Soy Sauce Substitute – Low Sodium, Gluten-Free Alternative

This easy, homemade recipe for low sodium Soy Sauce Substitute is the BEST. Healthy and gluten-free. Use it for adding extra flavor when stir-frying, in healthy fried rice recipes, or in sauces.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

soy sauce substitute in a jar.

Making your own sauces, salad dressings, and dips is an easy step to healthier eating by avoiding preservatives and additives in the manufactured versions. My favs include this Honey Mustard Dip without the Honey or this healthier homemade Onion Ring Dip.

Soy sauce is such a popular condiment. It is listed in numerous recipes and packs a nice salty punch to many dishes. But if you have a soy allergy, wheat intolerance, or need to lower your salt intake then traditional soy sauce may not be good for you.

Wondering if you can make your own soy sauce substitute that is soy-free? The answer is yes!

This recipe is what can be used in place of soy sauce, especially if you are looking for a low sodium and gluten-free option.

soy sauce substitute in a jar.

I will be completely honest that it doesn’t taste exactly like your typical soy sauce, but it comes close.

It’s not so great on its own, as say a dipping sauce, but when added to stir-fries and sauces, it still will add those umami flavors.

Ingredients for this Recipe:

A few pantry items are all that are needed to make this easy recipe.

ingredients on a counter.

How to Make a Soy Sauce Substitute

When I say easy, I mean it!

First, combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring them to a boil.

a small saucepan with a dark liquid mixture inside

Next, lower the boil to medium heat and let the mixture simmer until it is reduced by half. Keep stirring it periodically.

spoon stirring dark liquid in a pot.

Once the mixture has reduced, remove it from the heat and let it cool on the counter. This takes about 15 minutes.

a dish of dark liquid cooling on a counter.

Once it has cooled, transfer it to a small mason jar for storage.

Keep it refrigerated and give it a good shake before using.

a hand holding a jar of dark sauce.

Serving Suggestions and Substitutions:

  • Add this to a stir fry or healthy fried rice recipes in place of soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, coconut aminos, bragg liquid aminos, or maggi seasoning. It could also double as a tamarind or tamari substitute.
  • This could easily be made vegan-friendly by using vegetable stock. Click for this Vegan Soy Sauce Substitute recipe.
  • Substitute beef broth for a richer taste. Tip! Keep bouillon on hand in the pantry. It can be really useful for making broth on the fly.
  • Add the flavor of anchoviesI recommend the anchovy paste – to turn this into a healthier low-sodium fish sauce.
  • For a twist on the spices, you could add 1/4 tsp of onion powder or swap white pepper for the black peppercorns.
soy sauce substitute in a jar.


soy sauce substitute in a jar.

**This recipe was originally posted on September 16, 2013, and updated on January 12, 2021, and updated again on December 29, 2021, with recipe notes, writing, and photos.** 

If you’ve tried my Soy Sauce alternative, please rate the recipe and let me know how it turned out by leaving me a comment below. I’m always interested in feedback!

Be sure to follow me on social media! I love pinning to Pinterest, sharing on Facebook, and posting pics on Instagram. See you there.  🙂

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Want to Save This Recipe?

Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week.

Save Recipe

By submitting this form, you consent to receive emails from The Honour System

soy sauce substitute in a jar.

Soy Sauce Substitute – Low Sodium, Gluten-Free Alternative

Sharon Rhodes
This easy, homemade recipe for low sodium Soy Sauce Substitute is the BEST. Healthy and gluten-free. Use it for adding extra flavor when stir-frying, in healthy fried rice, or in sauces.
4.60 from 30 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Cool 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Sauce, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 21 kcal



  • Add all of the ingredients into a small saucepan, give it a good stir and bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Lower the heat to medium and simmer for approximately 20 minutes until the liquid is reduced to one cup. Remove from the heat and let the mixture cool in the pan for about 15 minutes.
  • Transfer the mixture to a glass jar and store covered in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  • Shake well before using.


Serving Suggestions and Substitutions:

  • Store in the fridge in the sealed jar for up to 2 weeks. Shake well before using.
  • Add this to a stir fry or healthy fried rice recipes in place of soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, coconut aminos, bragg liquid aminos, or maggi seasoning. It could also double as a tamarind or tamari substitute.
  • This could easily be made vegan-friendly by using vegetable stock. Click for this Vegan Soy Sauce Substitute recipe.
  • Substitute beef broth for a richer tasteTip! Keep bouillon on hand in the pantry. It can be really useful for making broth on the fly.
  • Add the flavor of anchovies – I recommend the anchovy paste – to turn this into a healthier low-sodium fish sauce.
  • For a twist on the spices, you could add 1/4 tsp of onion powder or swap white pepper for the black peppercorns.


Calories: 21kcalCarbohydrates: 5gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 10mgPotassium: 69mgSugar: 4gCalcium: 11mgIron: 1mg
Keyword low sodium soy sauce substitute, soy free soy sauce, soy sauce substitute
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Similar Posts


  1. 3 stars
    The vinegar flavor is stronger than anything else. Not sure what how similar to soy sauce this should taste.

  2. I am looking at making a sugar free low sodium teriyaki sauce that use soy sauce. Could I use this for that?

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for this recipe!! I am soy AND coconut-free, so I can’t use coconut aminos. This is either a life-saver or a game-changer, ha! SO lovely to have this on hand now for yummy, easy dinners!! 🙂

    1. Good point! Coconut aminos is a go-to substitute but there are a lot of coconut allergies out there also. I am glad this is helpful for you! 🙂

  4. 5 stars
    What a great idea. I use far too much soy sauce and it is ever so salty. Making an alternative sauce isn’t something I’d even thought about – until now!

  5. 5 stars
    I’ve never thought we can make soy sauce at home. This is such a cool recipe that will help people with dietary restrictions.

  6. Do you think this will freeze well? I was thinking of pouring it up into TBSP servings in an ice cube tray, but will it hold up? I tried it and it was delicious btw! 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    You have made life much better in our home! I’m allergic to soy and am a breast cancer survivor so I’m not able to have soy. My son is GFCFSF, dye and preservative free because of Autism. My father-in-law has to limit sodium. We were really missing Chinese food. Thank you for developing this recipe! I have fooled my extended family into thinking they were eating food with soy sauce. We have all acclimated to your faux soy sauce. My husband ate some real Chinese food with soy sauce and couldn’t take it because it was too salty. Thank you again!

    1. Thanks so much Vera! This comment has made my day. What a fabulous mom/wife/daughter in law you are to take care of your family this way. I’m so happy this recipe has been helpful and your family can enjoy their old favourites. 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe as well as the BBQ sauce recipe. I plan to try both tonight.

    I recently went from being a borderline vegetarian to full vegetarian / vegan. You are so right in that a lot of the vegan/vegetarian recipes call for soy sauce. As a person with high blood pressure, I definitely keep an eye on the sodium content of foods. I always buy the low sodium soy sauce but even it still has a ton of sodium in it.

    1. You’ll love this sauce. I use it all the time. Thanks so much for your comment. 🙂 Have a great weekend, Mavis!

  9. 5 stars
    I made your Smokey BBQ Sauce, and it was a big hit!

    I’m excited to try this “soy” sauce, but was wondering if you could substitute anything for the balsamic vinegar? Maybe ACV and something else?? I just don’t have any on hand and was going to try to whip this up today!

    We’ve been using Liquid Aminos, but I’m trying to stay away from soy, so this will be perfect!
    Thanks so much for the recipe!

    1. Thanks so much. Molly! I’m glad you liked the BBQ sauce 🙂 The faux soy sauce is great also. I haven’t tried it with anything other than the balsamic which I think adds colour. The ACV could work but perhaps cook it a little longer? Let me know how it works out …

    2. From what I have tested, you can replace the Balsamic with ACV as long as you add a touch more molasses (for sweetness).

        1. 5 stars
          For us this is a good substitute for soy sauce but of course won’t taste just like it! I will add a teaspoon or less of coconut amines to a recipe that I use some of it in. That can add about 90 mg sodium per teaspoon to the recipe. Don’t leave out the ginger! I can’t use garlic but I can use garlic olive oil and 1 put about one teaspoon of that in as well. Thanks for the recipe!

  10. 5 stars
    How creative! I usually try to limit how much soy sauce I use because of the outrageous sodium content. It’s nice to know that there are alternative ways to make you own.

    1. Outrageous is the right word! I know the saltiness is what makes it tasty but I find your taste buds will adjust to lower levels of sodium over time. You blood pressure will thank you 🙂

      1. The nutrition label that is at the bottom of the recipe does show or say what the serving size is for that nutrition levels?

          1. This recipe makes 1 cup of sauce. It is broken down into 6 servings for the nutritional info which is about 2 1/2 tablespoons per serving.

  11. 5 stars
    This is brilliant–thank you. I love soy sauce in many recipes but the sodium content is very concerning. How long will it keep in the fridge?

          1. I haven’t personally tried canning it. I typically make the small batch. Sorry, I can’t be more helpful!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.