This condiment, popular in East Asian countries, has made its way around the world to give flavor and color to many dishes. From stir-fry to dipping sauces, soy sauce has so many uses.
But what happens when you’ve stored your soy sauce for a longer period of time, and you start to worry:
“Has my soy sauce gone bad? How long can it last anyway?”
Maybe you think the high salt content means soy sauce can last forever. Spoiler: you’re not correct.
In summary, soy sauce can last for a pretty long time as long as it is stored properly. However, it is best to consume your soy sauce within 2 -3 years to ensure you are consuming the best quality.
How To Tell If Your Soy Sauce Has Spoiled
If your soy sauce is not stored correctly, with its airtight cap on, some contaminants may enter the bottle and start to grow mold on the soy sauce.
If you are unsure how the bottle was stored, here is what you should look out for. Inspect the soy sauce for any signs of mold or impurities. Next, you should smell the contents of the bottle. If it has an off-smell, throw the soy sauce away.
Lastly, if you’re unsatisfied with the taste, discard the bottle. There’s no use in keeping it if you’re unhappy with the flavor.
It is important to remember that your soy sauce will change in color and flavor as it ages. It will become darker and stronger due to the process of oxidation. Despite these changes, it will still be safe to consume.
Storing Soy Sauce
Store your soy sauce in its original airtight container in a cool, dark place like the pantry. Also, keep the bottle away from areas that will alter its temperature.
Once opened, keep your soy sauce tightly sealed in its container or put it in the fridge for longer shelf life. The quality of your soy sauce deteriorates quicker if not kept in the fridge.
Now: different types of soy sauce have different spoilage times. Naturally brewed soy sauces will have an off-taste earlier than chemically processed soy sauces.
The Shelf Life Of Soy Sauce
If you have an unopened bottle of soy sauce, its lifespan is pretty much indefinite. However, to ensure the best quality for your dishes, use soy sauce within three years.
Once you have opened up your soy sauce, it should be good to go for a year or two.
Remember: fresh soy sauce is of better quality taste-wise and flavor-wise than one stored for three years.
Soy sauce is one of the more durable and long-lasting foods out there. But remember to store it in a dark, cool place with an airtight seal to keep it at its best.
The fermented soybeans, wheat, and high sodium content create the salty liquid condiment so many love. So do enjoy your soy sauce but don’t forget to watch for any possible spoilage that may have made its way into the bottle.