General Question

Ela's avatar

Does Soy Sauce ever go bad?

Asked by Ela (6496points) May 27th, 2012

There is no expiration date on the bottle. I remember soy sauce smells like dirty socks to me, well, this smells like a doctor’s dirty socks, somewhat antiseptic-y, I’d say. I’m making pepper steak from scratch and it tastes fine, but it got me to wondering…
Does Soy sauce ever spoil? How about Worcestershire sauce? If so, how can you tell?
Are there some foods that never actually go bad or spoil?

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9 Answers

blueberry_kid's avatar

I’ve had the same soy sauce in my fridge for about two years, I still use it, and it takes fine to me. Salt is a preservative plus it’s a fermented (brewed) product but I find the longer you keep it around, the more likely you’ll end up with that supersalty sludge at the end of the bottle due to settling salt and evaporation. I’ll usually toss the last remaining half inch or so from a gallon jug or try to “red cook” something with it as it’s really too salty to use as you would regular soy sauce. Soy sauce has very high sodium in it.

wallabies's avatar

I’ve seen it go bad. It just tastes funky. You know how bad fish tastes fishy, well bad soy sauce tastes fermented. W-sauce I’ve never seen go bad, but I keep that refer’d. There are def some foods that can last a long time, but everything expires eventually.

WestRiverrat's avatar

When I was stationed in Korea, one of the Korean families I got friendly with were using a sauce that had been in the family for at least 5 generations. Not the recipe, the sauce, it replenishes and sterilizes each time they cook with it.

Sunny2's avatar

Soy sauce may get a bit thick. Worcestershire seems to be unaware of the passage of time. I’ve never known either to spoil.

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bongo's avatar

Worcestershire sauce is the best sauce from the best county in the UK. Not that I am biased and grew up there
Either way, both sauces last for years, both are too salty to really spoil and Worcs sauce is already made out of 18 month old rotten (fermented) anchovies so I dont think it can really go off anymore as it is already technically rotten with some added salt and special ingredients!

marinelife's avatar

“If you’ve found a bottle of soy sauce that’s a few years old you’ve probably asked yourself the question “does soy sauce go bad?”. Fortunately for you, your soy sauce probably is fine. Soy sauce contains a ton of sodium, so it’s extremely difficult for any microorganism to develop and grow in that salty environment. The taste of soy sauce will, however, deteriorate over time.”

Does It Go Bad?

PetLoverHi's avatar

I have never had any shoyu (soy sauce) go bad and I buy it by the gallon. Even when I stock up and have it for a year it does not go bad, I do not put it in the fridge either. I have never had Worcestershire sauce go bad, but I have had it loose some of its flavor, its just not like a new bottle but not “bad”. I know that vinegar will last a long time (white and stored correctly), other vinegars do not. Try buying some good shoyu (soy sauce) like Yamasa or Kikoman, not that stuff that you find in most grocery stores in their oriental sections, some of them are just salt and caramel coloring. Amazon has both of the ones I mentioned above online if you can’t find it near your place. BTW Yamasa is my favorite.

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