womenSoy Sauce is a seasoning ingredient used on a daily basis by many housewives and restaurants. In the seventeenth century, soy sauce was produced completely by hand and proved to be extremely difficult work. Today, soy sauce is produced in highly automated plants using cutting edge technology yet the core process of natural brewing hasnt changed for centuries. Here in Belize, thanks to the good relationship we share with the Republic of China, a number of women from the Orange Walk and Corozal districts are learning the process of making Soy Sauce. The training started today with two Womens Group from the Corozal District and our team was there for the first step of the process.

Carmelita Perez- Reporting

The process of making Soy Sauce is a long and complicated one. It takes time and concentration to ensure that the Soy Sauce is processed the right way.

Today, thanks to the Government of Belize and the Republic of China Taiwan, 10 Women’s Groups from the Corozal District are learning the process of making Soy Sauce. Two of the groups gathered today at the Corozal Agricultural Department where Soy Sauce expert Huang Carson showed them step one of the entire process.

The soy beans are first soaked in water overnight. They are then washed thoroughly and after all the water is drained out they are steamed for approximately one hour.

Huang Carson- Soy Bean Producer

“Washing the soy bean and then we steam cooking I want to emphasize on steam cooking because I want to keep the soy bean protein inside and not in the water. And then we activate the bacteria we call it the soy sauce fungi and then about two days later with Belize temperature two days is enough. We keep doing the second time of fermentation which will be almost six months.

Carmelita Perez- Reporter

“How long will the soy bean be streamed for?”

Huang Carson- Soy Bean Producer

“For about an hour.”

women-1Carmelita Perez- Reporter

“And then what is the procedure?”

Huang Carson- Soy Bean Producer

“We activate the fungi we take it out the steamer and then place them on racks and let it cool down by placing the pans on these racks. The temperature needs to be about 25 centigrade it cannot be too hot or else the fungi will die.”

In order for the soy bean to be ready for fermentation it needs to be turned constantly for more than eight hours. After that step is completed the trays of Soy Beans will be placed on these racks, covered and left to ferment for two days.

Huang Carson- Soy Bean Producer

“The fungi activate you will have the soy beans surface and then fungi everybody know can affect roots and the affected roots can go inside the soy bean and stand out and then he can absorb the protein of the soy bean and then the flavour come out. The fungi very strong and then we can keep going for the second time of fermentation.”

Soy Bean processing is a lot of work but according to Carson it will bring great benefit to the the various groups and also to Belize.

Huang Carson- Soy Bean Producer

“This project I spend about two years to persuade Taiwan and Belize Government because it is new for the country and not only for this country but for Central America and South America. Why that is good question in other country we don’t want to do that. Well because it will raise imports. In Belize I have been here for almost five years and I know we have to take it step by step otherwise the women group or community and the family income will always stay there.”

Each group will process 50lbs of Soy Bean, producing one drum or 55 gallons of Soy Sauce which will then be sold to the local market. For the Chunox Women’s Group learning to make Soy Sauce is the opportunity of a lifetime.

Amanda Cassanova- Chunox Women’s Group

“Para que las mujeres tengan trabajo porque en la aldea de Chunox no ay nada de actividad para las mujeres que hagamos. Cuando escuchamos del proyecto decidimos hacer algo para la aldea y para las mujeres.”

women-3Carmelita Perez- Reporter

“Cuando ya aprendan como hacer la salsa de soya van a coinvertir lo en un negocio?”

Amanda Cassanova- Chunox Women’s Group

“Si lo queremos hacer un negocio para nosotros. Nos va a ayudar en sostener a nuestras familias, y educar a nuestros hijos y prosperar para el futuro.”

For the Soy Sauce to be ready for consumption it will take some six months, but according to Jose Tillett from the Corozal Agricultural Department a study has shown that there is a market for Soy Sauce in Belize.

Jose Tillett- Corozal Agricultural Department

“The Soy Sauce market out there we already got feasibility study right now we are working on a questioner which we will be sending to the restaurant the city, here and Orange Walk and afterwards depending on the answer of the public everything is going to be incorporated. That’s how we are going to market it.”

Carmelita Perez- Reporter

“You mention the feasibility study what has it shown is soy sauce marketable here in our country?”

Jose Tillett- Corozal Agricultural Department

“Yes it is Mr Carson did the study and we already got the information on what is imported and it is a big amount.”

So what happens after the Soy Beans have been fermented? Be sure to tune in to CTV3 News as we follow the entire process step by step. The workshop in Orange Walk is expected to commence in the next couple of weeks.

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