Do Soy Sauce Packets Go Bad?

Overview Of Soy Sauce

I guess that you know about soy sauce already. In case you bought soy sauce for the first time, let’s find out what it is. Even when you are already familiar with soy sauce, this part will give you some interesting information about soy sauce that you may not know.

What Is Soy Sauce?

Soy sauce is mainly made from soybeans
Soy sauce is mainly made from soybeans

Soy sauce comes from China, but it is also very popular in other Asian countries, such as Japan and Korea. It is popularly used as a condiment for marinating meat or dipping sauce. Most notably, soy sauce is a must-have accompaniment with sushi, a staple Japanese dish.

Soy sauce has a dark brown color and a semi-thick texture. It is thicker than water but not as thick as soup and other sauces, such as tomato sauce. You should know that there are several variants of soy sauce. Some varieties have slightly different tastes and textures from others.

As the name already tells you, soy sauce is made mostly from soybeans. There are 2 methods to make soy sauce. The traditional one is to boil soybeans, add in wheat and salt, and ferment the mixture from several months to several years.

 A faster method is to heat soybeans at a high temperature and add hydrochloric acid. This method just takes several days to make soy sauce. However, it is not as flavorful as soy sauce made by the traditional method.

Soy sauce is loaded with a high amount of sodium, so it is not suitable for those who strictly follow a gluten-free diet. However, there are some variants that are gluten-free, which I will show you right away.

Are you curious about how soy sauce is made? Here is your answer.

Watch this video: How to make Homemade Soy Sauce

Shoyu And Tamari, Are They Soy Sauce, Too?

There are hundreds of soy sauce variants. The most popular names are Shoyu and Tamari. Are they the same as soy sauce? Let’s find out.

Shoyu is just the name of Japanese-style soy sauce. Although most can’t tell shoyu and soy sauce apart, many people claim that their minute difference is one of the aspects that set Chinese and Japanese food apart.

Tamari is the wheat-free variant of Japanese soy sauce. It is made from the traditional Chinese method. It contains only soybeans. Therefore, tamari is suitable for those who want a vegan and gluten-free substitute for soy sauce.

Don’t hesitate to explore other kinds of soy sauce. Let’s see this video to collect more understandings:

Watch this video: Different Types of Soy Sauce Explained


What condiments do not need to be refrigerated after opening

Answered By: Blake Green Date: created: Nov 06 2020

Refrigeration not needed Common condiments that don’t require refrigeration include soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce, honey and hot sauce. Feingold says vinegars and olive oil (stored in a cool, dark place) are pantry-bound; coconut oil is actually best kept out of the fridge since it hardens below room temperature.

Asked By: Alex Brooks Date: created: Jan 30 2021

How Long Does Soy Sauce Last?

Soy sauce has an indefinite shelf life which means it technically does not go bad. The only reason why it might spoil is if you store it incorrectly.We will talk about the proper way to store soya sauce in a minute. Keep reading if you are interested. 

An unopened soy sauce bottle can last for years and years without any issue. An opened bottle can survive 2-3 years in the fridge and 6 months in the pantry.

How to Store Soy Sauce: Our 5 Key Tips

How to Store Soy Sauce
How to Store Soy Sauce

Even though soy sauce has quite a self-sustaining shelf life, you need to store it properly to make sure it stays that way. 

Actually, out of all the kitchen condiments, soy sauce is the easiest to store as it requires very little effort. Here are our five key ways to keep your soy sauce fresh for longer:

01. Keep It Sealed:

If you want your soy sauce to last the longest, the best thing to do is not open the original packaging. Keep the soy sauce bottle as it is and store in a cool, dry place, 

If you keep the bottle sealed, it can survive 3-4 years and way past its expiry date. We like to bulk purchase a variety of soy sauces and keep them in our pantry for years. 

It might feel tempting to transfer the sauce to a fancier and nicer-looking bottle but trust us! Keeping the original packaging allows us to retain its flavor the most. 

02. Airtight Bottle/Jar 

If you have already broken the seal and used some of the soy sauce, the next best thing would be to transfer it to an airtight bottle or jar.We like to use glass bottles as it is eco friendly and more durable. And let’s not forget how classy glass bottles look! 

Always make sure that the lid is tightly closed so no oxygen can touch the soy sauce inside. 

03. Consistent Temperature:

Unless you live in a very tropical climate, this shouldn’t be an issue. Soy sauce stays the best when the temperature is consistent and stable.So do not keep your soy sauce bottle closer to the oven or stove. The rise and fall of temperature will actually ruin your sauce. 

If you keep your soy sauce under or around windows, regular sunlight will also damage it. Soy sauce can expire months before its past date if you store it in a hot environment. 

04. Pantry or Basement:

The best place to store soy sauce is somewhere without direct sunlight or heat. Pantry is a great place to store. If you do not have a pantry, try to store it in the basement. 

If your basement is wet and damp, this might not be the best option for you. The key thing is to store soy sauce in a cool and dry place. 

05. Refrigerator: 

One of the reasons why people store soy sauce in the refrigerator is due to the consistent temperature. When your house does not have any temperature control, storing soy sauce in the refrigerator is the smartest idea. 

Some brands specifically mention storing the sauce in the fridge after opening. Some brands advise against it. So make sure to read the labels before doing it. 

Is Expired Soy Sauce Unsafe To Consume?

Photo by Buenosia Carol: Pexels
Photo by Buenosia Carol: Pexels

Quite many consumers may become curious about whether expired soy sauce is harmful to consume.

As we already mentioned, the aged dressing is still safe to use even if it gets darker and its smell becomes more highlighted.

But what about the moldy product?

This one must go to the garbage bin at once since it’s unsafe to consume it by no means!

Can you drink out of date soy milk

Answered By: Miles Clark Date: created: Jan 11 2021

It’s not an expiration date. If your soy milk is refrigerated, it should be fine for about a week or so past the date on the package. Once you open the soy milk carton or bottle (and store it properly), it should last for at least a week, maybe two. If you don’t store it well, it might spoil within a couple of days.

Asked By: Seth Thomas Date: created: Jan 14 2021

Don’t Worry That Soy Sauce Will Go Bad!

Does soy sauce go bad? What do you think about the answer? I have been repeating that soy sauce rarely goes bad, so you don’t have to be too serious about it. As long as you follow the comprehensive instructions that I provided, your soy sauce will be safe for very long.

The only thing that can make your soy sauce no longer edible is outside impurities. They get into the sauce and contaminate it when the lid is off. Therefore, it is crucial that you keep the lid on all the time.

Do you often eat soy sauce? Which way do you choose to store it? I really want to know about it. I am very happy to receive your comment in the box below. 

5 Tips to Tell if Soy Sauce has Gone Bad

Image: Lucky Belly
Image: Lucky Belly

As you’ve read, soy sauce will eventually go bad, this is especially true if it hasn’t been stored properly. Also, the expiration date written on soy sauce doesn’t necessarily mean you can no longer use it.

But if you find an ancient bottle of soy sauce at the back of your cupboard, it’s best you run a few checks before adding it to your ingredients:

  • Smell: Soy sauce has got a very strong smell, but it’s manageable. Once that smell becomes overpowering and literally knocks you out as soon as you open the bottle, take a trip to the store, and get yourself another bottle of soy sauce.
  • Taste: Unless you are using it as a sushi dip, most people don’t eat raw soy sauce. When cooking, people don’t tend to taste the soy sauce before sprinkling it onto the ingredients. However, if you’ve found an old bottle of soy sauce, giving it a taste test will let you know whether it’s gone bad or not. The only way to describe the taste of soy sauce is salty. But if there is a bitterness mixed in with that saltiness, it’s no longer good to use.
  • Mold: It is very rare that you will find mold in soy sauce, but this can happen if it’s been exposed to too much oxygen. Mold will manifest in the following ways, you will either see green and white blobs floating on the surface of the soy sauce, or you will see a mold-like substance around the rim of the bottle. If you desperately need to use your soy sauce, it can be tempting to wipe away or scoop out the mold. Not a good idea, once you see the slightest bit of mold, get rid of it.
  • Thickness: Soy sauce has a semi-thick consistency, it’s very similar to a syrup. But when it turns into a water-like consistency, it’s time to throw your soy sauce in the trash.
  • Color: Soy sauce is dark in color whether you’ve got a full flavor or light flavored bottle. When soy sauce starts losing its color and goes a bit see-through, throw the bottle in the trash.

Does soy sauce go bad?

Maybe the reason you’re out of soy sauce is that you tossed an old bottle when you deep-cleaned your fridge. But even though the expiration date passed, you probably didn’t need to throw it away. Here’s why: Since soy sauce is a fermented product, it contains microorganisms that help preserve it for quite some time, even at room temperature. (Think of all those soy sauce packets you get with takeout—they’re not usually refrigerated.)

An unopened bottle of soy sauce can last as long as two or three years unrefrigerated, and you can safely leave an opened bottle out of the refrigerator for up to one year. Even then, it likely won’t spoil, though it will definitely lose some flavor. Storing it in the fridge will keep it tasting at its prime.

5. Dried mushrooms

If you need a substitute for soy sauce that’s gluten- and soy-free and low in sodium, dried shiitake mushrooms can work in a pinch. Rehydrate the mushrooms in water, then use that soaking liquid in place of the soy sauce. It’s not the closest substitute in the bunch, but it packs an umami punch. You can find dried shiitakes in most grocery stores. (Look in the mushroom section).

Try it in: A dish that calls for only a small amount of soy sauce, since the flavor is less concentrated

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How To Store Soy Sauce

Storing soy sauce is pretty straightforward, and no preparation is required. The storage conditions are also quite similar to other sauces or condiments, such as Worcestershire sauce, fish sauce, or teriyaki sauce.

No matter which soy sauce you have, unopened bottles can safely sit at a cool, dry spot, away from heat and sunlight. Your pantry or kitchen cupboard should be an excellent place.

After opening soy sauce, the storage method is somewhat confusing for some people, whether it needs refrigeration or not. In short, once soy sauce is opened, you can keep it in both places: outside or inside the refrigerator.

If you use soy sauce regularly, keeping it somewhere in the kitchen makes more sense. You will probably finish the bottle in a few months.

However, if you plan to keep soy sauce longer or you only use it once in a while, refrigeration will preserve the freshness and flavor much better.

Either way, always keep the bottle tightly sealed when not in use. Don’t let any contaminants of impurities get into the container.

Does Soy Sauce Go Bad – Final Thoughts

Whether you enjoy Chinese soy sauce, Japanese Shoyu, or Tamari, you can rest assured they won’t go bad even after a few years. Shoyu and Tamari might go bad faster than others because they’re naturally brewed, but they’re also a healthier option, especially Tamari, which is gluten-free. Just something to keep in mind if you’re trying to have a healthy diet, or you happen to be allergic to gluten.

Most best-by dates indicate that soy sauce will retain its peak quality for up to three years, but it’s actually even longer if you keep it unopened in a dry and cool place. Even open bottles can be good for months, just make sure to store them in the fridge.

The bottom line is – soy sauce can last indefinitely. Of course, the shelf life of soy sauce depends on many things, like proper storage, type of soy sauce, way of brewing and fermentation, and so on.

This is good news for everyone who can’t get enough of the saucy condiment, but let’s be honest – will you ever leave a bottle of the delicious soy sauce to sit in your pantry for more than three years? We know we won’t!