If you like soy sauce, then you surely have it in your kitchen as a staple. But have you checked the sodium content recently? Or have you decided to be gluten-free due to dietary restrictions? If that is the case, then you may have been using coconut aminos as a similar ingredient to replace soy sauce in your cooking.
But, what happens if you run out of coconut aminos? Or if you want a flavor that’s a bit saltier and umami? Then it is probably time to find a substitute that can give you the qualities you want and your meal a similar taste to coconut aminos.
What Is Coconut Aminos?
First, let’s talk about it, what even is coconut aminos?
This soy-free alternative is made from coconut tree sap and salt, making it a simple choice that is lower in sodium and has not soybeans or gluten. The color is still dark brown, and it has a mildly sweet and salty flavor, creating the umami known in other sauces, like soy or tamari.
Often, coconut aminos are considered healthy because they don’t include GMOs, gluten, or soy, so some diets like Paleo or Keto, consider it safe to use. However, the flavor can be much lighter, which is why others often prefer stronger sauces.
What Can I Replace Coconut Aminos With?
If you don’t have any coconut aminos or you’re trying to find something new, these substitutes are a great option:
#1. Liquid Aminos
This protein concentrate is made from soybeans, but unlike soy sauce, these aren’t fermented and don’t have gluten in it.
Unlike coconut aminos, liquid aminos have more concentrated soy and salt flavor, which is why some prefer to use it when they need a strong taste in their meal. Liquid aminos are often used in Asian dishes when they need to be gluten-free, including stir fry, fried rice, or noodles.
You can find liquid aminos in grocery stores, usually by the condiments or in the international section, or you can try an organic market too. Try replacing coconut aminos for about ½ of liquid aminos, as this ingredient is more powerful.
#2. Soy Sauce
This option shouldn’t come as a surprise considering we have mentioned coconut aminos as a substitute for soy sauce, and the same can be applied to the opposite.
If you don’t have dietary restrictions, consider using soy sauce instead, as it is a saltier and more pungent version of the same flavor. This sauce is a staple across Asian cuisines, used in many dishes, sauces, marinades, and soups.
Because it is very popular, you shouldn’t have trouble finding soy sauce in your grocery store, and even a convenience store, and you can usually get a low-sodium variety. Use half of what the recipe calls for or what you usually add to factor in the added salt.
This Japanese version of soy sauce is another good replacement that is also safe to consume if you have a gluten allergy or sensitivity.
This sauce is also made from fermented soybeans and koji, but it doesn’t come off as thick as soy sauce while giving you an umami flavor. You can find tamari in some grocery stores, usually by the rest of Asian condiments, but you can also try a specialty Japanese store.
Tamari is a staple in Japanese food, including ramen, sushi, and noodles, but you can add it to your meals instead of coconut aminos. For 1 tablespoon of coconut aminos, you should add ½ a tablespoon of tamari.
#4. Dried Mushrooms
While not a sauce, dried shiitake mushrooms can give you umami and spice to your meals without any added sodium or gluten. These are used in many foods, like ramen or salads, but you can buy them dry and soak them in water for a few hours.
Using this liquid, you can then replace coconut aminos. You can buy them in some grocery stores, but you probably have a better chance of finding them in organic supermarkets or farmer’s markets.
If you are using dry mushrooms, make sure you add about 1 ½ tablespoon for every tablespoon of coconut aminos, but if you are soaking them, you can use this liquid in equal parts and add a pinch of salt for a more similar flavor.
The next two options are our last because they aren’t vegetarian, but in a pinch, you could use either one of them to season your food.
#5. Fish Sauce
Fish sauce is made from fermented fish that has been in salt for up to two years. It does not taste the same as fish sauce is more pungent.
Fish sauce is used in many dishes in Asian cuisines. If you have eaten Thai or Vietnamese foods before, chances are you already tried fish sauce. It is used to make dipping sauces or season meat dishes.
We suggest you use ½ or less of what you usually put in for coconut aminos, and keep in mind that this “fishy” taste doesn’t go well in all dishes.
#6. Oyster Sauce
Oyster sauce is made from oyster extract, salt, sugar, and cornstarch.
Oyster sauce is a bit sweeter, but they are often used in Asian cuisine to season sauces, soups, stir-fry and fried rice.
You can buy this condiments section of your grocery store, or where the international foods are, but you can also try an organic supermarket.
Yes! This is a very healthy condiment that contains 17 amino acids, potassium, vitamin C, and some B vitamins. It is also low in calories, salt, and has no added chemicals or ingredients. We recommend that when possible, use this ingredient instead of the saltier, and gluten-containing, options.
That depends on taste, while coconut aminos is gluten-free and lower in sodium, it doesn’t have the strength and body of soy sauce. This is why some people still prefer soy sauce, and you can always find a low-sodium choice. We suggest you try both!
Yes coconut aminos is a perfect alternative to soy sauce for those who are on a strict ketogenic diet.
Using coconut aminos has become extremely popular lately, and with reason! This condiment is healthy and tasty, but if you need a cheaper or easier-to-find choice, these alternatives are all very good options. Always try them first and measure before adding, but now, let’s start cooking!
*Photo by serezniy/depositphotos