4 Soy Sauce Substitutes For Cooking

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Soy sauce is a liquid condiment that has strong umami, salty flavor. The current form of soy sauce was created more than 2,000 years ago in China. Japanese-style soy sauce is also known as shoyu. It is a staple in many Asian cultures and is widely used in cooking around the world today.

Traditional soy sauce is made from soybeans, wheat, salt, and fermenting agents, though soy sauce comes in a variety of flavors. People with dietary allergies to soy or wheat as well as those who must avoid gluten may not be able to safely consume soy sauce and may seek alternatives.

Why Use an Alternative?

Dietary allergies may play a role in the search for a soy sauce substitute. Like the name suggests, soy sauce is a soy product. People with allergies to soy may want to avoid soy sauce. It is also usually made with wheat or other types of grains. Those with wheat or other grain allergies should check the label carefully before consuming.

Soy sauce is a core ingredient in many recipes from stir-fries to tofu dishes. If a recipe calls for soy sauce but you don’t have any on hand, you can substitute it with an alternative that will yield a similar taste.

Those who follow a low-sodium meal plan may worry about the sodium content in soy sauce. This condiment is known for having a salty flavor, and the high sodium content is largely responsible for that. Though there are low-sodium varieties of soy sauce, some alternatives contain even less sodium.

Popular Substitutes

If you are looking for a substitute for soy sauce, look for other condiments that have a salty flavor. Liquid condiments can be substituted at a 1:1 ratio, making them the easiest to work with.


Those looking for a soy sauce substitute with the closest flavor profile should consider tamari. It is a Japanese-style condiment that is also made with soybeans. However, tamari is not as salty as traditional Chinese-style soy sauces. This can affect the flavor and nutrition profile of your dish.

Though it does contain soy, tamari is a gluten-free soy sauce substitute. People with celiac or gluten sensitivity can safely consume tamari in place of soy sauces. If a recipe calls for soy sauce, you can substitute tamari in equal amounts.

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Coconut Aminos

Coconut aminos is an allergy-friendly alternative to soy sauce because it is soy-free, wheat-free, and gluten-free. While soy sauce is made from fermented soybeans, coconut amino sauce is made from coconut sap. The color and consistency of coconut aminos are similar to soy sauce, so they can be used at a 1:1 ratio.

Those looking for a low-sodium soy sauce alternative may be happy with the lower sodium content in coconut aminos sauce.

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Liquid Aminos

Liquid aminos is a soy product that is made from the concentrated amino acids found in soybeans. Soybeans are a rich source of protein, and amino acids are the building blocks of that protein.

Often dubbed a soy sauce alternative, liquid aminos have a similar consistency, color, and taste as soy sauce. However, this sauce contains less sodium. A 5 milliliter serving contains 350 milligrams of sodium, 5 calories, and 1 gram of protein.

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Miso Paste

Miso paste is made from fermented soybeans mixed with salt and a mold called koji. It’s often used to make broths, soups, and marinades. This soy sauce substitute is best for making liquid dishes like ramen or salad dressing

Like soy sauce, it has a salty, umami flavor. However, some describe the taste as being funky. This will add a similar but unique taste to your recipe. Many miso pastes are gluten-free, but be sure to check the label if you have allergies. People with allergies to soy should not consume miso paste.

Substitute miso paste at a 1:2 ratio for soy sauce. You will need twice as much miso paste as soy sauce to yield a similar flavor.

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Source: https://www.verywellfit.com/4-soy-sauce-substitutes-for-cooking-5206302

Author: Devika

Devika, M.Sc, NET Qualified is passionate about helping people discover the power of nourishing real food. She specializes in weight management, therapeutic nutrition, food allergies and intolerances, inflammatory diseases, gut health, and functional nutrition. Her approach blends a conventional health care and nutrition background with natural and science-based therapies.