Healthy alternatives to soy sauce

“This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.”

Looking for a healthier alternative to the beloved soy sauce? Look no further! In this article, you will discover a range of delicious alternatives that not only provide the savory umami flavor you crave, but also offer added health benefits. Say goodbye to the high sodium content of traditional soy sauce and say hello to a world of healthier options that will elevate your dishes to a whole new level of flavor and wellness. Get ready to tantalize your taste buds as we explore these soy sauce substitutes that are both delicious and good for you!

Soy Sauce Substitute Alternatives

If you’re looking for a soy sauce substitute, there are several options available that can provide a similar flavor profile and richness to your dishes. Whether you have dietary restrictions, allergies, or simply want to try something different, these alternatives will not disappoint. From coconut aminos to apple cider vinegar, here are some delicious soy sauce substitutes you can explore.

Coconut Aminos

Coconut aminos is a popular soy sauce alternative made from the fermented sap of coconut blossoms. It has a slightly sweeter taste compared to traditional soy sauce, but still offers that umami flavor. Coconut aminos are naturally gluten-free and contain significantly less sodium than soy sauce, making them a healthier choice. You can use coconut aminos in various dishes, such as stir-fries, marinades, and salad dressings.

Tamari Sauce

Tamari sauce is another great substitute for soy sauce, especially if you follow a gluten-free diet. It is a type of Japanese soy sauce that is made without wheat, making it suitable for those with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. Tamari has a deep and rich flavor, similar to traditional soy sauce, making it an ideal replacement in any recipe that calls for soy sauce.

Liquid Aminos

Liquid aminos, such as Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, are made from soybeans and often mixed with other ingredients like water, vinegar, and spices. They offer a similar taste to soy sauce but are usually lower in sodium. Liquid aminos can be used as a marinade, seasoning, or sauce enhancer in a wide range of dishes.

Miso Paste

Miso paste is a traditional Japanese condiment made from fermented soybeans, grains, and salt. It has a unique and complex flavor that adds depth to any dish. While miso paste is not an exact replacement for soy sauce, it can be used in combination with other ingredients to create a similar umami taste. Miso paste works well in soups, marinades, dressings, and glazes.

Fish Sauce

Fish sauce is a popular ingredient in Southeast Asian cuisine that can be used as a substitute for soy sauce. It is made by fermenting fish, usually anchovies, with salt. Fish sauce has a salty and savory flavor, similar to soy sauce, but with a distinctive fishy aroma. It adds depth and complexity to dishes like stir-fries, curries, and dipping sauces.

Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire sauce is a tangy and savory condiment that can be used as a substitute for soy sauce in certain recipes. While it has a different flavor profile, Worcestershire sauce adds depth and richness to dishes like stir-fries, burgers, and marinades. It contains a blend of ingredients like vinegar, molasses, anchovies, and spices, which provide a unique taste.

Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

Bragg’s Liquid Aminos is a popular brand of liquid aminos made from non-GMO soybeans. It is gluten-free, vegan, and low in sodium. Bragg’s Liquid Aminos can be used as a one-to-one replacement for soy sauce in most recipes, adding a savory and umami flavor without the high sodium content.

Vegetable Broth

For those looking for a non-soy-based alternative, vegetable broth can be a great option. It adds flavor and depth to dishes without the need for soy sauce. You can use vegetable broth as a base for sauces, soups, stews, and stir-fries. Opt for a low-sodium or homemade vegetable broth to control the sodium content in your dishes.


Molasses is a dark, thick syrup that can be used as a soy sauce substitute in certain recipes. It has a sweet and rich flavor that can add depth to marinades, glazes, and sauces. While molasses does not have the exact umami taste of soy sauce, it can still provide a delicious alternative.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can be used as a tangy and slightly sweet replacement for soy sauce. It adds a depth of flavor to marinades, dressings, and sauces. Apple cider vinegar pairs well with ingredients like garlic, ginger, and honey to create a balanced and flavorful substitute.

Homemade Soy Sauce Alternatives

If you prefer to make your own soy sauce substitute, here are a few options that you can easily prepare at home:

Sesame Oil and Salt

A simple yet effective homemade soy sauce alternative can be made using sesame oil and salt. Mix these two ingredients together to create a flavorful sauce that can be used in stir-fries, marinades, or as a dipping sauce. The sesame oil adds richness and depth, while the salt provides the savory taste.

Balsamic Vinegar and Soy Sauce

Combining balsamic vinegar and soy sauce can create a tangy and savory substitute for soy sauce. The balsamic vinegar adds a hint of sweetness and acidity, balancing out the umami flavor of the soy sauce. Use this homemade alternative in dressings, marinades, or drizzle it over roasted vegetables for a flavorful twist.

Mushroom Soy Sauce

If you’re a fan of mushrooms, you’ll love this homemade soy sauce alternative. Mushroom soy sauce is made by infusing soy sauce with dried mushrooms, creating a rich and earthy flavor. You can easily make it at home by soaking dried mushrooms in soy sauce and allowing them to infuse for a few days. This alternative adds depth to sauces, stir-fries, and noodle dishes.

Health Considerations for Soy Sauce Alternatives

When choosing a soy sauce substitute, it’s important to consider your health needs and dietary restrictions. Here are a few factors to keep in mind:

Reduced Sodium Options

If you’re watching your sodium intake, look for soy sauce alternatives that are labeled as reduced sodium or low sodium. These options can help you control the amount of salt in your dishes while still providing the rich flavor of soy sauce.

Gluten-free Options

For those with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, opt for soy sauce substitutes that are explicitly labeled as gluten-free. Tamari sauce and coconut aminos are popular gluten-free alternatives that can be safely enjoyed by individuals on a gluten-free diet.

Allergies and Sensitivities

If you have allergies or sensitivities to certain ingredients, always check the labels of soy sauce substitutes to ensure they do not contain any allergens. Some alternatives, such as fish sauce and Worcestershire sauce, may contain allergens like fish, anchovies, or soy. Be mindful of your specific dietary needs when choosing a replacement.

Cooking with Soy Sauce Alternatives

Soy sauce alternatives can be used in a variety of dishes and cooking methods. Here are some ideas on how to incorporate them into your cooking:

Marinades and Sauces

Soy sauce substitutes work well in marinades and sauces, adding depth and flavor to your dishes. Whether you’re marinating meats, tofu, or vegetables, coconut aminos, tamari sauce, or liquid aminos can be used to create a delicious base. Combine them with other ingredients like garlic, ginger, honey, or citrus juices to enhance the flavors.

Stir-fries and Fried Rice

Stir-fries and fried rice often rely on soy sauce for that umami taste. To switch things up, try using mushroom soy sauce, liquid aminos, or a homemade alternative like sesame oil and salt. These substitutes can transform your stir-fries and fried rice into flavorful and satisfying meals.

Salad Dressings

Soy sauce alternatives can be a unique addition to your salad dressings. Experiment with coconut aminos, apple cider vinegar, or a combination of balsamic vinegar and soy sauce to create dressings that are bursting with flavor. These alternatives can complement various salad ingredients, from leafy greens to roasted vegetables.

Soups and Broths

Adding soy sauce substitutes to soups and broths can elevate their taste and complexity. Whether you’re making miso soup or a hearty vegetable stew, incorporating tamari sauce, liquid aminos, or mushroom soy sauce can enhance the flavors and create a more satisfying dish.

Gravies and Dipping Sauces

Soy sauce alternatives can be used to create delicious gravies and dipping sauces. Whether you’re serving roasted meats, dumplings, or spring rolls, try using ingredients like Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, or coconut aminos to create savory and flavorful accompaniments.

In conclusion, there are plenty of soy sauce substitutes available for you to explore. From coconut aminos to homemade alternatives, these options can provide a similar flavor profile to traditional soy sauce while accommodating different dietary needs. Whether you’re reducing sodium, avoiding gluten, or trying new flavors, these alternatives will add depth and richness to your dishes. Start experimenting and have fun discovering new and exciting taste combinations!