the food you are eating, not overpower it. With most who argue that ketchup is the best, they do not use it as a condiment, but as the main ingredient of the dish. Thus the phrase, "would you like some eggs with that ketchup". I know that those people would be perfectly content with having a bottle of ketchup for lunch and would be perfectly happy (as long as they had a vitamin for the proper nutrients). I, who loves soy sauce, would not be happy with downing a bottle of soy sauce, and believe me, I know from personal experience its not that tasty (I was a poor fool of a freshman in college who was up at 2AM when somebody dared me for money, please don't judge).

I also do not condone the use of soy sauce for everything as opposed to my crazy ketchup loving friends, "horray, a new flavored ketchup ice-cream, its ketchup so its GOT to be good!" And I know some of you are gawking at me but deep down you know there would be people who bought it if it came out. For example the other day I saw at the store ketchup chips. The things people come up with. Let me give you an example of a perfect use of soy sauce that isn't well-known. Whenever you order Chinese food (and everyone loves Chinese food), most everyone will get fried rice. Now many ask, how does it get that brown color? Is it one of those secrets of the Chinese food that I just don't want to know, like "I ordered beef lo mein but this doesn't taste like beef, what type of meat is this?" But this is a secret that the answer will not scar you for life. The simple answer is soy sauce. Not for use in every meal, but when used properly, is the best thing. So crack open a bottle of finely made soy sauce (I prefer Kikkoman if you must know) and enjoy. But don't down it all in one sitting, like I mistakenly did once, "Everything in moderation!"


At 12:48 PM, Blogger coiledrose said...

Don't forget teriyaki, too, Mikey!

At 3:25 PM, Anonymous McG said...

MikeE, it's me again. While I love you, and while I love soy (of course, in moderation) this post is an affront to the true champion of all condiments: A1 steak sauce. For ketchup lovers, it is tomato based, for soy lovers it has a bitter zing, and for A1 lovers... well, it's A1. While I freely admit to soy sauce cravings and the appropriateness of Soy over A1 for a variety of dishes, A1 is, nonetheless, much more versitile and commanding than Soy - and not wimpy like ketchup.


I'm sorry, MikeE, but as much as I love you, I'm going to have to disagree here.

However, about gas prices (from your post on Friday): I heard this hilarious sketch on the radio where this commedian was asked about the outrageous gas prices...

Host: what about those gas prices?
Comedian: I don't know why everyone's so upset... gas is cheaper than water!
Host: How do you figure?
Comedian: Well, if I go into one of those Middle Eastern stores, those 7-elevens, and I buy a bottle of water it costs me like a dollar a quart. That's four dollars a gallon! Gas is only $2.75! That's cheap!

:::raucous laughter subsides::: I thought it was funny anyway...

At 5:47 PM, Anonymous the OTHER Lonehero said...


At 8:25 AM, Blogger MikeE said...

McG, even though I do love me some A1, its major downfall (which puts it at #3 on my list behind soy and tabasco) is that it is very limited. Not too much you can do with it, but, when the proper time arises, is the key to a perfect meal.

At 12:57 PM, Anonymous McG said...

MikeE... man, you need to branch out! A1 limited?! You obviously haven't tried it with enough different types of food substance... and I submit that A1 is more versitile because it can not only be used as a (dipping) sauce but also as an ingredient. I think tabasco and soy lack much versatility. Ketchup has more versatility than soy but not the tasty appeal. But A1 has both tasty appeal and versatility. We may end up agreeing to disagree, but I think the facts show that A1 has soy beat on the versatility side.

At 7:26 PM, Blogger Kelly Jo said...

I fully agree with your soy sauce analysis MikeE. Congrats - it perfectly fits with the "almost no condiment rule" of my family (see Larry's blog). Fun blog - keep it up & come visit us too. ;)


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