How can I reuse or recycle … out of date soy sauce?

Soy sauceWe’ve had an email from Katy Duvall:

I was cleaning out my cupboards yesterday and found forgotten nearly full bottle of soy sauce. It was so forgotten about that it went out of date nearly two years ago! My boyf thinks we should just bin it but it’s such a big bottle that I’d rather not. Any ideas?

I’m always skeptical of dates on condiments – or rather I forget to check them and find we’ve been using the same jar of mustard for about three years – so if it looked ok, I’d be tempted to use it anyway – but any other suggestions?

I wonder if dark soy can be used for dyeing/staining purposes… At the moment, I can only think of using it to “antique” paper for making ye olde treasure maps but I wonder if it can be used on wood or the like too. Anyone know?

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7 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle … out of date soy sauce?”

  1. trish says:

    I would think that with all the salt in soy sauce it would still be ok to use..

    It does dye things dark brown, but you’d prolly need a whole lot to color anything of use. I do like the bottles though, you can refill it with other cooking stuff like oil so that you have an easy to control container.

  2. Anita says:

    I would think you could use it to clean some copper pots, along w/ some lemon juice to make them sparkle.

  3. Zoe says:


    If it is a nice bottle you could turn the bottle into a flower vase?

    I agree with the above that it’s probally safe to eat.

  4. Laurence says:

    Just use it. If it is proper soy sauce without loads of additives, then it will keep for years. In fact it often improves in taste. I have some tamari which is approaching 20 years old. A drop here or there is a revelatory experience.

  5. maggie says:

    well, you could always clean it well, then stick a couple sprigs of fresh rosemary and fill it with olive oil. leave it somewhere that you will remember to shake it every day for a couple of weeks (give or take, depending on how strong you want it) and…voila! rosemary-infused oil for cooking or dipping bread or dry skin!

  6. renee says:

    I use it to antique paper and fired clay in my art projects. It works beautifully…and yes it does get better with age. I’ve got a bottle 15 years old…amazing stuff.

  7. kittykat says:

    Me thinks Soy sauce was invented by the Asians, not as a condiment, but as a by-product of food preservation. I honestly think the older it is, the better! After asking several professional chefs “Hey, how is it possible for a preservative to go out of date?” Here is what one of them explained to me: Theoretically, this stuff should improve with age because it is fermented, like wine. But the problem is if you don’t have it sealed air tight, well,”stuff” can get in there. Like; insects, mold spores, yeasts, common dust, or bacteria. Yum NOT! So, If you have old soy sauce you wish to keep put it in a small saucepan and boil it for 10 minutes, then run it through a coffee filter into a clean glass container with a lid to keep the aforementioned unwanted stuff out and Enjoy!

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