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Nama Shoyu - What is Nama Shoyu?

Nama shoyu is unpasteurized soy sauce - but is it raw?


Definition: In Japanese, nama means raw (or unpasteurized) and shoyu means soy sauce. Nama Shoyu is raw, unpasteurized soy sauce popular amongst those following a raw food diet.

Though the product is heated well above the raw-allowed 115°F, it is still used by many raw foodists because it contains living enzymes. The Ohsawa brand Nama Shoyu is fermented, or cultured, in the traditional way, in wooden barrels under the sun. The label boasts "living enzymes and beneficial organisms".

Pure raw foodists don't consume this product because it isn't technically raw, but the depth of flavor it adds to dishes remains crucial to many and is regularly incorporated in the diets of raw foodists as well as in most raw food restaurants. The presence of the living enzymes seems to supercede the heating that takes place before the culturing process. The same goes for foods like fermented cashew cheese, though the cashews may not be raw, the presence of so much living enzymatic activity makes up for it.

You can also make your own substitute for Nama Shoyu if you are gluten-free or simply prefer a fresh, truly raw experience.

Best Uses for Nama Shoyu in Raw Food Preparation:

  • Marinades
  • Dipping Sauce (for lettuce wraps or raw nori rolls)
  • Raw Soup Stock
  • Salad Dressings
  • Sauces

Recipes using nama shoyu:

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