Just 118 mg of sodium per serving in this healthy, low sodium soy sauce substitute! It's vegan, gluten-free and oil free, and you can whip it up in 15 minutes.
This low salt soy sauce alternative is everything you'd want--with nothing you don't. Like my oil free pesto, my oil free mayo, and my chickpea cheese sauce, it's one of the lightest, healthiest sauces you can imagine--without sacrificing an ounce of flavor.
Why I love this healthy vegan soy sauce
This sauce is miso paste-based, which lends a rich, umami--and quite salty --flavor, especially for having so little sodium.
It's a bit thicker and sweeter than traditional soy sauce or alternatives like tamari or coconut aminos, which makes it a great low sodium teriyaki sauce or stir fry sauce, too. And it's far, far lower in sodium.
In fact, it has less than half the sodium of the lowest sodium substitute, coconut aminos. So you can make all of your recipes that call for soy sauce much healthier without giving up any saltiness. (You'll be surprised at just how salty this tastes!)
And unlike a lot of other recipes that use ingredients like beef broth (both unhealthy and salty) or use soy sauce (which is very high in sodium), or sesame oil (not healthy), this reduced sodium soy sauce recipe uses all low salt, whole food, gluten and oil free, plant-based ingredients.
Plus, this homemade miso soy sauce recipe takes just about 15 minutes to make, and lasts in the fridge for a month.
How much sodium does soy sauce have?
Compare out the approximate sodium per tablespoon in some soy sauce products and common alternatives (please check labels, as specific brands vary):
- This recipe: Only 118 mg!!!
- Regular soy sauce: 1,000 mg
- Tamari: 980 mg
- Liquid amino's (like Bragg liquid aminos): 930
- Low sodium tamari: 700 mg
- Low sodium soy sauce: 575 mg
- Coconut aminos: 270 mg
While this recipe may not be a no-salt soy sauce, you can see it's much lower in sodium compared to store-bought brands.
- White miso paste - I used Miso Master mellow white miso paste
- Molasses - either blackstrap or regular work well. Blackstrap has a darker color, a stronger flavor and is less sweet.
- Balsamic vinegar - choose a good quality, thick and syrupy vinegar
- Apple cider vinegar
- Garlic powder
- Ginger powder
- Finely ground fresh black pepper
How to make soy sauce: step-by-step instructions
Follow these photos and instructions to help make it great, every time. Please also see the full recipe card at the bottom of this page.
Step 1. Whisk all of the ingredients together in a bowl.
Step 2. Simmer 10 minutes to reduce the sauce and intensify the flavors.
- Whisk thoroughly to dissolve the miso paste. Miso paste can be a little difficult to dissolve. Place the ingredients in a bowl large enough to handle vigorous whisking without splashing the contents onto the counter. Or you can add to a glass jar or plastic food container with a tight lid and shake. Break up any remaining chunks with the back of a spoon if necessary.
- Simmer to reduce. Don't boil, as it may reduce too much or give the sauce a burnt taste.
- Modify recipes if needed. The sauce is a bit thicker and sweeter than normal soy sauce or alternatives. To compensate, you may want to reduce any sweeteners or thickeners in your recipe.
Substitutions and variations
- White miso. You could try a chickpea miso for a totally soy-free variation or another light miso. I don't recommend red miso, as it has a much different flavor.
- Ground ginger and garlic powder. You can substitute fresh, but I'd recommend blending to produce a smooth sauce.
- Apple cider vinegar. Rice vinegar is fine, but will make the sauce a little sweeter. You can also substitute lemon juice.
- Fish sauce or Worcestershire sauce alternative. Use this miso soy sauce in place of these ingredients to keep your dishes healthy and vegan.
How to serve this miso soy sauce
This recipe is delicious in Asian dishes, like my silken tofu with spicy soy dressing and sushi bowls, or as a marinade like I used in my portobello mushroom burgers.
You can also:
- Use this recipe in place of soy sauce or soy sauce substitutes in your favorite recipes
- as condiment for Asian dishes
- as a stand in for teriyaki sauce
- as a stir fry sauce
- or drizzled over chopped salads or bowls
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month. I've yet to freeze it, since it lasts a long time in the fridge.
To make the lowest sodium, healthiest soy sauce, make your own at home! It takes just a few minutes, and it tastes delicious.
While salt is know to be detrimental to our health, the sodium in miso and other soy products appear to be healthier (3:49 minute video), as soy itself is protective. That said, even among soy products, it's probably best to go with the lower sodium options.
It depends on the brand and the ingredients used in the fermenting process--which could include animal products. You can't be sure a product is vegan unless indicated on the packaging. Of course, it's safe to make your own from vegan miso paste and other ingredients.
Most soy sauce brands contain wheat, and therefor are not gluten free. So check the label or make your own at home from all gluten-free products.
No. Light soy sauce is a specific type of Chinese soy sauce that is thinner and lighter in color than regular soy sauce. In fact, light soy sauce can still be quite high in sodium.
Happy, whole food plant-based cooking, y'all!
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More whole food, plant-based sauces
Low Sodium Soy Sauce
- 1 cup hot water
- ¼ cup mellow white miso paste I used Miso Master brand.
- 2 tablespoon molasses
- 2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar thick and syrupy. Gluten free if needed.
- 2 tablespoon +2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon ginger powder
- ¼ teaspoon finely ground fresh black pepper
- Whisk all ingredients together, making sure that the miso paste dissolves completely. Enjoy as is, or for a more intense, concentrated flavor, reduce the sauce.
- To reduce the sauce. Pour the mixture into a small sauce pan and simmer on low heat (don’t boil) for 10 minutes.
This is brilliant! I’ve been looking for something like this forever. I’m mortified whenever I read the sodium content of soy sauces. Thank you for this.
Thanks so much! I will never argue with someone who says I'm brilliant, hahahah! I love soy sauce and feel the same about all that sodium.