How am I supposed to live without you…

All our lives we’ve been taking soy sauce, usually the dark version, and when we came across the mushroom soy in my younger days, we have stuck to it since. Unfortunately, like most other sauces on the shelves in the supermarket, they all contain wheat…

Mushroom soy

…so now that we are on a gluten-free diet, we will not be buying any of those anymore.

I bought this Thai fish sauce…

Thai fish sauce

…sometime ago and yes, it does not contain wheat and yes, it is very nice. In fact, I find it much nicer than the made-in-China “fish gravy” that I used to buy before, more fragrant and tastier. I would use it for my kampung (village-style) fried rice and as far as I know, Thais use it a lot for their exquisitely exotic dishes including their very delightful Pad Thai.

Thanks to Phong Hong, I came to know about the Tamari sauce and we managed to grab a bottle from an organic shop here, RM19.00 a bottle. Then, I spotted this Shouyu

Shoyu & Tamari sauce

…at a shop near my house selling all kinds of organic stuff. It was tagged at RM15.00 a bottle but the guy sold me it to me at RM14.00 without my asking and yes, there’s no wheat in the ingredients…

Shoyu ingredients

…and according to the information on the label…

Wheat and bran in soy sauce

…”…wheat flour and bran…will significantly weaken the aroma of say sauce…”.

Well, we’ve yet to open it to try as right now, we are using the Tamari sauce and as you can see from the badly-stained label, somebody has been making good use of it…while the very much cheaper Thai fish sauce seems somewhat neglected even though they would ask for more air budu whenever we go for the nasi kerabu at our favourite place in town. They taste and smell pretty much the same except that one is more refined and looks a whole lot clearer and cleaner.

I did try frying some rice with lap cheong using the Tamari sauce…

Lap cheong fried rice with Tamari suace 1

…and it turned out very nice…

Lap cheong fried rice with Tamari sauce 2

…I would say. In fact, I never added dark soy sauce when frying rice this way – I don’t like how its strong taste would overpower the fragrance of all the other ingredients used, the very reason why I would never order kampua noodles with dark soy sauce – it is all kicap!

The way things are going, it does look like we can live without a whole lot of things…or at least, we can resort to the alternatives available instead.

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

15 thoughts on “How am I supposed to live without you…”

  1. Have been using these throughout our lives. definitely can’t go without them for asian cuisine. Yeah i would never use dark soy in fried rice. Maybe perhaps fish sauce is good.

    I believe they use oyster sauce at the Chinese shops. I prefer fish sauce.

  2. Oh you’re going gluten-free diet now? That must be very interesting for you… I don’t think I can do that here in KL unless I have a lot of money or a lot of time which I don’t have. HAHAHA 😀 Fly lice looks good there. I don’t like too much kicap too 😀

  3. Recently I discovered Silver Swan soy sauce, made in the Philippines, which is very flavourful, best for braising meats.
    The fish sauce you bought is my favourite brand. Likes to use it for making fried rice too.

    Yes, I did not know they produce this too, only know their cooking oil. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that Filipino brand here – will look out for it.

  4. I just had a conversation with a friend last night who is gluten intolerant. Apparently there is a theory amongst many about the onset of the increase in gluten intolerance with the wide spread use of GMO (genetically modified organisms)… Interesting right?

    Yes, there is the danger of people taking advantage of it to push the sale of their products. Happens all the time with anything and everything. Seems the Golden Globe winner, Ryan Gosling, is on a gluten-free diet too. I don’t know but in my younger days, the old folks used to say, “Dirty eat, dirty fat!” (Translated from Hokkien) There was no emphasis on being too clean and probably, that would help build one’s immunity? And they sure lived very very long lives at the time.

  5. I bet Michael Bolton never imagined the title of his best-known song could somehow be associated with mushroom soy and fish sauce! Hehehe 😉

    Muahahahahaha!!! The Hair Disaster. I go back to the early 80’s when the since deceased Laura Branigan had a hit with it – used to sing it during my karaoke days. Bolton wrote it but he recorded it and made it a hit all over again a little later.

  6. Agree… in case you don’t know, i’ve stopped eating rice 5 years ago. Unless necessary (during food review), i don’t eat rice at all and if i had to, 2 mouthful at most

    Why? It’s ok for gluten-intolerant people, not wheat…and all wheat flour products…but anyway, less of rice is good – many other people are also going without it, or go for the unpolished or the less starchy ones like brown rice or basmati rice.

  7. Glad to know that now you can find gluten free soy sauce. As always, organic stuff aren’t cheap. Your fried rice looks really good. Yummsss!!!

    The irony of it all. Like anything with less or low sugar is much more expensive than the regular ones…when they actually need less sugar in the production.

  8. I bought a bottle of Thai fish sauce too.. but you know me, I haven’t tried frying rice with it as yet, since you said it is nice, I am going to do that one day. When I go to any organic shop, I will end up buying some stuff most times and they are costly.. bought a bottle of papaya powder for RM108… I think I am going to cut down going there, after a few words of recommendation, the heart is tempted.. hahaha..

    What is the papaya powder for? So expensive!!! I do not bother about those organic places usually – I’m not a very health-conscious kind of person but I do go and have a look around now as they do have some gluten-free stuff that is not available elsewhere here.

  9. That Knife brand fish sauce is good, eh? I have not tried it yet. So far I have been using the one that comes in a small bottle with a picture of a squid on its label. Will give Knife a try when mine runs out.

    Not sure if I’ve seen that around here. This one is stronger, more fragrant than the China one, Pearl River or whatever (they call it fish gravy). We had that in the house since I was small and though we did not use it very much, I would usually keep a bottle handy in the kitchen.

  10. I do like fish sauce, too, and also use it as a substitute for soy sauce in certain dishes.

    Yes, I use it in place of salt and msg in clear soups too, just a bit will enhance the taste.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at

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