12 Best Substitutes for Soy Sauce

Substitutes for Soy Sauce

Soy sauce makes everything taste better, but it’s not something you want to consume in excess. That being said, sometimes, it can be hard to give up that flavor, especially if you’re eating out at a restaurant that doesn’t have soy sauce alternatives available.

Fortunately, there are plenty of substitutes for Soy Sauce you can use that will make your dishes extra flavorful. And also delicious while still fitting into your diet and health goals.

1. Miso Paste

Miso paste is a fermented soybean paste that is common in Japanese cuisine. It is rich in umami flavor and can be used as a soy sauce substitute in many dishes.

In contrast, to use miso paste substitutes for Soy Sauce, add it to the dish in place of soy sauce. Depending on the container and your personal preferences, you may need to adjust the amount of miso paste.

2. Hoisin Sauce

Hoisin sauce is a thick, spicy sauce made from soybeans, garlic, chili peppers, and sugar. It’s commonly used in Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine. However, it makes an excellent substitute for soy sauce if you’re looking for a soy-free option.

3. Liquid Aminos

Liquid aminos are a great substitute for soy sauce because they have a similar salty flavor. They are also vegan and gluten-free, so if you’re looking for a healthier option, liquid aminos are a great choice. 

Nonetheless, You can use them in any dish you would usually use soy sauce, such as stir-fries, marinades, and soups. Liquid aminos are made from soybeans, so they have a similar nutritional profile to soy sauce.

However, they are lower in sodium and calories, so they are a healthier option overall. Plus, they contain amino acids that are beneficial for your health.

4. Coconut Aminos

Coconut aminos are great substitutes for Soy Sauce because it is gluten-free, have a similar taste, and are lower in sodium. You can use it in any dish that you would use soy sauce in, and it will add a delicious flavor. Plus, it’s healthy for you! 

5. Vinegar

Vinegar also works well as a substitute for Soy Sauce, and most people have vinegar on hand, so this may be the best option if you’re looking to cut back on your grocery shopping list.

6. Anchovies

If you’re looking for substitutes for Soy Sauce that will give your food a boost of flavor, try anchovies. These little fish are packed with umami, the savory taste often lacking in vegan and vegetarian dishes. To use them as a soy sauce substitute, chop them up and add them to your plate. 

Nevertheless, you can also use anchovies as a base for a dipping sauce or marinade. Fry some chopped onions in oil, then add one tablespoon of wine vinegar and two tablespoons of olive oil.

Add a handful of whole anchovies to this mixture. And cook for about five minutes on low heat until the anchovies have dissolved into a paste. Pour over your favorite sushi! 

7. Balsamic Vinegar

Balsamic vinegar is an excellent substitute for soy sauce because it’s sweet but has the acidity found in most spices. Plus, it has a fantastic depth of flavor!

Moreover, use balsamic vinegar or combine it with other ingredients, like lemon juice, shallots, garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, and salt (to name just a few). The possibilities are endless!

8. Oyster Sauce

If you’re looking for a soy sauce substitute that will boost your meal’s flavor, oyster sauce is a great option. This thick, dark sauce is made from oysters that have been simmered in water and then combined with salt, sugar, and other seasonings. 

On the other hand, it does have a slightly fishy taste. Oyster sauce is much milder than soy sauce and can substitute for Soy Sauce in various dishes. Plus, it’s packed with umami flavor, making your food taste even better. 

9. Tamari

Tamari is a great substitute for soy sauce because it has a similar taste and texture. Plus, it’s gluten-free, so it’s perfect for those with gluten sensitivities. Tamari is made from fermented soybeans, so it has a slightly different flavor than soy sauce.

Yet, don’t let that stop you from trying it! You might be surprised by how much you like it. For example, I’ve never been a massive fan of teriyaki chicken, but when I tried making it with tamari instead of soy sauce, I loved the change. 

Notwithstanding, tamari is a good choice as your substitute for Soy Sauce. Tamari is a type of soy sauce that’s made without wheat, so it’s gluten-free.

10. Salt

If you’re looking for substitutes for Soy Sauce that will add some salty flavor to your dish, then look no further than salt. You can use regular table salt, sea salt, or even Himalayan pink salt.

Just be sure to start with a little bit and add more to the taste. You don’t want to end up with a dish that’s too salty. Nevertheless, If you’re not a fan of salt or are looking for something else to try, then consider salt.

These all have different flavors but will still give your meal a boost of savory goodness. Just be sure to experiment until you find the perfect combination for your taste buds.

11. Fish Sauce

Fish sauce is an excellent substitute for soy sauce because it has a similar umami flavor. Plus, it’s a bit sweeter and less salty than soy sauce, so it can help balance a dish. If you’re looking for a fish sauce similar to soy sauce in flavor, try one made with anchovies.

Although it is made from fermented fish and salt, it has a strong umami flavor. While it may not be suitable for vegetarians or vegans, fish sauce is an excellent substitute for Soy Sauce for those who are looking for a soy-free alternative.

It provides an intense umami taste, making it a perfect replacement for soy sauce. The downside to this option is that not everyone eats fish, so this may not be your best choice if you don’t eat seafood.

12. Worcestershire Sauce

If you’re looking for substitutes for Soy Sauce that will add some savory umami flavor to your dish, look no further than Worcestershire sauce. This fermented condiment is made with anchovies, vinegar, and various spices, giving it a complex and profoundly flavorful taste. 

A little goes a long way, so start with just a few dashes and add more to taste. Try this on rice or in noodle dishes like pad thai or udon soup.


While soy sauce is a delicious and versatile condiment, there are times when it’s not the best choice. Maybe you’re out of soy sauce or looking for a healthier option.

Whatever the reason, don’t worry! Plenty of substitutes for soy sauce will give your meal the umami flavor you’re looking for. 

Finally, try one of these soy sauce substitutes the next time you’re in the kitchen: fish sauce, tamari, Worcestershire sauce, miso paste, and coconut aminos if you’re interested in trying something new. These options will make your dishes taste amazing and take them to the next level.

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