Soy sauce, or soya sauce, is a condiment that is prepared from fermented soya (or soy) beans, water, salt and wheat or barley flour. It is a commonly used ingredient in Chinese, Japanese and other Asian cuisines.
Soy sauce has a distinct umami taste, a result of the soy beans’ complex fermentation process. Its use as a seasoning dates back to ancient Asia, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. There are numerous types of soy sauce that vary in consistency and flavor. Soy sauce can be used as a table condiment. It can also be added to sauces, stews and marinades.