Established in 1959
Known for: hand-brewed soya sauce entirely made from non-GMO soya beans.
“Nanyang Sauce was named after Old Singapore in gratitude of the new life my grandfather found here,” says Ken Koh, a third-gen member of the family business, on the story behind the name.
Tan Tiong How came to Singapore from China in the 40s. To remind him of home, he flavoured his food with his family’s signature soya sauce. He then started pedalling glass bottles of the stuff around town, knocking from door-to-door.
The thick, dark condiment is a kitchen staple in Singapore, playing a key role in local dishes like chicken rice, char kway teow and more. It has multiple layers of flavours including sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami, and make everything it’s cooked with taste better.
What makes it special? “One generation after another, we have been brewing fermented soya sauce the old school way – brewing it for nine months! We rely on the artisanal method of natural fermentation, using 100 percent nonGMO beans from Canada – all without chemical hydrolysis and MSG,” says Ken.
Thanks to the abundance of sunlight spanning 365 days, the island makes for a great setting to ferment soya beans. “Naturally fermented soya sauce works best at a temperature between 30 to 35 degrees,” explains Ken – sure sounds like Singapore and soya sauce are a match made in heaven to us.
Nanyang Sauce runs five types of workshops as part of its sauce academy. It doesn’t stop there either. “We plan to make the brand international, selling bottles in Australia and the United States in the next few years,” spills Ken.
DID YOU KNOW
The iconic swan and abacus brands of soya sauce that dominated market shelves years ago belong to Nanyang Sauce. “We still get customers who are surprised to learn that we are still around when they notice the logos in-store.”