Best Soy Sauce Substitutes

Soy sauce is one of the world’s most popular condiments, but if you can’t use it directly, replacements may be your only alternative. Let’s define soy sauce and what to look for in a soy sauce alternative.

What is Soy Sauce?

Traditional soy sauce is a paste fermented and distilled into a liquid form from soybeans, roasted grain, brine, and an aspergillus mold. There are other variants on the fundamental procedure, including high-salt and low-salt choices, which may produce somewhat distinct flavors.

Top 5 Soy Sauce Substitutes

If you’re searching for a soy sauce alternative, these are your top options:

1. Tamari (Best Overall)

Tamari sticks out the most on this list since it is similar to soy sauce but employs slightly different components. Tamari is a byproduct of miso (a fermented soybean paste with numerous varieties that is very famous in Japan), and it is an excellent method to repurpose the leftovers since tamari is wonderful on its own.

The fundamental distinction between tamari and soy sauce is that properly prepared tamari employs rice rather than wheat. This means it’s naturally gluten-free yet tastes like a milder, less-salty soy sauce. Tamari is somewhat thicker than soy sauce.

You may use tamari in any dish where you would use soy sauce, and the quantity you use is the same. This implies that it is by far the best replacement for the vast majority of individuals.

But, as a soy sauce substitute, tamari has one major drawback: it contains soybeans. Tamari is not a suitable option if you are allergic to those or cannot consume soy for any other reason.

In fact, some people believe tamari to be the original sauce. The formula is similar to what Japan imported from China and is likely older than the recipe for soy sauce. Even in its native country, however, it is not nearly as popular since only around 1.5% of all soy-type sauces made in Japan qualify as tamari.

Additionally, some individuals utilize wheat and name the finished product tamari, which is not exactly true. If you’re trying to avoid wheat and gluten, be careful to check the labels on tamari to ensure you’re getting what you think you’re getting.

Outside of tamari, there are a few soy sauce-like alternatives on the market, however most are so similar to soy sauce that they aren’t genuinely replacements. Twice-brewed soy sauce (also known as saishikomi) is created in the same way as ordinary soy sauce but using existing soy sauce rather than a standard brine. As a consequence, the sauce is incredibly black and flavorful.

White (Shiro) sauce, which is primarily wheat rather than soybean, is ideal for individuals who want a lighter flavor. This is very difficult to get since it is mostly utilized in high-end cuisine. If you have the time, you could have better success brewing it yourself.

2. Worcestershire Sauce (Best Non-Soy Sub for Soy Sauce)

Worcestershire sauce, famous for its difficult pronunciation, is a rich and savory alternative to soy sauce. This sauce, which is mostly associated with the British, blends malt vinegar with spices, sugar, salt, anchovies, onions, molasses, garlic, and tamarind extract.

Although it contains sodium, this sauce is noticeably less salty than typical soy sauce. As a result, it’s a suitable replacement if you want a nice taste while lowering your salt consumption.

Yet, there are two considerations with this product. Secondly, Worcestershire sauce often contains a small amount of shellfish for taste, which might cause allergies. Second, this sauce is substantially more costly than soy sauce, making it an expensive option if you need to utilize a large amount of sauce at once.

This is the finest non-soy alternative overall, but we suggest it just when you need a little amount of sauce at a time. If you need to use a lot of soy sauce substitute, consider using something different.

If you have some time, you can certainly prepare something similar to Worcestershire sauce from components you already have at home. Recipes vary, but the best ones generally require simmering molasses, tamarind paste, anchovies, vinegar, and other components together.

Nevertheless, instant sauce recipes are seldom as delicious as those that need aging, so prepare ahead of time if you want to utilize a homemade replacement. Most homemade sauce recipes yield around a jar at a time.

Related Article: Best Worcestershire Sauce Substitutes

3. Coconut Aminos (Best Lower-Sodium Option)

Most people don’t think of coconut as a soy sauce substitute, but this wonderfully versatile fruit has a plethora of uses. In this example, coconut aminos are made from the sap of the coconut tree rather than the famed fruit.

Coconut sap fermented with sea salt yields a flavorful, salty, and somewhat sweet sauce. It also lacks the taste of the coconut fruit, so don’t be put off by the source if you loathe traditional coconut flavors.

Coconut aminos are naturally devoid of soy, wheat, and gluten, and contain around 90mg of salt per teaspoon, compared to 280mg in a comparable quantity of soy sauce. As a result, it is a nutritious choice that is free of the majority of common allergies. It is not a completely low-sodium choice, but it is lower than the majority of the other selections on this list.

But, like with any alternatives, there are a few negatives to consider.

To begin, coconut aminos are quite uncommon in certain locations, particularly when compared to soy sauce. Soy sauce is likely to be sent into any country that offers a large volume of Asian cuisine, while coconut aminos aren’t nearly as frequent. While internet delivery is always a possibility, exorbitant shipping prices might become an issue.

Second, coconut aminos are reasonably priced. While it is not as expensive as genuine Worcestershire sauce, a bottle of this stuff will cost you around 50% more than soy sauce. Because of this, it may be less enticing to use in bigger amounts.

Lastly, some individuals believe that coconut aminos are too sweet and mild to be an acceptable soy sauce alternative. This is less of an issue when dipping items, but if you want to use a soy sauce alternative while cooking, they may not be the best option.

4. Maggi (Best Wheat Substitute)

Maggi is a flavor enhancer available in cube, powder, and liquid versions that is little-known outside of Europe. It tastes remarkably similar to soy sauce and, like its more well-known cousin, complements an amazingly diverse range of meals.

Maggi’s main component is hydrolyzed wheat protein, making it an unsuitable option for anybody who is sensitive to wheat or gluten. Maggi, on the other hand, has a deeper and fuller taste than soy in soups and meat dishes. It’s also reasonably priced, making it an excellent alternative for those on a tight budget.

Maggi, in comparison to other soy replacements, is more concentrated. This implies that it’s typically best to start modest and add more as required. You may use it in place of conventional soy sauce (or tamari), but you may want to use a bit less maggi than either of those.

Maggi also comes in a variety of flavors that are popular across the globe. There is a garlic variety in the Philippines, a sour version in Poland, and a lime variant in Mexico. They provide a level of flexibility in the cooking that regular soy sauce may struggle to match.

5. Dried Mushrooms (Best DIY Sauce)

Lastly, if you prefer the taste of dried mushrooms, they might be a good substitute for any of the sauces listed above. Importantly, this alternative is gluten and soy free, as well as exceptionally low in salt. If you’re monitoring your ingredient consumption, this is an excellent choice.

Although you may sample a variety of mushrooms here, dried shiitake is the finest choice. They are accessible at many supermarket shops, particularly those that offer Asian goods, so you should have no problem finding them.

To prepare this sauce, rehydrate the mushrooms in filtered water, then replace the mushroom-soaked water with equal parts soy sauce. It won’t taste exactly like soy sauce, but it should have some umami flavor. As an added benefit, you should be able to include those rehydrated mushrooms into any recipe you’re preparing.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the best soy sauce alternative is a bit trickier than it seems. To choose a replacement, consider the overall taste, components, and cost of each choice. Because of food allergies and ingredient availability, there is no ideal solution that suits everyone, everywhere.

Yet, if you can tolerate soy, tamari is by far the greatest choice for the majority of individuals. If that fails, coconut aminos are an excellent method to avoid both soy and wheat, however mushrooms are a true low-sodium option.


What can I use if I don’t have soy sauce?

Substitutes for Soy Sauce
The sauce made from fish. If I run out of soy sauce, I use fish sauce as an alternative. The primary function of soy sauce is to season meals. Miso paste, a Japanese condiment, is another choice for salty, umami-rich flavors…. Coconut Aminos…. Anchovies.

What is a healthy alternative to soy sauce?

Instead of soy sauce, use tamari or liquid aminos.

Liquid aminos is a gluten-free seasoning made from soybeans. Coconut aminos are a non-soybean alternative derived from the sap of the coconut tree. San-J Reduced Sodium Tamari, Braggs Liquid Aminos, and Coconut Secret Organic Coconut Aminos are three brands to try.

What can I substitute for 1 teaspoon of soy sauce?

Sauce Worcestershire

This condiment is made with fermented vinegar and umami tastes such as anchovies, molasses, tamarind, onion, garlic, and other ingredients. It’s flavorful, sweet, and delicious in meals that call for soy sauce.

What does soy sauce taste similar to?

What Do You Think It Tastes Like? Soy sauce adds salt, sweetness, umami (savory), and even a hint of bitterness to dishes. Because of its well-balanced taste character, it makes a great condiment. The salt, sweet, and umami flavors dominate, masking the concluding bitter aftertaste.

Can I use Worcestershire sauce instead of soy sauce?

2 cup soy sauce, 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon water, properly mixed. Since Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce both have strong, acidic tastes, a simple replacement works in a hurry. to take the place of 1

Does Worcestershire sauce taste like soy sauce?

Worcestershire sauce’s components have little in common with soy sauce’s. Soy is made from fermented soybeans, wheat, enzymes, and salt for roughly six months. As a consequence, the taste is salty-sweet with a light body.

Is there a natural soy sauce?

Kikkoman Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce is made from four pure ingredients: soybeans, wheat, water, and salt, according to a traditional formula. There are no artificial additions, preservatives, colors, or flavor boosters in Kikkoman Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce.

Can I substitute teriyaki sauce for soy sauce?

Teriyaki Dressing

Teriyaki sauce might be a good replacement for soy sauce depending on what you’re cooking. While it will not give a perfect taste exchange, teriyaki sauce is excellent if you don’t mind adding a little of sweetness to your cuisine.

What is a vegetarian alternative to soy?

When You’re Allergic to Soy Seitan, Here Are 9 Vegan Proteins to Try. Meat replacement that is high in protein Seitan is a popular meat-free option for many people…. Legumes…. Dairy-Free Ice Cream…. Nuts and Seeds…. Plant Milks…. Condiments….
Jackfruit. Dairy-Free Cheese.
More to come…

Can salt water replace soy sauce?

Hence, although you may substitute salt for soy sauce in your recipe, you should generally avoid a 1:1 ratio! Try a quarter teaspoon of salt for every teaspoon of soy sauce, or just use half a teaspoon of salt per serving.

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