Is Kikkoman Soy Sauce Light or Dark

Is Kikkoman Soy Sauce Light or Dark? Answered

Last Updated on April 14, 2024 by Shari Mason

Kikkoman, a well-known Japanese food company, is internationally acclaimed for their soy sauce. Despite being from a distant location, their soy sauce has garnered significant appreciation in the US.

However, many consumers debate whether it’s a light or dark soy sauce. So let’s get through this article and answer the question – is Kikkoman soy sauce light or dark?

Kikkoman: Light or Dark Soy Sauce? 

Kikkoman Soy Sauce Bottle

In the case of Kikkoman’s Naturally-Brewed soy sauce, it is regarded as a dark soy sauce in Japan.

Shoyu, or Japanese soy sauce, is available in both light and dark varieties.

Compared to Chinese light soy sauce, which is commonly used in cooking, dark soy sauce is more commonly used in Japan. 

Read: Substitute For Soy Paste

What Is Kikkoman Soy Sauce? 

Kikkoman’s natural soy sauce is made with four ingredients: wheat, salt, water, and soybeans. It’s a great seasoning for various dishes and has no artificial additives.

Its mellow and rich taste is created through the long process of natural brewing. This method is similar to how fine wine is made.

It’s a great store-seasoning ingredient used to prepare various food items, such as Japanese food and shepherd’s pie. It’s also rich in umami, which brings out the taste of food.

How Is Kikkoman Soy Sauce Used? 

pouring soy sauce

Kikkoman’s Naturally Brewed soy sauce is used when making various types of sauces, such as those used for Japanese dishes such as Yakisoba or Gyudon. 

While you can use Kikkoman soy sauce for Chinese dishes, lighter soy sauce types are much preferable.

If you have Kikkoman soy sauce at home, you can use it instead of Chinese light soy sauce in your recipes.

Also Read:

Why Is It Considered Dark Soy Sauce? 

  • Texture

Kikkoman has a soft and smooth texture but is a little thicker and full-bodied, a normal texture of dark soy sauce. 

  • Taste

Kikkoman Naturally Brewed soy sauce is more on the sweet side. 

Dark soy sauce is sweeter compared to light soy sauce, so Kikkoman is considered a dark soy sauce due to its sweet taste. Also, it’s not salty compared to light soy sauce but has a bold taste. 

If you’ve tried Kikkoman soy sauce before, you’d surely agree that its sweet taste is what makes it stand out among others.   

  • Color

Kikkoman soy sauce features a darker color, more deep brown. So we can say that it’s in the dark soy sauce side.

Also, it is usually used in adding color to any dish, so it’s basically on the darker side, giving color to the dish than flavor.

Is Kikkoman A Koikuchi Shoyu? 

soy sauce on a bowl

Yes. Although some supermarkets in the US don’t display the type on their labels, Kikkoman’s All-Purpose Naturally-Brewed soy sauce is actually a type of koikuchi.

In Japan, the most common type of soy sauce used is called koikuchi. 

A good all-purpose choice is koikuchi shoyu, which you can use in various recipes, such as stir-frying, sauces, and gravies. 

If the recipe doesn’t specify which type of soy sauce is used, then it’s likely that the dish is made with koikuchi shoyu.


Is Kikkoman the same as light soy sauce?

No. Kikkoman is not exactly the same as light soy sauce. The thicker, sweeter, and full-bodied character of Kikkoman soy sauce differs from light soy sauce’s thinner and salty character. 

But Kikkoman soy sauce is slightly similar to Chinese light soy sauces in terms of use. 

How do I know if my soy sauce is dark or light?

To know if the soy sauce is dark or light, you can refer to its color. Basically, light soy sauce features a lighter hue (reddish brown), and dark soy sauce features a darker hue (dark brown).

Also, you can check the viscosity. Light soy sauce features a thin texture, while dark soy sauce has a thicker texture.  

What is Kikkoman made of? 

The four basic ingredients used in making Kikkoman soy sauce [1] are wheat, salt, water, and soybeans.

Kikkoman soy sauce is made under the traditional method of Japanese brewing known as “honjozo.” 

This method utilizes the natural powers of fermentation to create a unique flavor.


Kikkoman is a famous soy sauce brand – a perfect accompaniment to Japanese dishes like Yakisoba and Gyudon and other favorite dishes like pan-fried meat, roast, vegetables, and fish. 

It’s a type of dark soy sauce due to its smooth texture, sweeter taste, and dark shade.

Though it differs from light soy sauces, Kikkoman is a versatile food additive made from four simple ingredients yet gives a unique flavor. 


Shari Mason

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