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Whether dousing a homemade stir-fry in the stuff or adding the perfectly salty condiment to your meat marinade, soy sauce has many delicious uses in the kitchen, which is why it's always good to have a bottle tucked away in the pantry at all times. If you prefer to purchase your own charmingly short, stout, spouted bottles that restaurants customarily keep at the table, you might also be puzzled why there are two holes on the top (one on either side) — and it's not just to provide you the option to choose which side you want to pour out of. Turns out, there is a correct way for how to use a soy sauce bottle, and we're finally in the loop. 

Soy Sauce Bottle
Credit: Walmart

For anyone who has ever accidentally sent soy sauce flying all over the table or countertop from the spouted Kikkoman Soy Sauce Bottle, as a result of the liquid coming out too quickly and not stopping as you pull up the bottle, you'll be happy to know that the two spouts (or holes) on either side on top of the bottle are actually meant to keep that issue from happening. The spouts are supposed to be used to control when and how much soy sauce comes out. If you hold your finger over one of the holes as you lower and lift the bottle, it will keep any soy sauce from coming out of the other side. Likewise, you can control how much soy sauce you put on various parts of your plate by just holding and releasing your fingertip over one hole as you pour. (Hey! Give a trickle to each bite of sushi, if you prefer!)

Overall, this technique is exactly how these soy sauce bottles were designed to work. Most of us just never knew. For all of the soy sauce connoisseurs out there, you're probably shaking your head in disappointment, and we get it. It's not necessarily rocket science, so here's hoping this knowledge can potentially be very helpful or educational for those not in the know. If you still feel a little confused, watch the video below for a demonstration. 

Basically, the purpose is to keep you from making a mess, make sure you're pouring only as much soy sauce as you actually want, and give you all the power to control your soy sauce experience. Now, why do we have a hankering to make our recipe for Easy Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry? Might as well try out the new technique! 

This story originally appeared on southernliving.com