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What’s the Best Substitute for Soy Sauce? Here Are 5 Delicious Options

Soy sauce is a condiment that is hard to beat for the flavour it adds to a variety of dishes. What can you use if you can't eat soy or are looking for a lower-sodium substitute? The good news is that there are numerous soy sauce substitutes that work quite well. Let us read about it.

Laavanya Arya
Soy Sauce Substitutes
Soy Sauce Substitutes

Many kitchens and restaurants use soy sauce as a flavouring agent. It is commonly used in Asian cuisine, but it can also be found in recipes for homemade sauces, comfort foods, and soups.

What is soy sauce?

Shoyu, a salty brown liquid of Chinese origin, is made from a fermented paste of soybeans, roasted grains, brine, and a mould called kji. It takes months to make traditional soy sauce. Soybeans are soaked and cooked first, and wheat is roasted and crushed afterwards. The mixture is then inoculated with kji, mixed with brine, and allowed to brew.

The liquid is separated from the solids, pasteurized, and bottled before arriving at your table. Soy sauce can taste different from bottle to bottle depending on the country and region of origin, and there are endless varieties and flavours. (Common ones include light, dark, sweet, and thick)

Why Avoid Soya sauce

One reason you might want to avoid soy sauce is its main ingredient, soy. Soy is a common allergen, particularly among children, with 0.4 percent of them allergic to it. Some children outgrow their soy allergies, while others do not. There are other reasons why you should avoid soy sauce. It contains gluten, which is problematic for people who have celiac disease or for people who are gluten intolerant. It is also frequently high in sodium.

Whatever be the reason, there are several substitute recipes and alternatives for soy sauce.

Best Soy Sauce Substitutes

Tamari: If you don't have a soy allergy or if you want to reduce your sodium intake, tamari tastes the most like soy sauce.

It's gluten-free because it's made from soybeans and brewed in a similar manner, but it doesn't contain wheat. (However, some brands contain trace amounts of wheat, so if you're gluten-free, check the label.) Because it is similarly saline in nature. This sauce can be used in place of soy in a 1:1 ratio. San-J is a popular brand.

Worcestershire sauce: This British condiment is also fermented and typically contains a blend of malt vinegar, anchovies, spices, sugar, salt, garlic, onions, tamarind extract, and molasses. It has the same umami flavour as soy sauce but is much lower in sodium and contains no soy or gluten. (However, if you are allergic to shellfish or seafood, you should avoid it.) Lee & Perrins Worcestershire is a favourite of ours.

Coconut aminos: Coconut aminos, a sauce made from fermented coconut sap, has an umami flavour profile similar to soy sauce. It's sweeter, but it's also lower in sodium (about 90 milligrams per teaspoon versus 290 milligrams in soy sauce) and gluten-free. Coconut Secret brands can be found in health food stores, well-stocked grocery stores, and online.

Liquid aminos: Liquid aminos (such as Bragg) are liquid protein concentrates made from fermented soybeans. It's gluten-free, like coconut aminos, but it contains soy and has a similar sodium content. It tastes similar to soy sauce, but milder and sweeter.

Maggi seasoning: Maggi sauce is a Swiss condiment made from fermented wheat proteins, giving it a savoury umami flavour. (It's almost like Vegemite in liquid form.) Because it's so concentrated, you'll want to add it to your dish in small amounts.

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