During the time that Dan Krohmer, chef-owner of Other Mama (3655 S. Durango Dr., Suite 6, 702-463-8382, OtherMamaLV.com) apprenticed on the island of Kyushu, Japan, he sliced a lot of sashimi and rolled a lot of sushi. He also became an expert in soy sauce. Krohmer learned quickly that this ubiquitous, fermented umami seasoning has much more to offer than the single brand most commonly available in grocery store—so much that his appreciation for the unique subtleties of shoyu inspired him to make his own brew, one small batch at a time.
Krohmer’s high-quality, house-made soy sauce goes through a complex barrel-aging process and is only available by request. He seasons a 10-liter oak barrel by filling it with his favorite bourbon, Buffalo Trace. For two weeks, the barrel takes up the essence of the whiskey with its rich, complex traces of vanilla, toffee and candied fruit.
Then, after removing the bourbon, Krohmer fills the barrel with the soy sauce, which had been steeping in kombu (kelp) and approximately 5 percent of the bourbon, and lets them mingle for two months. Later, he adds just the right amount of honey to balance out the flavors.
Krohmer says that every time he makes a new batch, he uses a little from the original, creating a unique solera-style soy sauce each time. This results in a darker, richer and more flavorful soy sauce that the chef recommends enjoying with fattier fishes. “We [consumers] spend so much money on fish,” says Krohmer. “Why not enjoy it with the highest possible quality soy sauce?” –Marisa Finetti