To live in Japan means incorporating soy sauce into your daily life. Shōyu—as it’s called in Japanese—is rich in vitamins and low in calories, making it a national favorite and a quintessential component of Japanese cuisine. The soybean-based sauce is also expanding beyond being merely a condiment, as people are finding more creative ways to infuse Western and original dishes with soy sauce.

If you’ve whipped up a few recipes that make unique or innovative use of soy sauce, your concoctions could win you a hefty cash prize.

The 7th Soy Sauce Recipe winning dish, by Brazil’s Leonardo Ishida Abe

The 7th Soy Sauce Recipe winning dish, by Brazil’s Leonardo Ishida Abe

This year, the Japan Soy Sauce Association, a collective of companies and individuals in Japan’s soy sauce industry, is holding its 8th Soy Sauce Recipe & Story Contest, an annual competition wherein international residents of Japan send in their own recipes that use soy sauce.

Participants can send in submissions for either “Washoku” (Japanese cuisine) or “Your Country’s Cuisine.” The former gives people a chance to show off their take on food they’ve discovered and loved in Japan, while the latter will feature recipes that give a soy sauce twist to dishes that are native to or common in the participant’s home country. Regardless, creativity is a key ingredient … besides soy sauce, of course.

In addition, participants are asked to provide a short essay, photograph, or other media describing the personal intent behind or feelings regarding the recipe, or an anecdote about the dish.

The winning recipe will be awarded a ¥100,000 prize, while two runners-up will win ¥50,000, and seven third-place winners get ¥30,000.

To be eligible for entry, applicants must be either foreign nationals or naturalized Japanese citizens; should be able to communicate in either Japanese or English; and, of course, be able to cook unassisted. The recipe submitted must also be original, and should not have been published in print or online.

Submissions will go through a primary reviewing process, which is planned for the end of June. After passing this round, contestants will be invited to a kitchen studio to prepare their dishes. A panel will observe them and taste and review the entries. The selected winners will be announced and prizes awarded at the Soy Sauce Day Gathering on September 30.

Think your soy sauce recipes have got what it takes? Send in an application today.

Send in submissions by May 31. Award ceremony on Sep 30. For more information and to register, visit