Low-Sodium Soy Sauce Substitute

Soy sauce
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Ratings (26)
  • Total: 65 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Yield: 1/3 cup (serves 4)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
23 Calories
1g Fat
3g Carbs
0g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This soy sauce substitute doesn't taste exactly like the real thing, but it makes a flavorful alternative if you are trying to reduce the amount of salt in your diet. Chinese cooking can be a very healthy way of eating, especially when using this low-sodium soy sauce substitute. It's a great option for those who are avoiding soy all together and you can easily make vegetarian and gluten-free modifications.


  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons molasses
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup water (boiling)

Steps to Make It

Combine all the ingredients. At this point, you can either use the sauce as is or let it sit for an hour to give the ingredients a chance to meld. You can also boil the liquid until it is reduced by half to about 3 tablespoons to condense the flavor.

Recipe Tips and Variations

  • The soy sauce substitute can be stored in a sealed container inside the fridge for up to a month. Discard it if you see any mold, off-colors, or odors.
  • The recipe yields enough to prepare approximately two meals. You can scale the recipe up if you'd rather make a larger batch and anticipate using it within a couple of weeks.
  • Feel free to tinker with the ingredients to get the best flavor. The sodium is mostly in the beef broth, with a small amount in the molasses and the balsamic vinegar. You can alter the other ingredients without changing the sodium content.
  • To make this recipe vegetarian, substitute vegetable broth for the beef broth. Just be aware this will alter the flavor somewhat, so experiment a little until it tastes the way you prefer.
  • This soy sauce alternative can be gluten-free as long as it's made with gluten-free beef broth and garlic powder. Also, do not substitute in malt vinegar, which contains gluten.