Does Soy Sauce Need to be Refrigerated?
Does soy sauce need to be refrigerated?
No, it doesn’t.
Why doesn’t soy sauce need to refrigerated?
The high salt content of soy sauce keeps it from spoiling. Salt is a natural preservative.
Soy sauce can be kept out on the counter for a few months.
Consider most Asian restaurants if you find this hard to believe. They leave soy sauce containers on the tables all day and night. It is a shelf stable product, but to extend its life beyond months and into years then it will remain fresher for longer if kept in the refrigerator.
So, the when making the decision as to where to store your soy sauce keep in mind how much you actually use the product in your house.
If you’re reaching for it daily, then keep it handy out on the counter – it’ll be gone soon anyway. If it’s a rarely used item, then you might want to stick it in the fridge to keep around until next time it’s needed.
According to Kikkoman, one of the largest producers of soy sauce, their soy sauce will begin to lose freshness once the bottle is opened and oxidation begins to slowly change the flavor. They say that “As long as no water or other ingredients have been added to the soy sauce, it would not spoil if it had not been refrigerated.”  But, they also say that the flavor and quality will remain peak for a longer amount of time if the soy sauce is refrigerated.
Another note from Kikkoman, helpful if you are having trouble trying to find out if your soy sauce is still fresh using our soy sauce page, is that they started placing best by dates on their product back in 2008. If you can’t find a best by date, then you’ve got a production date code and a pretty old bottle of soy sauce.