7 Dark Soy Sauce Substitute

Chinese dark soy sauce is a thicker and darker relative of conventional soy sauce that adds a rich color and a sweet-salty flavor to meals, often sauces.

Stir-fried rice, noodles, and braised chicken, pig, or fish are some of the most popular meals using this delectable sauce. It may transform any meal from mundane to rich and exciting in a couple of minutes.

Although this kind is crucial in Asian cuisine, it may be difficult to locate in stores outside of Asia.

Teriyaki, light soy sauce, hoisin, oyster, molasses, tamari, and Worcestershire sauce are excellent alternatives for dark soy sauce.

These options are more readily available in local grocery shops and provide the same delectable taste to recipes as black soy sauce.

So, without further ado, let’s look at what makes them such amazing dark soy sauce alternatives!

Dark Soy Sauce Substitutes: Cooking Ratio & Nutritional Value

One tablespoon of: Calories Fat Carb Protein Fiber Ratio
Teriyaki Sauce 14 0g 2.5g 0.9g 0g 1:1
Light Soy Sauce 15 0g 2g 1g 0g 1:1
Hoisin Sauce 15 0g 3g 0g 0g 2:1
Oyster Sauce 30 0.3g 6g 1g 0g 1:1
Molasses 46 0g 12g 0g 0g 1:1
Tamari 11 0.02g 1g 1.89g 0g 1:1
Worcestershire Sauce 5 0g 0.5g 0.5g 0g 2:1

What Does Dark Soy Sauce Taste Like?

The taste of dark soy sauce is rich, sweet, and salty. It’s not as salty as light soy sauce, but it’s thicker and deeper in color.

In truth, black soy sauce has the same amount of salt as light soy sauce, but the stronger soy flavor makes it taste less salty.

However, black soy sauce does not taste as wonderful when drunk directly from the bottle. This is due to the fact that soy sauce is much too rich and strong to be consumed in this way.

Black soy sauce, unlike its lighter counterpart, is often used as an ingredient rather than as a dipping sauce.

Dark Soy Sauce Nutritional Value

One tablespoon of dark soy sauce contains:

  • 20 calories
  • 0g fat
  • 4g carbs
  • 0g fiber
  • 1g protein

Soy sauce is often used in trace quantities in cooking. As a consequence, it is unlikely to provide major health benefits.

Dark soy sauce, on the other hand, contains isoflavones, which are cholesterol-lowering chemicals. Furthermore, a research found that black soy sauce has a high concentration of antioxidants, which are widely recognized for their capacity to delay or halt free radicals from harming cells.

Substitutes for Dark Soy Sauce

  1. Teriyaki sauce
  2. Light soy sauce
  3. Hoisin sauce
  4. Oyster sauce
  5. Molasses
  6. Tamari
  7. Worcestershire sauce

Teriyaki Sauce

Teriyaki sauce is a very flavorful condiment. It contains soy sauce, sugar, ginger, garlic, and sake or mirin.

Because of its salty and sweet taste, dark color, and thicker texture, teriyaki sauce is an excellent substitute for dark soy sauce.

Keep in mind, though, that teriyaki contains ginger and garlic, which you may or may not perceive depending on the food you’re creating.

When switching to teriyaki sauce, use the same quantity of dark soy sauce you normally use in a 1:1 ratio.

Light Soy Sauce

When you need to use dark soy sauce in a dish, the best option is to use a different variation of the same sauce, such as light soy sauce.

To get the salty, umami taste in your dish, use equal parts light and dark soy sauce. However, since light soy sauce is less sweet than black soy sauce, you may need to add a little honey or sugar.

Furthermore, since this sort of soy sauce is lighter in color, the meal or sauce you make will be lighter. So, if you want a deeper color, go with a darker sauce, such as teriyaki sauce.

Hoisin Sauce

Hoisin sauce is a sweet and salty cooking and dipping sauce. It has the same color as dark soy sauce and will brown your meal in the same way.

Hoisin sauce is traditionally made using fermented soybean paste, garlic, chili, and fennel. Other versions call for additional ingredients such as sugar, Chinese five-spice powder, and vinegar.

Hoisin includes elements that black soy sauce lacks. As a consequence, ingredients like fennel may clash with your dish. When switching dark soy sauce for hoisin sauce, keep in mind that it may not always be a suitable match.

Hoisin sauce is delicious in stir fries, glazes, noodles, and dips. Recipes that are overly salty or sweet on their own will just emphasize those tastes and make the meal too overwhelming.

Oyster Sauce

This next option’s recipe is quite basic, yet it tastes like it was cooked with hundreds of components.

The primary components in oyster sauce are salt, sugar, and oyster extract. Some kinds include soy sauce, while others, owing to the addition of cornstarch, are thicker.

Oyster sauce is dark and comparable to black soy sauce; it is salty but somewhat sweeter.

Some oyster sauces have a significantly thicker viscosity than black soy sauce, depending on the kind. So, if you want the consistency of black soy sauce, you may need to add more water.


Molasses has a bittersweet taste and is a popular condiment used in conjunction with barbecue sauce to provide rich richness and a thicker coating to grilled meat.

When it comes to how well it works as a substitute for black soy sauce, molasses is sweet but lacks salt, so the taste is not comparable. If this is your choice, you may need to season your food with more salt.

Use it at the very end of a stir fry or other preparation over medium heat.Molasses has a thicker consistency but the same color as dark soy sauce. It may also burn quickly when cooked over high heat.


Tamari is the Japanese equivalent of soy sauce, however it is gluten and wheat free.

It tastes similar to both dark and light soy sauce. It’s not as sweet as black soy sauce, but it’s just as salty.

Tamari, on the other hand, has one element that soy sauce does not: miso paste. As a consequence, it may provide a nasty and salty-sweet miso taste to meals.

Tamari is also lighter than black soy sauce, but it still imparts a brownish sheen to your food.

Overall, if you’re looking for a gluten-free alternative, this black soy sauce substitute might be a good choice.

Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire sauce is quite similar to its Chinese cousin, despite the fact that it originated in a different part of the globe, the United Kingdom.

Molasses, anchovies, fermented garlic and onions, vinegar, tamarind paste, sugar and salt, and a variety of spices and seasonings are the major components in this amazing sauce.

Worcestershire sauce might be a terrific alternative for a salty-flavored, dark-colored sauce for supper. However, it may be a poor alternative for black soy sauce in terms of sweetness, so consider adding a sweetener to acquire the same taste.

Many Chinese and Thai dishes use dark soy sauce as an ingredient. We’d like to offer four classic dishes that use this sauce since its particular taste is so beloved.

Thai Ginger Chicken

Do you enjoy your meal hot with a kick? If so, you’ll like the Thai Ginger Chicken dish. This dish may be cooked using a variety of meats, including beef, pig, and vegetable tofu, in addition to chicken.

The ginger, which gives this Thai dish its characteristic taste, is crucial to the dish. You may serve jasmine rice or basmati rice as a side dish.

Chicken Cashew Nuts

You’ve undoubtedly seen cashew chicken on almost every Chinese takeout menu. Cashew chicken is a nutty stir-fry in a sweet brown sauce. The list of ingredients may seem lengthy, but many of them are most likely already in your pantry.

Cashew chicken is made with chicken, cashews, garlic, onion, chile, fish sauce, oyster sauce, dark soy sauce, and a touch of honey or sugar for sweetness.

Veggie Pad See Ew

Phad See Ew is a Chinese vegetable stir-fry noodle dish. Soy sauce, vegetarian mushroom oyster sauce, shallots, garlic, oil, tofu, broccoli, and beaten eggs are all used in the traditional recipe. It has a salty, tangy, sweet, and somewhat toasted flavor.

Pad Ga Prao

Pad Ga Prao is a traditional Thai dish prepared with minced pig, chicken, fish, or shrimp. It’s quite simple to make, and it’s almost impossible to get the recipe wrong. Pad Ga Prao is traditionally cooked with ground pork, garlic, fiery chile, fish sauce, dark soy sauce, and eggs. Nonetheless, this meal is quite adaptable, and many variations contain seasonings such as oyster sauce and fish sauce.


Overall, if you’re ever in a need and need a substitute for black soy sauce, there are plenty of options!

Light soy sauce is the most comparable substitute for dark soy sauce. If you’re searching for a gluten-free and wheat-free option, tamari is the way to go.

Each of our replacements has a slightly different flavor than black soy sauce, so consider how well it will suit your dish. Best of luck exploring in the kitchen and appreciating the new options!


What can I use instead of dark soy sauce?

Light Soy Sauce (Better Than Dark Soy Sauce) Light soy sauce is a thin, reddish-brown liquid condiment made from fermented soybeans and wheat.
Sauce with oysters.
Hoisin Sauce is a Chinese sauce.
Teriyaki sauce is a Japanese sauce.
LKK Stir Fry Sauce for Vegetarians.
Soy Sauce with Mushroom Flavor.
Doubled the amount of black soy sauce.

What is a soy free substitute for dark soy sauce?

Coconut amino acids

Coconut aminos are produced by the fermentation of coconut sap. It’s a thin sauce, similar to light soy sauce, but it’s fairly salty with a hint of sweetness. Coconut aminos are an excellent option if you’re seeking for a gluten and soy free alternative for dark soy.

How do I substitute light soy sauce for dark soy sauce?

If you have dark soy sauce instead of light soy sauce, replace it with the dark soy sauce and a sprinkle of salt to compensate for the saltiness. You may alternatively dilute and thin the black soy sauce with a little amount of water. When you’re unsure about which soy sauce to use, start with one and then add both.

Can I sub dark soy for regular soy sauce?

The three golden guidelines to remember are: light soy sauce and all purpose soy sauce may be used interchangeably in recipes; if a recipe simply states “soy sauce,” use all purpose soy sauce OR light soy sauce; and. Unless a recipe expressly asks for it, never use black soy sauce.

How to make regular soy sauce into dark soy sauce?

If you can’t find sweet dark soy sauce at the shop, make your own with this simple recipe!
Combine the brown sugar and 14 cup of water in a small saucepan over high heat.
After the sugar syrup has become the color of coffee, around 4-5 minutes, gently pour in the soy sauce (while stirring constantly) and whisk until incorporated.

What is considered dark soy sauce?

Because of its increased viscosity, dark soy sauce is dubbed thick soy sauce. Regular soy sauce is prepared by pressing fermented soybeans, whereas black soy sauce is made by pressing the residuals from the fermented soybeans.

Is Kikkoman soy sauce considered dark soy sauce?

In Japan, Kikkoman’s Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce is classified as a dark soy sauce.

Is dark soy sauce necessary?

While any sort of soy sauce may be used in any dish, light and dark soy sauce perform best in various situations. Light soy sauce, for example, is used to flavor Chinese dishes such as Cantonese fried noodles and fried rice in a wok, but black soy sauce is ideal for braising and marinating stews.

Is hoisin sauce the same as dark soy sauce?

Hoisin sauce, according to Curious Cuisiniere, is significantly thicker than soy sauce and frequently tastes sweeter. Hoisin sauce may be used as a glaze, in noodle recipes, or in stir-fry dishes, and as a dipping sauce for egg rolls or appetizers.

Is tamari a dark soy sauce?

Same family, however tamari is a dark soy sauce used in Japanese cuisine, whilst the variety often found in China is a light soy sauce.

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