Traditional soy sauce is a condiment made from fermented soybeans and wheat. The fermentation process can take months. It is an involved production process to create this beloved umami and savory seasoning.
Most people have it in their pantry or in the drawer in their kitchen that they keep takeout sauces in.
Reasons to try a soy sauce substitute
Some common reasons for using a soy sauce substitute are: allergies to soy or gluten, desiring a lower sodium alternative, or wanting to try something new.
Desire for lower sodium content
Examples of low-sodium soy sauce substitutes include: Braggs Liquid Aminos, Coconut Aminos, Nama Shoyu, and wheat-free tamari.
All of the alternatives below are made from soybeans or coconut sap and have a sodium content that is about 1/10th of regular soy sauce. They also have a slightly different flavor profile, but most people find them to be acceptable substitutes.
1. Bragg Natural Liquid Aminos, All Purpose Seasoning
- All natural.
- Non GMO
- No preservatives
- No alcohol
- No Added Preservatives.
2. Coconut Secret Coconut Aminos Low Sodium Soy Sauce Alternative
- Lower sodium
- Soy free
- Low glycemic
Trying Something New
Soy sauce substitutes can open up a whole new world of flavors. Soy sauce substitutes are a popular vegan seasoning that pairs well with sushi, stir-fries, seafood, and in salad dressing. They all have an appetizing saltiness and an umami flavor. If you’re interested in trying something new, give one of these direct substitutes a try:
This sauce is made from the sap of coconut trees and sea salt. It has a sweeter taste than traditional soy sauce and can be used as a 1:1 replacement in any recipe. It has much less sodium than soy sauce.
This sauce is made with coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, molasses, and fish sauce. It has a complex flavor that is perfect for stir-fries or marinades, and it blends well with all Asian spices .
Liquid Aminos: This all-purpose seasoning sauce can become a staple. It is made from hydrolyzed vegetable protein and has a salty flavor similar to traditional soy sauce. Liquid aminos can be used as a 1:1 replacement in any recipe to season all of your Asian dishes.Nama Shoyu is a type of soy sauce that is unpasteurized and therefore has a stronger flavor. It is made from fermented soybeans, wheat, and salt, and has a history of being used in Japanese cuisine for centuries. Today, it is commonly used as a dipping sauce or ingredient in many dishes as a substitution for traditional pasteurized soy sauce.
3. Ohsawa Nama Shoyu, Organic and Aged
- Aged in 150 Year Cedar Kegs for Extra Flavor
- Japanese Soy Sauce
- Kosher – 32 oz
4. San-J Tamari Soy Sauce, Whole Bean, Wheat Free
- Whole bean
- Company established in 1804, original recipe
The most common allergy to soy is called IgE-mediated soy allergy. This type of allergy happens when your body’s immune system overreacts to proteins in soybeans. Symptoms of this type of reaction can range from mild (hives, itchiness) to severe (trouble breathing, drop in blood pressure). If you have this type of allergy, it’s important to avoid any products that contain soy.
Coconut Secret coconut aminos, pictured above, are soy-free and would be a good substitute for those with soy allergies.
There are many reasons why someone might want to use a soy sauce substitute, though they still want to enjoy that umami flavor in their recipes. There are many delicious options available on the market today. It is understandable to want to eventually try all of them!
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