History of Soy Nuggets (Shih or Chi, Douchi, Hamanatto) - Page 2
A Special Report on The History of Traditional Fermented Soyfoods
A Chapter from the Unpublished Manuscript, History of Soybeans and Soyfoods: 1100 B.C. to the 1980s
by William Shurtleff and Akiko AoyagiCopyright 2007 Soyinfo Center, Lafayette, California
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1700-1948 . The Ho-han san-ts'ai t'u-hui (Trans??) of 1711 made the first known mention of soy nugget liquid (shih- ??), yet indicated that the product had reached its peak of popularity at an earlier time: "Nowadays, if people do not use chiang , they do not use shih ; they use soy sauce ( chiang yu ), not soy nugget liquid (shih- ??). The T'u shu chi ch'eng ( Chinese Imperial Encyclopedia , 1728) cited several earlier references to soy nuggets. Likewise the section on "Soybeans" by Wu Ch'i-chun in the Chih wu ming shih t'u kao (Trans?? 1848) gave very extensive information and translations on soy nuggets from previous sources, including a 5-page section entirely on soy nuggets. All was translated into English by Hagerty in 1917. Soy nuggets were said to be widely consumed in Shansi (made with large yellow or black soybeans) and Shantung (made with yellow soybeans).
In 1918 in "Beans and Bean Products" Shi Chi Yien of the Biology Department at Soochow University (just northwest of Shanghai) became the first Chinese to publish extensively about soy nuggets in English. His material, largely translated from the Pen-ts'ao kang-mu (Li 1578-97) was very similar to that of the Englishman Stuart (1911). He noted that salt-free soy nuggets were often cooked with meat and that salted soy nuggets were used like soybean jiang (Chinese soybean miso). He devoted a special section to the Mycoderma or soy nugget pellicle ( tou huang ) or huang tou?? described earlier as forming atop salt-free soy nuggets made from black soybeans. When a pellicle or film is formed atop the beans, it is taken off, dried in the sun, then ground to a powder, which is ready for use. Sweet and cooling in taste, it is used "to combine with pork fat and thus is made into pills for producing flesh."
1949-1980s . At the time of the founding of the People's Republic in 1949, the three basic varieties of Chinese salted soy nuggets were plain salted, salted with ginger, and salted with five-spice seasoning. Unsalted soy nuggets were no longer widely available. Salted soy nuggets were also used as the basis for a type of filtered soy sauce ( chiyou ). This may have been China's first soy sauce, since even today the solids remaining after drawing off the first liquid from regular Chinese soy sauce ( jiangyou ) are called "original chi" ( yuanchi ). Closely related products include: soy nugget jiang ( douchi jiang ) which is a ground paste; soy nugget and wheat sauce ( yuanshai chi , also called "brown bean sauce") in which the soy nuggets mixed with wheat flour, salt, and water may be either ground (to make mo yuanchi ) or left whole. To this basic sauce, various spices and seasonings may be added to create numerous varieties. In Sichuan large amounts of hot chilies and crushed peppercorns are added; in the northern provinces garlic and scallions are used; in Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces moderate amounts of sugar are used; and in Guangzhou (Canton) large amounts of sugar, garlic, and spices are used. But all are made from the same base (Lin 1976; Guo 1983).
In China, soy nuggets are made and used mostly in the south. They continue to be very popular as a seasoning, both among the peasants and in better restaurants. They may be sold in bulk or in small portions in plastic bags, cans, or jars at Jiang Gardens or dry foods stores. In the southwestern provinces, soy nuggets with hot chilies and spices are used as a main dish, but in most other areas they are used to season other dishes, especially bland foods such as eggplant or tofu. In much of Cantonese cooking, soy nuggets are used as the basic salt seasoning, since no free salt is used. Here they were used for making Black Bean Sauce, for flavoring other sauces, and in stir-fried dishes. They may be ground in a container with water and soy sauce, then added to stir-fried dishes or sauces for fish or meats. They gave a deeper, more complex flavor than straight salt (Harris et al. 1949; Shih 1962; Lin 1976; Anderson and Anderson 1977; Shurtleff 1983b).
Chinese salted soy nuggets are used medicinally in a mixture to treat rhinitis (inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose) or sore throat. In Beijing today they are widely used as a remedy for fever.
As they spread to Japan, Chinese salted soy nuggets became the ancestor of Japanese savory soy nuggets ( Hamanatto , which are slightly softer than Chinese soy nuggets), Daitokuji soy nuggets ( Daitokuji natto ), Hatcho miso, tamari shoyu, tamari miso, and (in combination with wheat) regular Japanese shoyu. Chinese salt-free soy nuggets may have been the earliest ancestor of natto, Japan's sticky fermented whole soybeans.
HISTORY OF SOY NUGGETS IN JAPAN
Early Developments (746-1700s) . When Chinese soy nuggets ( shih ) entered Japan from China, they were called kuki , but the name was written with the same Chinese character. One of Japan's foremost authorities on fermented soyfoods and on soy nuggets, Dr. Hiroshi Ito (1976), believes that soy nuggets were probably introduced to Japan by the late Yayoi period (AD 200-300, corresponding to the later Han dynasty in China), at which time they were already popular in China and there was a strong Chinese cultural influence in Japan.
During the Nara and early Heian periods in Japan (corresponding to the T'ang dynasty in China), soy nuggets were definitely introduced to Japan by Buddhist monks who went to China to practice meditation and by Chinese immigrants. The earliest appearance of the character for soy nuggets in Japan dates from AD 746 (Nara Period). Archaeological excavations of the Heijokyo palace at Nara revealed two wooden tax placards ( mokkan ) on which were written "Musashino Kuni, Chichibu, 1 to soy nuggets, 18th year of Tempyo." This means that in 746 the area of Chichibu in the realm of Musashino (just northwest of today's Tokyo) sent 4.76 gallons of soy nuggets to the capital at Nara as a tax payment. Records show that soybeans were widely grown in Chichibu at this time and that workers had come from China to Chichibu as early as AD 708 to teach copper mining to the Japanese there. They probably also brought the technique for making soy nuggets.
The Buddhist monks who went to China learned to make soy nuggets, then returned home with the new art. An early center of production was the city of Nara, located 27 miles south of Kyoto, and the capital of Japan from 710-784. There in the great temples of Kofukuji and Todaiji the monks are thought to have made salty soy nuggets, served them as part of the meatless diet, and used them as gifts to parishioners at the O-bon and New Years holiday seasons, and perhaps as gifts to those who helped copy scriptures. Two documents from the year 770 ( Issetsu Kyosho Kaibun and Hosha Issetsu Kyo ) mentioned soy nuggets ( kuki ), apparently giving the price or tax for a certain amount. A similar document was published in 772 (Kawamura and Tatsumi 1972).
In 754 Ganjin, the blind Chinese Buddhist priest mentioned earlier, arrived in Japan bringing with him 1,428 gallons of salt-free soy nuggets. Later records show that this same fermented soyfood was prepared at his temple (Toshodaiji in Nara, where he founded the Japanese Ritsu or "precepts" sect), carried by foot the 26 miles to Kyoto, and peddled there in the streets. In the late 700s the Ch'i-min yao-shu (the world's first encyclopedia of agriculture, mentioned above), arrived in Japan. Containing descriptions of soy and barley nuggets, it played a key role in the spread and popularization of these products. Other documents written in the late Nara Period (AD 710-784) also mention kuki (soy nuggets).
In the period from the 11th to the 17th century, the Japanese began to transform the salty soy nuggets introduced from China into a number of uniquely Japanese foods, such as Daitokuji soy nuggets, savory soy nuggets (Hamanatto), Hatcho miso, and the like. The history of these individual products will be discussed shortly. Also during this period soy nuggets were fermented in a salt brine, which was then filtered off to make kuki-jiru (soy nuggets sauce or liquid), a forerunner of today's shoyu. And in 1254 Kinzanji kuki is said to have been developed at Kokokuji temple by the Buddhist priest Kakushin, who also developed one of the forerunners of shoyu (Ichiyama 1968; see also Chapter 34). As the Japanese transformed kuki into various new foods, they gave them new names.
The two new foods into which kuki was transformed were both referred to as types of natto . The word and character for natto first appeared in 1068??, during the late Heian or Fujiwara period, in the Shinsaru Gakushu (Trans??) by Fujiwara Akihira, whose epicurean sister was said to love usu-shiokara natto: usu means to get in the sun or pound with a mortar; shiokara means salty. These salty soy nuggets were made with 10 parts by weight of both soybeans and barley flour, and 3 parts of salt. The first character of the word "natto" (pronounced "na" in Chinese or "osameru" in Japanese) meant "to make an offering, to offer up, to supply, or to contribute." The second character meant "soybean or bean." According to the Honkan Shokkan (Trans??), written in 1697, the meaning of the first character derived from the fact that natto were first prepared in Japanese temple kitchens, which were known as na-ssho , "the place where food was offered to the Buddha before being supplied to the monks."
At the time of the first written use of the word natto , it was preceded by an adjective, stating that these soy nuggets were salty. The use of this adjective probably implied that by this time a salt-free natto, an early form of today's "stringy natto" made with a bacterial fermentation, was already well known. Salty soy nuggets soon came to be known generically by a variety of names. Shio natto and shiokara natto both meant "salty soy nuggets." Since the propagation of salty "natto" throughout Japan was done primarily by temples they also came to be known as "temple natto" ( tera-natto ). Because they became the basis for soybean miso, they were also called miso natto . But they were most widely known as kara natto . The word kara is written with the character usually used to refer to China or, more specifically, T'ang dynasty China. Before Japan had any relations with China, however, the term apparently meant simply "from the Continent" and was first applied to Korea. The term was later adapted by the early Korean Japanese "kara" clan and is still seen today in the name of the Karakuni Shrine in Nara. The changes in meaning given by the ancient Japanese ruling class (many of whom were Korean), were apparently intended to prove that Japan was separate from and unrelated to Korea.
There are probably two basic reasons that the Japanese phased out the Chinese character shih ( kuki ) and coined the new term natto to replace it: first because of a movement during the Heian period (starting in about 894) to Japanize imported words and characters, and second because the Japanese had begun to transform the Chinese soy nuggets into new and different products.
It is interesting to note that today in Japan, the word natto is used to refer to a food which bears almost no resemblance to the original natto (salty soy nuggets) except that today's natto are also made from whole soybeans, but by a 1-day bacterial fermentation and without the use of salt, to produce a product with an unusual ammonia smell from which sticky threads arise if it is touched (see Chapter 38).
By the late 1600s and early 1700s (Tokugawa period) soy nuggets came to be respected for their medicinal properties as described in books such as the Honcho Shokkan (Trans?? 1695) and Wakan Sansai Zukai (Trans?? 1711). The latter work described how to produce a variety containing ginger.
In Japan the salty soy nuggets initially served as a source of protein and of savory, rich flavor in Buddhist vegetarian diets. They were said to embody the flavor of Zen. Eventually tea masters used them in place of tea cakes ( chauke ) with thin whisked tea ( usucha ) or bancha tea. And they became popular among the people in central Japan sprinkled as a seasoning over hot rice, then doused with hot green tea to make Ochazuke .
Daitokuji Soy Nuggets ( Daitokuji Natto ). In AD 794 Japan's capital was moved from Nara to Kyoto. Eventually soy nuggets followed. Ikkyu Sojun (1396-1481) was a famous priest and Zen Master of the Rinzai sect, and a literary figure noted for his eccentricities. In 1474 he became head of Daitokuji temple, located in the northern part of Kyoto. He founded (or was associated with) Shinju-an, a sub-temple within the grounds of Daitokuji. He encouraged everyone to constantly meditate, no matter what they were doing. It is said that he learned the method for making soy nuggets originally transmitted from China and passed it on to his students and disciples, one of whom founded Ikkyu, a small shop (subtemple?? run by monks??) that in 1984 was in its 17th generation, located just outside the gates of Daitokuji's huge compound. Ikkyu, the first commercial producer, has carried on the tradition to this day, largely as a secret transmission, using the ancient natural method, that is rarely if ever shown to outsiders. An entire year's supply of Daitokuji soy nuggets is produced during a 10-day period starting between July 15 and August 1, in the heat of summer, when direct exposure to the fierce sunlight allows proper drying. A mixture of cooked, mashed soybeans, roasted barley four, and koji starter ( Aspergillus oryzae mold spores) is shaped into 3/4-inch diameter balls (a unique innovation), arranged on shallow wooden trays, incubated, sun-dried, pickled in brine, re-dried, then shaped into individual chunks the size of large raisins for use or sale. The total process takes about 3 months. The resulting product contains 29.2% moisture, 19.7% protein, and 16.8% salt. In 1984 Daitokuji soy nuggets sold for about three times as much as savory soy nuggets (Hamanatto).
Another traditional maker of these Kyoto-style soy nuggets is Ikkyuji temple, located south of Kyoto. It is said that the priest Ikkyu left Daitokuji for Ikkyuji and took the soy nugget tradition with him. Ikkyuji's soy nuggets, a unique product, are called Ichimei Ikkyuji Natto ; about 330 pounds a year are made in traditional wooden vats for tourists and the process is shown to all who are interested. Another traditional product is Tenryuji soy nuggets ( Tenryuji natto ) made at Tenryuji temple in Arashiyama, west of Kyoto. The largest modern producer is Moriguchi Shokuhin (founded 1879), whose plant in Shiga prefecture makes about 2,600 pounds a year, from mid-July to August. Actually the latter product may be closer to savory soy nuggets (Hamanatto) then to Daitokuji soy nuggets. In Nara, a related product called Jofukuji-natto is produced.
Savory Soy Nuggets (Hamanatto). Savory soy nuggets are made at various places in and around the city of Hamamatsu and Lake Hamana in Shizuoka prefecture. Excellent and detailed information about their history and production of the various types has been given by Ito (1976), from which much of the following is drawn. Savory soy nuggets first became known when the monks of Daifukuji temple presented some to the seventh Ashikaga shogun, Ashikaga Yoshikatsu, sometime during the late 1400s. During the Warring States era (1467-1568) of the Muromachi Period, the monks also presented savory soy nuggets to lords of the families of Imagawa, Toyotomi, and Tokugawa. When Toyotomi Hideyoshi undertook his Korean campaigns in the late 1500s, he took with him lots of savory soy nuggets, which were light in weight and rich in protein. When he arrived in the ancient province of Hizen in northwest Kyushu, just before his soldiers embarked in boats to invade Korea, he took some savory soy nuggets (they were then called kara-natto ) from his armor case, put them on an offering tray with some sake, and made an offering to the gods together with the verse " Kara o osamete mame ," a complex double entendre: Kara means both Korea and the first character in the name of the soy nuggets; osameru, the Japanese reading of the na in natto, can mean either "to make an offering" or (written with a different character) "to subjugate or rule." Mame means either "beans" or "healthy and robust." Thus the offering of the soy nuggets was made to help him conquer Korea--which he promptly did, in 1592. After returning to the Hamamatsu area in central Japan he donated land to Daifukuji temple, the original makers of the savory soy nuggets, to encourage their craft.
It is said that regular production of savory soy nuggets began in Hamamatsu in about 1570 when Tokugawa Ieyasu (the first Tokugawa shogun and ruler of Japan from 1600 to 1670) became lord of Hamamatsu castle. He encouraged production of this nutritious, lightweight, long-lasting food, which he used as a provision for his solders. At this time Horinji temple joined Daifukuji as a producer. Each year the local monks gave savory soy nuggets as a gift to the shogun, who in turn used them as a New Year's offering. Still later, produced by temple cooks and craftsmen, they were given as a New Year's gift to parishioners. The food had developed a symbolic meaning since the Japanese word for soybeans ( mame ) also means "diligent or hardworking." During the 1750s the great Zen master Hakuin visited his disciple Kodo Zenji, head of Horinji and said, "Savory soy nuggets are part of our Zen life; make them well and share them with your parishioners." Shortly thereafter Kodo, while walking in the mountains, thought of adding sansho seeds (the seeds of the tree Zanthoxylum piperitum , from which a green pepper is made) to the soy nuggets to impart a distinctive flavor. Horinji is now proud that it was the first temple to make Hamanatto seasoned with sansho. A similar product had been introduced in China just a thousand years earlier. In 1763 Hakuin and 113 of his disciples again visited Horinji and suggested that savory soy nuggets be introduced and sold to the outside world.
Up until 1868 the main producer of savory soy nuggets was Daifukuji temple; they called their product kara-natto until about 1730, then subsequently Hamana-natto after lake Hamana, on whose shores it was made. In 1868 Yamaya, a producer of tamari shoyu under the direction of Mr. Yasuke Suzuki, attempted to make an improved variety of savory soy nuggets, for which they coined the name Hamanatto . This was the first time this term had been used. Thus the Japanese name of the product evolved historically in the following sequence: shiokara-natto , kara-natto , Hamana-natto , and Hama-natto .
Traditionally savory soy nuggets were made in temples each year from the end of September until mid-December; Hamamatsu's cold autumn winds proved ideal for drying the beans. (Recall that Daitokuji soy nuggets were made in mid-summer.) In 1973 Hamana, one of the four producers, stopped making soy nuggets, choosing instead to buy them from Yamaya. In 1977 the remaining producers, with annual production were: Yamaya (50 tonnes; metric tons), Daifukuji (5 tonnes), and Horinji (3 tonnes). All were located in the vicinity of Hamamatsu in central Japan; 50% of their savory soy nuggets were consumed in this vicinity, and most of the rest was sold at department stores in Tokyo or (sugar coated) in Kyoto. Savory soy nuggets were produced at Daifukuji and Horinji by traditional temple methods handed down from generation to generation since ancient times, and at Yamaya by a modern, large-scale method intended to improve on traditional methods without causing a loss of quality.
Yamaya and Horinji use closely related methods. Soybeans are soaked for several hours, drained, steamed thoroughly, then allowed to stand overnight in the steamer so that the color darkens. Ground roasted wheat flour mixed with koji starter ( Aspergillus oryzae mold spores) is stirred into the warm beans and the mixture is incubated at 25-38* C for 4 days, during which time it is stirred twice. The soybean koji is sun-dried for 3-5 hours then packed into 19-gallon wooden vats and topped with a pressing lid weighted with heavy stones. Salt water is poured in, then the product is aged for 5-6 months in winter or 2-3 months in summer. The beans are drained and again sun-dried on straw mats for 4-5 hours in winter or 2-3 hours in summer. Slivered or thinly sliced gingerroot, which has been pickled in shoyu (soy sauce) for 6 months is now mixed with the finished product, which contains 38.9% moisture, 24.5% protein, and only 9.8% salt, only 59% as much salt as Daitokuji soy nuggets. At Horinji, a Rinzai Zen temple, sansho seeds, which have been pickled in salt and tamari, are mixed in with the pickled gingerroot.
Daifukuji, the oldest maker, is a pretty 800-year-old mountain Shingon temple located 1 hour by car or train northwest of Hamamatsu, at the end of a cedar-lined lane. They still make their product in the fall, are finished by April or May, and they still call it Hamana-natto. The method is similar to that described above except that (1) roasted barley flour is used in place of wheat, (2) the koji is inoculated naturally from spores on the trays, (3) the first sun drying is omitted, and (4) bits of the salt-pickled inside bark of the sansho tree are added before sun drying.
Modern Developments with Soy Nuggets (1900-1982) . The earliest known scientific investigations on soy nuggets in Japan were by S. Sawa, who in 1902 wrote "Note on Hamanatto, a Kind of Vegetable Cheese" in English. He stated that Hamanatto, like miso and natto, were all types of vegetable cheese, thus confusing generations of Westerners. Noting that Hamanatto was made in the central provinces of Japan, especially Mikawa and Totomi, he also described the production process.
Soy-beans are well washed, boiled to softness, spread on straw mats, and mixed with wheat flour (6 liters to 10 liters soy-beans). Mold fungi will now develop, but soon afterwards this mixture is exposed to direct sunlight for 3 days, probably to kill the fungi, and is then put into flat tubs. After 12-13 days some common salt and ginger are added. The entire mass is then kept in tubs under pressure for about 30 days.
The finished nuggets, not including the ginger, contained 3.57% "albuminoid nitrogen" (about 22.3% protein), 44.7% moisture, and 18.5% ash, including added salt. Sawa also noted that at least three different kinds of bacteria existed in the product. Another early technical article was published in 1932 in Hakko Kogaku Zasshi (17:772 Ref??).
The next known research started in the 1970s. Watanabe et al. (1971) published a detailed description of the process for making savory soy nuggets (Hamanatto). Kon and Ito (1975 Ref??) found that the main microorganisms in the Hamanatto fermentation were strains of Aspergillus oryzae , Streptococcus , and Pediococcus . The A. oryzae strain was dark olive green and produced strong proteolytic, but not amylolytic, enzymes. As mentioned above, the most extensive and comprehensive report on Hamanatto was by Ito (1976). Some historical information was given by Natto Enkaku-shi by ?? (1975). In 1980 total production of soy nuggets in Japan was estimated at 63-65 tonnes a year (Source??).
HISTORY OF SOY NUGGETS
IN SOUTHEAST ASIA
In Southeast Asia, soy nuggets are only found in the form of sauces or pastes, presumably because they keep longer immersed in a brine. The etymology of the names seems to indicate that they were brought over, probably by Chinese craftsmen, cooks, and settlers, from southern China, probably Hokkien?? or Canton??
Philippines . Philippine soy nugget sauce ( tausi or tao-si ) is made in basically the same way as savory soy nuggets (Hamanatto) except that when the soybean koji is ready, it is transferred to earthenware crocks or wooden vats, covered with an 18% brine, then sunned for 5 days when it ripens. Then it is allowed to stand in the shade for at least 2 months, preferably 6 months, after which it is used as is, or sold canned. It is most widely used sauteed with crab ( Alimongo Tausi ), a milkfish plus eggplant and bitter gourd ( Bangus Tausi ), or Asian spinach ( Kangkung Tausi ). The first known description of the process was given in 1939 in the Handbook of Philippine Agriculture .
Malaysia . Malaysian soy nugget sauce ( tao si ) is made in basically the same way as the Philippine product.
HISTORY OF SOY NUGGETS IN THE WEST
History of Soy Nuggets in Europe . The earliest known reference to soy nuggets in the West was in 1855, when the noted sinologist Stanislas Julien wrote a letter from China to the Society for Acclimatization in Paris. He wrote:
One reads in the Imperial Encyclopedia of Agriculture (T'u shu shih ch'eng, 1728) that soybeans come in blacks, whites, yellows, grays, etc. . . . The black ones can be used medicinally, can be eaten, and are an ingredient in the condiment called chi, which is composed of soybeans, ginger, and salt.
Paillieux (1880) republished this letter, noting that the product could be called either chi or Teou-chi ( tou-ch'i ). In 1901 the Englishman Hosie stated that two of China's black soybean varieties were pickled for food; he was probably referring to soy nuggets. The first specific reference to soy nuggets in English was in 1911, when Stuart published the most detailed information to date, mostly good translations from ancient Chinese sources, and especially the Pen ts'ao kang mu . This material on "bean relish" (salted beans, ta-tou-shih ) was quoted earlier. After that time, there are no known references to soy nuggets in Europe.
History of Soy Nuggets in the United States . The first information about soy nuggets to reach America was found in the two English publications by Hosie (1901) and Stuart (1911), and in the detailed discussion by Shih (1918) from China, each cited earlier. But the first widely read presentation appeared in 1923 in The Soybean by Piper and Morse, who gave a half-page discussion of Hamanatto, including much of the information presented by Sawa (1902). During Morse's travels in Japan from 1929-1931, he noted that "Hamanatto has a flavor like dill pickles." A.K. Smith, in notes of his soybean researches in China, described the production and use of Chinese salty soy nuggets based on a description given him by Hi-Leng Lin of the Department of Agricultural Chemistry at the National Central University, Nanking. In his writings from a later trip to Japan (1958) Smith gave a detailed description of Hamanatto, plus a good photograph of the product in wooden kegs fermenting. In 1949 Harris and his five Chinese co-workers at MIT discussed Chinese "fermented soybeans" ( tou chi ), and published the West's first nutritional analysis. The product contained 53.2% water, 16% ash, and 2.2% nitrogen (13.8% protein), plus various vitamins and minerals.
Hesseltine (1965) described the product briefly, then Hesseltine and Wang (1972) and Wang and Hesseltine (1979) gave additional detailed information on Hamanatto and Chinese soy nuggets based on information obtained from Dr. Kaneko of Nagoya University. In 1976-77 Birnbaum did extensive original research on soy nugget production in the Kyoto area by plant visits; the unpublished documents were donated to The Soyinfo Center. In May 1982, Sunset magazine published the first known article in the West on cooking with soy nuggets. They gave five original American-style recipes, each calling for the salted soy nuggets to be rinsed under water in a wire strainer to remove excess salt.
As of 1982 there were no known manufacturers of any type of soy nuggets in the Western world. In most countries, however, the various types were widely available at Chinese or Japanese food stores, usually labeled as "Salted Black Beans." In addition to salt and (black) soybeans, typical ingredients included gingerroot, five-spice powder, or orange peel. Soy nuggets are nice in Western-style dishes served as an hors d'oeuvre, or sprinkled over fried eggs, noodles, spaghetti, brown rice, or oatmeal.