How to counteract too much Soy Sauce? (3 Things to Know)

In this article, we will answer the question, ‘how to counteract too much soy sauce?’. We will discuss the reasons to counteract soya sauce and all the viable options to counteract too much of it.

How to counteract too much Soy Sauce?

To counteract too much soy sauce, you can introduce sour or sweet flavors to your food. To balance the salty taste of soya sauce, add either or both sweet and acidic elements. 

The perception of taste is complex and varies depending on age, gender, and dietary habits. When different tastes are mixed together or make part of a food matrix, the individual tastes are differently perceived and can be enhanced or masked, depending on the tastes combination and the food matrix (1,2,3).

However, it is known that the perception of saltiness can be masked by the perception of sweetness and bitterness, while some studies suggest that organic acids added to salty foods may enhance the salty taste (2).

Why should you counteract too much soy sauce?

You should counteract too much soy sauce because soy sauce is a condiment containing a very high salt concentration and the ingestion of salt in excess may have negative effects on health.

The high intake of sodium in the diet, as the form of salt or salty condiments, such as soy sauce, are related to increased risks of developing hypertension and heart diseases (4).

Traditional Japanese soy sauce contains on average 5,700 mg of sodium per 100 g, which is considered high, as the recommended intake of sodium should be less than 2,300 mg per day (5).

How to counteract too much soy sauce?

The most simple method to counteract too much soy sauce in the food is to dilute the dish. By adding other ingredients or water, the amount of sodium in the same volume is reduced. This is more important than simply masking the flavor, because by masking, the amount of sodium is maintained for the same volume.

Studies suggest that organic acids are able to improve the salty taste without the need of addition of salt, which can be a solution for the ones who enjoy salty foods (3).

Vegetables are rich in organic acids, such as pyruvic acid, citric, malic and succinic acids. The addition of the following vegetables, which are rich in acids, may enhance the salt in food and dilute the dish simultaneously:

  • Onions: contain citric acid, malic acid, tartaric acid, oxalic acid, pyruvic acid, and fumaric acid. 
  • Leafy vegetables: contain malic acid and citric acid
  • Mushrooms: contain succinic acid, citric acid and malic acid

Organic acids are found also in spices, such as thyme and peppers, as well as in fermented foods, such as vinegar and wine. By adding wine to the dish, you can dilute the soy sauce, reduce the sodium amount per serving and at the same time, the saltiness perception will not be reduced markedly (3).

What to do if you ingest too much soy sauce?

If you ingest too much soy sauce, the immediate effect is thirst. By the ingestion of high amounts of sodium, it is possible that your body fluid becomes unbalanced and your body informs you that you should drink water.

A high serum sodium concentration in the body stimulates the specific receptors in the brain and gives rise to thirst (6).

If you ingest too much soy sauce, it is recommended to increase the drinking volume, especially water, to counteract the sodium osmolality of the body. A longer term high intake of soy sauce or other condiments containing sodium may lead to hypertension (4).

Other FAQs about Sauces which you may be interested in.

How long does soy sauce last?

How long to marinate chicken in soy sauce?

Can cocktail sauce go bad?


In this article, we answered the question, ‘how to counteract too much soy sauce?’. We discussed the reasons to counteract soya sauce and all the viable options to counteract too much of it.


  1. Montero, María Laura, and Carolyn F. Ross. Saltiness perception in white sauce formulations as tested in older adults. Food Qual Prefer, 2022, 98, 104529.
  2. Puputti, Sari, Ulla Hoppu, and Mari Sandell. Taste sensitivity is associated with food consumption behavior but not with recalled pleasantness. Foods, 2019, 8, 444.
  3. Shi, Yige, et al. Recent Progress in the Study of Taste Characteristics and the Nutrition and Health Properties of Organic Acids in Foods. Foods, 2022, 11, 3408.  
  4. Okada, Emiko, Aki Saito, and Hidemi Takimoto. Association between the portion sizes of traditional Japanese seasonings—Soy sauce and miso—And blood pressure: Cross-sectional study using national health and nutrition survey, 2012–2016 data. Nutrients, 2018, 10, 1865.  
  5. Sodium in your diet. US Food and Drug Administration. 
  6. Waldreus, Nana, Robert G. Hahn, and Tiny Jaarsma. Thirst in heart failure: a systematic literature review. Euro j heart failure, 2013, 15, 141-149.

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!