Low-Sodium Soy Sauce Substitute

Soy sauce
Bill Oxford / Getty Images
  • 65 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: 1/3 cup (serves 4)
Ratings (21)

This soy sauce substitute doesn't taste exactly like the real thing, but it makes a flavorful alternative for anyone trying to reduce the amount of salt in their diet. Chinese cooking can be a very healthy way of eating, but the amount of sodium in a lot of dishes is on the high side. Fortunately the amount of sodium in most Chinese dishes is easily modified. An easy place to start is with soy sauce, used in many different recipes. 

This simple recipe yields about 1/3 cup, or enough to prepare approximately two meals. 

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What You'll Need

How to Make It

1. Combine all the ingredients. At this point, you can either a) use the sauce as is, leaving for an hour to give the flavors a chance to blend, or b) for a thicker, richer sauce, boil the liquid until it is reduced by half, about 3 tablespoons.

2. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Use the sauce within 3 to 4 days.

Reduced-sodium beef broth (25 percent less salt) gives this soy sauce substitute recipe 12 to 13 milligrams of sodium per tablespoon (about 25 mg per tablespoon if you boil down the sauce and reduce it by half).

To lower the sodium count even further, use a sodium-free beef broth.

To make this recipe vegetarian, substitute vegetable broth for the beef broth. Just be aware this will alter the flavor somewhat, so experiment a little until it tastes the way you prefer.

Bonus: This soy sauce is gluten-free as long as it's made with:

  • Gluten-free beef broth (broths and stocks sometimes contain gluten as an additive)
  • Only the vinegars called for in the recipe ("Malt" vinegars contain gluten)
  • Garlic powder that is gluten-free (seasoning powders sometimes contain gluten as a flow agent)