Types of Asian Fermented Foods

There are hundreds of different types of fermented foods produced in China, Japan, the Philippines, and throughout Asia (Beuchat, 2001). However, there are two general types of fermented foods that are associated with or are indigenous to Eastern or Asian cuisines: those that are plant-based and those that are fish-based.The former are made using primarily soy and rice as substrates, but other grains and legumes are also used. For the most part, these soy-based fermentations have been industrialized and the products are now produced on a large scale. In addition, many of the microbiological and biochemical events that occur during the fermentation have been studied and defined. The fish-based products use various types of fish and seafood that are indigenous to the Orient. However, in contrast to the soy- or plant-based fermentations, the fish fermentations are generally not well defined, nor has there been, until recently, very much published research (at least in English-language journals)

on the microorganisms and biochemical reactions involved in their manufacture.

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