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Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 醤油キャラメルアイスクリーム

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  • Homemade vanilla ice cream reaches its new height with a generous drizzle of soy sauce caramel. An interplay of savory, sweet and creative flavors, this Japanese-inspired ice cream is going to have you come back for more! 

    A glass bowl containing Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream topped with a drizzle of extra caramel.

    Just like Kit Kat, you can find an astonishing array of ice cream flavors in Japan. From matcha green tea to black sesame to Azuki sweet red bean, the choices are distinctively unique and Japanese. So why not flavoring the summer treat with our most important pantry staple – soy sauce?

    Yes! Soy sauce. It is yet a mainstream flavor where you can find everywhere in Japan, but soy sauce makers and specialty shops have been surprising their visitors with the intriguing combo.

    I was introduced to Soy Sauce Soft Serve when my family visited the Kikkoman factory in Japan.

    children eating soy sauce ice cream at Kikkoman Factory in Noda Japan | justonecookbook.com

    It was unexpectedly delightful that I knew I wanted to recreate the flavor when I return home. Now that the weather is on our side, this couldn’t be a perfect time. In this recipe, I combined my homemade vanilla ice cream with soy sauce caramel sauce. It’s so good that we almost cry tears of joy after taking the first bite!

    Why You’ll Love This Ice Cream

    • The combination of vanilla ice cream and soy sauce caramel feels completely indulgent and unbelievably delicious.
    • It’s melt-in-your-mouth creamy, savory, and perfectly sweet all at once.
    • The umami punch and salty notes of soy sauce cut through all the sweetness of caramel and electrify the palate. It would remind you of salted caramel, only so much better.

    A glass bowl containing Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream topped with a drizzle of extra caramel.

    Delicious Soy Sauce Caramel Sauce

    You’ll need 4 simple ingredients to make this amazing sauce.

    1. Granulated sugar
    2. Unsalted Butter
    3. Heavy whipping cream (heavy cream)
    4. Soy Sauce

    Gluten Soy Sauce

    I used Kikkoman gluten-free soy sauce in this recipe. Made from rice, soybeans, and salt and brewed with the same traditional method as its original soy sauce, the gluten-free option is just as delicate and aromatic.

    Kikkoman Gluten Free Soy Sauce | Easy Japanese Recipes at JustOneCookbook.com

    Beyond savory dishes, soy sauce can really work its magic and transform sweets and desserts, drawing out their best quality. That’s the multifaceted role of this Japanese condiment. When pairing it with caramel, soy sauce adds complexity and bumps up the overall buttery characteristic of the sauce.

    Give it a try! It’s going to change the way you look at many kitchen condiments and the science of flavorings, just like Miso Butter Cookies!

    Watch How to Make Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream

    Homemade vanilla ice cream reaches its new height with a generous drizzle of soy sauce caramel. An interplay of savory, sweet and creative flavors, this Japanese-inspired ice cream is going to have you come back for more!

    5 Tips to Read Before Making This Recipe

    1. Use 2:1 Ratio for heavy cream and whole milk.

    After testing a few ratios, we concluded that the two to one ratio for heavy cream and whole milk to be the best. It’s important to use  WHOLE milk, not reduced-fat or non-fat milk. The result gives just the right amount of richness and creaminess.

    2. Use egg yolks.

    I’ve made egg-free ice cream recipes in the past, but for this recipe, I included egg yolks as they act as the emulsifier, to “glue” all the ingredients together and give the ice cream its smoothness and rich flavor.

    3. Use the gelatine (sheet).

    Gelatin acts as a stabilizer, to prevent ice crystals from forming, which improves texture and extends the life of the ice cream. The more water in your recipe (e.g. strawberry), the more gelatin needed. But don’t exceed a teaspoon (if using powder) in a quart of ice cream.

    Instead of gelatine powder such as Knox, we love using GOLD gelatine sheets. They don’t have any smell so it works great for any recipes that require gelatine.

    If you prefer not to use gelatin as a stabilizer, try Agar or Xanthan Gum as an alternative.

    4. Scald milk and heavy cream.

    It is important to first scald the milk and heavy cream in order to shorten the cooking time before you add in the eggs. If heating cold milk and heavy cream with eggs, there is a higher chance the eggs will curdle and your ice cream will be ruined.

    5. Get a cooking thermometer.

    You need to scald the milk and heavy cream to 83 °C (181 °F) and cook the custard to 71 °C (160 °F). With a cooking thermometer, there is no guessing involved, and your ice cream making will be stress-free.

    I frequently use the Thermapen® Mk4 for cooking Japanese Pork Roast, deep frying Karaage, and making desserts like Matcha Tiramisu that count on accurate temperatures. And I cannot emphasize how important it is to have a reliable thermometer to achieve perfect results. It is literally a life-changer!

    A glass bowl containing Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream topped with a drizzle of extra caramel.

    Your New Favorite Ice Cream Flavor

    Due to the amount of air whipped into ice cream, and a few other factors, store-bought ice cream will generally remain soft when frozen, while homemade ice cream tends to freeze hard for scooping. An easy solution is to take the homemade ice cream out of the freezer 5-10 minutes before serving, so it’s soft enough to scoop.

    Homemade vanilla ice cream is truly satisfactory. But if you don’t have an ice maker, you want to do yourself a favor by getting good quality vanilla ice cream. You can choose to swirl the soy sauce caramel into the ice cream, drizzle over, or do both as I did in this recipe.

    Sophisticated and fun, this Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream is definitely a standout treat for the summer. Serve it as a dessert for your Japanese-theme BBQ cookout.

    A glass bowl containing Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream topped with a drizzle of extra caramel.

    Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want to look for substitutes for Japanese condiments and ingredients, click here.

    Sign up for the free Just One Cookbook newsletter delivered to your inbox! And stay in touch with me on FacebookPinterestYouTube, and Instagram for all the latest updates.

    5 from 6 votes
    A glass bowl containing Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream topped with a drizzle of extra caramel.
    Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream
    Prep Time
    5 mins
    Cook Time
    30 mins
    Chilling
    1 d 2 hrs
     

    Homemade vanilla ice cream reaches its new height with a generous drizzle of soy sauce caramel. An interplay of savory, sweet and creative flavors, this Japanese-inspired ice cream is going to have you come back for more! 

    Course: Dessert
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: ice cream, soy sauce
    Servings: 1 QT (1L)
    Author: Nami
    Ingredients
    For Soy Sauce Caramel (yields 1/2 cup or 120 ml)
    • ½ cup sugar (100 g)
    • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter (43 g)
    • ¼ cup heavy (whipping) cream (60 ml)
    • 2 Tbsp soy sauce (I used Kikkoman Gluten-Free Soy Sauce)
    For Vanilla Ice Cream
    • 2 cups heavy (whipping) cream (480 ml)
    • 1 cup whole milk (240 ml)
    • 3 egg yolks
    • ½ cup sugar (100 g)
    • ½ sheet gelatin (1.1 g; or use ½ tsp gelatin powder; [Equation] 1 envelope gelatin powder (0.25 oz/7 g.) = 1 Tbsp powdered gelatin = 3 sheets GOLD leaf gelatin. One sheet leaf gelatin would correspond to 1 tsp of powdered gelatin.
    • ¼ water (60 ml)
    • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
    Instructions
    1. Gather all the ingredients.
      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream Ingredients
    To Make Soy Sauce Caramel
    1. You can double the recipe but do not increase beyond that because it’s not easy to melt the sugar properly. In a small saucepan, heat ½ cup sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk, silicone spatula, or wooden spoon.

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 1
    2. Sugar will form clumps and eventually melt into a thick brown, amber-colored liquid as you continue to stir. Careful not to burn from the splatter.

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 2
    3. Once sugar is completely melted, immediately add 3 Tbsp butter. The caramel will bubble rapidly so take extra cautions not to burn yourself from the splatter.

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 3
    4. Stir the butter into the caramel until it is completely melted. If you notice the butter separating or if the sugar clumped up, remove from heat and vigorously whisk to combine. Keep whisking until it comes back together, even if it takes 3-4 minutes. It will eventually get there. Just keep whisking. Return to heat when it’s combined again.

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 4
    5. Very slowly drizzle in ¼ cup of heavy cream while stirring. Since the heavy cream is colder than the caramel, the mixture will rapidly bubble when added. It will rise in the pan as it boils.

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 5
    6. Turn off and remove from the heat and stir in 2 Tbsp soy sauce.

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 6
    7. Allow it to cool down slightly before use. Caramel thickens as it cools.

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 7
    8. After the caramel cools down, pour it into a glass jar or container. Refrigerate for up to 1 month and freezer for up to 3 months. The caramel solidifies as it cools, but you can reheat in the microwave or on the stove so it becomes liquid again. For the frozen caramel, thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature, then warm up before using.

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 7-2
    To Make Vanilla Ice Cream Mixture
    1. Cut the gelatin sheet into 1-inch pieces and add ¼ cup water to let the gelatin bloom for 10 minutes.

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 8
    2. In a medium saucepan, add 2 cups heavy (whipping) cream and 1 cup whole milk.

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 9
    3. Whisk together and bring it to almost simmering over medium-low heat until small bubbles appear along the edges (but don’t let it boil), about 8-10 minutes. If you have a cooking thermometer, it should be 181 °F or 83 °C.

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 10
    4. In a large bowl, combine sugar and egg yolks (if you are using gelatin powder, add now).

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 11
    5. Whisk together till combine.

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 12
    6. Add a quarter of the milk mixture from the pot into the bowl, while constantly whisking (to prevent the eggs from cooking).

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 13
    7. Then repeat with another quarter of the mixture, while stirring with the plastic spatula.

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 14
    8. Finally, pour everything in the bowl and whisk together. Then pour back the mixture into the pot.

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 15
    9. Drain the water from the gelatin sheet and add it to the mixture.

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 16
    10. Return the pot to the stove and heat on medium-low, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 17
    11. Without allowing it to boil, heat for 8-10 minutes, or until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. The cooking thermometer should reach 160 ºF or 71 °C to pasteurize the eggs. Turn heat off and pour the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer into a 4 cup measuring cup or a medium bowl.

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 18
    12. Add the vanilla and stir to combine.
      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 19
    13. Prepare a large bowl with ice cubes, and set the measuring cup (or the medium bowl) inside. Stir the mixture occasionally to help cool faster. Once cool (should take about 30 minutes), cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator overnight or at least 4 hours.

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 20
    To Churn Ice Cream
    1. On the following day (or after 4 hours), set up your ice cream maker according to the instructions. My Cuisinart ice cream maker just broke so I borrowed my friend’s fancy ice cream maker that does not require freezing the bowl in advance. However, many home ice cream freezers have bowls that need to be frozen ahead of time. Don’t skimp on this step! A bowl that isn’t completely frozen will take longer to freeze your ice cream and impact the finished product. If you make homemade ice cream on a regular basis, store your bowl in the freezer once it is clean. It will always be ready for your next batch of ice cream.

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 21
    2. Pour the mixture into the ice cream machine. Make sure not to fill it more than about ⅔ of the way up.

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 22
    3. Start churning. Churning ice cream incorporates air into the finished product while it freezes, so you will need some extra room in your freezer bowl.

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 23
    4. The mixture has been thicker and creamier, about 25-30 minutes.

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 24
    5. Lift up the paddle and remove the ice cream with a (mini) silicone spatula into the ice cream maker bowl.

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 25
    6. Transfer half the ice cream into an airtight glass container (ideally a square or rectangular shape) and flatten the top with the silicone spatula.

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 26
    7. Drizzle generous amount of soy sauce caramel on top.

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 27
    8. Add the rest of the ice cream and flatten it with the silicone spatula.
      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 28
    9. Drizzle more caramel sauce on top. Save some for drizzling when serving.

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 29
    10. Cover the lid and put it in the freezer. Set freezer temperature to the coldest setting, so the ice cream freezes faster. Optional: Lay plastic wrap directly on top of ice cream and press down gently to prevent ice crystals from forming on top of the ice cream.

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 30
    To Serve
    1. Take the ice cream out of the freezer 5-10 minutes before serving, so it becomes soft enough to scoop. Drizzle extra Soy Sauce Caramel on top if you like.

      Soy Sauce Caramel Ice Cream 31
    Recipe Notes

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.

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