Soy sauce is a very popular condiment you see in restaurants and is often used in Asian cuisines. It is a brown and salty liquid that can also be used as a seasoning. It is made from fermented soybeans, salts, water, and roasted grains. With regards to its taste, it has an earthy umami flavor, which makes it one of the best and all-purpose seasoning.
If you have a bottle of soy sauce just sitting on your kitchen cabinet, you may ask this question: does soy sauce go bad? In this article, I am going to discuss its shelf life, how to properly store and some tips on how to determine if the soy sauce you have has gone rancid. I hope after reading this, you will be able to tell if your soy sauce has gone bad.
Does Soy Sauce Go Bad?
The answer to the above question depends on how it is stored. If the bottle of soy sauce is left unopened, it probably will not go bad. However, opened bottles of soy sauces can only last for at least 2 to 3 years. Soy sauce contains a ton of sodium, which makes it difficult for microorganisms to develop and grow, especially in a salty environment.
Opened bottles of soy sauce may slowly lose its flavor and taste over time. If the soy sauce is stored properly, it may be able to retain its freshness and flavor for an extended period of time. Below, you will also find some tips on how to properly store soy sauce, in order to extend its shelf life.
Bottles of soy sauce usually have an expiration or sell-by date. With this, you may still safely consume the soy sauce for your flavoring and seasoning needs, just as long it has been stored properly. It is noteworthy, however, that the quality may not be that great as an unopened one, as soy sauce from opened bottles slowly deteriorates over time.
The expiration or best before date will tell you how long the soy sauce should be at its best quality. This would mean that somewhere after that date, the soy sauce will start to lose it quality and the flavor will not be as good as an unopened one. If you would notice, the date indicated on the bottle is only a guideline and it can differ according to the brand.
An unopened bottle of soy sauce has an indefinite shelf life. Once opening the bottle, however, there are ways on how to prolong its shelf life. To get the most out of the flavor of your soy sauce, replace an opened bottle every six months. Not to worry, older soy sauce may lose its flavor but will definitely not harm you.
Don’t waste that bottle of soy sauce sitting in your kitchen cabinet. Below you will find some recipes using soy sauce:
How Do You Properly Store Soy Sauce?
If you still have your bottle of soy sauce unopened, you have to store it in a cool and dry place. Your pantry or kitchen cabinet will be the best places to store an unopened bottle of soy sauce. A constant temperature is best and should be away from the stove or the dishwasher, which can sometimes alter the temperature of food items stored near them.
If the soy sauce bottle is already opened, it should be kept with the lid tightly resealed. Like unopened ones, it should be stored in a cool and dry area. You also have the option to store it in the refrigerator to further extend its shelf life. It should be noted though that the quality may decline a lot faster if not refrigerated.
Little glass containers may not be suitable for soy sauce storage. These containers are only good and should only be used for daily serving purposes. If you are planning on utilizing the whole bottle over a couple of months, the kitchen cabinet or pantry should be fine. Just remember to reseal the bottle tightly.
How Do You Tell If The Soy Sauce Is Already Bad?
The reason why it is very important that you tightly reseal an opened bottle of soy sauce is that some impurities might find their way into the bottle and may start to grow mold. Unfortunately, this is the only way you can be sure that the soy sauce you have has already gone bad and if you should throw it away.
You just have to look for any sign of impurities or molds that may be present on the bottle of soy sauce. You can pour the contents of the bottle into a clear glass or small plate to make sure what’s floating on your soy sauce. Though it may be difficult to check, you can also do an odor test. If it gives off an unpleasant odor, throw it away.
Does soy sauce go bad? According to the discussions above, if left unopened, shelf life will be indefinite. However, if the bottle has been opened, it may be good for at least 2 to 3 years. To summarize, here are some of the important points mentioned above:
- The shelf life of an unopened bottle of soy sauce is indefinite, just as long it has been stored in a cool and dry place. The shelf life of an opened bottle of soy sauce is 2 to 3 years, and is highly dependent on how it is stored.
- If you see an appearance of molds, or if it gives off a bad odor, or if you are just not satisfied with its overall quality, you have to throw it away.
- The proper way to store a bottle of soy sauce is to keep it away from contaminants by sealing the bottle tightly after use. You also have to keep it in a cool and dry area, away from the sink or dishwasher.