Can I substitute soy sauce for Tamari? (+5 substitutes)

In this article, we will answer the question “Can I substitute soy sauce for Tamari?”, and what are the other substitutes for Tamari?

Can I substitute soy sauce for Tamari?

Yes, you can substitute soy sauce for Tamari. The striking differences in the flavor and color of the two sauces allow us to use them interchangeably in most recipes. However, there are a number of things that distinguish one sauce from the other.

Both the sauces are the result of soybean fermentation but the difference is the amount of wheat. Unlike soy sauce, which has a  significant amount of wheat, Tamari can be regarded as gluten-free because It practically has little to no wheat in it. However, check the label before buying If you are gluten-insensitive. 

The raw material for Tamari sauce is miso paste and It is specifically a Japanese soy sauce. While regular soy sauce is mostly consumed in Asia. tamari has a rich flavor, a deeper color, lesser saltiness, or a milder taste as compared to the regular Chinese soy sauce.

Other substitutes for Tamari

Fish sauce

As compared to the darker and caramel flavor of soy sauce, fish sauce has a more salty and sour taste. However, these two are great alternatives to each other. Substitute Tamrai for an equal amount of fish sauce. Add more to adjust to your personal preference.


Like other sauces, salt can be used to beautifully season your food. Though the other sauces have a more complex flavor salt isn’t a bad idea either.

Miso paste

To make this Japanese condiment a little thinner in consistency, mix 1tsp of miso paste with 2tsp of water to substitute 1 tbsp of Tamari sauce. It provides a rich umami flavor to your recipe.

Coconut Aminos

Coconut Aminos is a great soy-free alternative for Tamari. Due to the presence of 37% sugars, It has a rather more sweet flavor than Tamari. Add some salt to adjust the flavor.


If you do not have any other option, a dash of thinly chopped anchovies is the way to go to get that depth, saltiness, and sourness to your stir-fry or curry.

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Soy sauce substitutes

You may want to avoid soy sauce If you have celiac disease, gluten intolerance, soy allergy, or because you want to avoid high levels of sodium. Whatever the reason may be, the following substitutes are worth the try.

Coconut Secret coconut aminos sauce

This gluten-free and vegan sauce is extracted from the coconut sap and contains 60mg salt per serving with a sweet aftertaste. Besides, It provides about 17 amino acids. However, the cost and availability of this sauce is a limiting factor there.

Red Boat fish soy sauce 

This sauce comes from the wild-caught anchovies of the Phú Quốc island, Thailand. It is gluten-free but provides  1,490 mg of sodium per serving. So, the choice is yours.

Maggi seasoning sauce 

Maggi seasoning sauce is a great flavor enhancer and its ingredients are modified to adjust the flavors of the local cuisine. However, It may contain soy or gluten.

Lea & Perrins Worcestershire sauce 

The umami richness of Worcestershire sauce does not have to limit to Bloody Marys and stakes. This soy and gluten-free alternative can also be used to enhance the flavor of stir-fried vegetables and popcorns with only 65mg of salt per serving. Its reduced-sodium variety with only 4mg of salt per serving is also available.

Ohsawa White Nama shoyu sauce 

This thicker than the regular sauce soy contains sea salt, distilled sake, and wheat. Ohsawa brand provides a soy-free version of this sauce. It has a light caramel color and tastes somewhat sweet.

Bragg Liquid Aminos

This rich in amino acid sauce contains soy and about 320 mg of sodium per teaspoon. However, due to a strong flavor, It is needed in such small amounts as compared to soy sauce.

Homemade alternatives

  1. Why rely on the store-bought soy sauce when you can make your own at home with a lot of autonomy over the ingredients and their amounts. 
  1. Don’t Mess with Mama’s soy sauce is made using bone broth, vinegar, organic dark molasses, and date sugar, among other ingredients. The substitute stays fresh in the fridge for a week.
  1. A good soy sauce alternative can be made combining beef broth, cider vinegar, blackstrap molasses, and ½ tsp of fish sauce for a richer taste. 
  1. Another recipe involves mixing beef broth, traditional molasses, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, and fish sauce plus other ingredients.
  1. To make a vegan soy-free alternative, combine vegetable bouillon, blackstrap molasses, and some fenugreek seeds to imitate the flavor of soy sauce.


In this article, we answered the question “Can I substitute soy sauce for Tamari?”, and what are the other substitutes for Tamari?


Hello, I'm Sana Ameer. I'm a student of Food Science and Technology at UVAS. I like to bake and I aspire to become a Food blogger.