Soy Sauce Substitute

Healthy Soy Sauce Alternative
I’ve always loved that umami flavor that soy sauce brings to any food or dish. Though now, after learning about how unhealthy soy can be, our family really tries to stay away from it. So if you’re like me and have missed the taste that soy sauce brings, then you’re in for a treat. This healthy soy sauce alternative is easy to make and uses common ingredients you may already have in your kitchen. (If you’re still confused about soy, see the article entitled Soy: The Many Dangers of Soy which should help clear things up.)

This natural sauce is easy to make and comes pretty close to tasting like the real thing…without all of the dangers. You can use this homemade sauce as a substitute for Soy Sauce or Worcestershire Sauce.

Want a quick stir-fry sauce that’s healthy and tastes great? Just thicken the soy sauce substitute with a little arrowroot powder and voila! You have a fantastic sauce for any Asian inspired meal!

4.5 from 4 reviews
Soy Sauce Substitute
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Whether you've run out of soy sauce or avoid it for health reasons, this homemade sauce is the perfect soy sauce substitute. It's quick and easy to make and gives you that familiar taste you're looking for.
Recipe type: Condiment
Serves: 1 cup
  • 1½ cups beef broth or chicken broth (preferably homemade*)
  • 3 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (OR apple cider / red wine vinegar)
  • 2 teaspoons unsulphured molasses
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 pinch white pepper
  • 1 pinch garlic powder
  • 1 pinch onion powder
  • unrefined sea salt, to taste (can be adjusted to suit your tastes)
  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together all of the ingredients, except salt. Bring to a boil. Continue to boil gently until liquid is reduced to about 1 cup, for about 15 minutes.
  2. Taste sauce and season as needed with sea salt, until desired saltiness is reached.
  3. Store the sauce tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to one week. Shake before using.
*Beef broth will give the soy sauce substitute a more authentic flavor. Homemade beef broth is the best due to the high nutrition and mineral content. Luckily it's easy to make your own beef broth.

TIP: Use as a substitute for Soy Sauce or Worcestershire Sauce. This sauce also makes a great "stir-fry" sauce when thickened with a little arrowroot or corn starch.


Please Note: This post may contain sponsor, affiliate, and/or referral links.

Disclaimer: The information in this post is meant for educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice. None of the opinions are meant to diagnose or treat any disease or illness. You should always consult your healthcare provider.


  1. Thank you for this site. I have a thyroid problem and am always looking for alternative ingredients to cook with. Soy is a big problem for me.


    Do you think freezing cubes of this could help store it longer if you don’t use this type of condiment often?

    • Yes you could definitely freeze the soy sauce substitute, and I think pre-measured cubes is a good way to do it. Then you would know how many cubes to add when making a recipe 🙂

  3. could one substitute organic honey for the molasses?

    • Dawn, you could use honey if you would like but it will give a slightly different flavor to the sauce.

      The molasses is not really meant to add sweetness, but a certain earthy flavor to the soy sauce substitute. But if you try it and like it do let us know.

  4. Super tasting! So glad you put up this recipe.

  5. Evelyn Vergara says

    I stop using any soy products now in all my recipes What I’m using now is the Coconut Aminos which is made from coconut and it’s so delicious in making Filipino Stirfry Brown Rice Noodles with Kale and Collard greens and Baked Red Snapper Fillet. Yummy

  6. Juliet Welsh says

    Good soy sauce sub

  7. I have been looking for a simple soy sauce substitute for a long time! Thought this was wonderful – I didn’t even have broth to put in it, so I used water – still tasted great on our veggie lo mein with gluten free angel hair pasta! Next I plan on using it as a chicken marinade!
    So glad I found your site – can’t wait to check out what other fabulous recipes are on here!
    Thanks for sharing!

  8. DeNise Davis says

    I tried it and put my own twist to it. I used spring water, apple cider vinegar, and organic red wine as variations to the original recipe. The smell is to die for while boiling. Great recipe!!!

  9. Finally, someone else understands the dangers of soy! Thank you for this brilliant substitute. I am going to make it right now!

  10. Thank you, so easy to make when you don’t have time or live close to the store!

  11. Hi – can I substitute beef/chicken broth with vegetable broth.

  12. Hello!
    I love your website and it is very helpful,
    but I was wondering, do you know how much sodium this sauce might have?
    Thanks and keep up the good work!!

    • Henri, I cannot tell you how much sodium is in the soy sauce substitute. It can vary depending on how much sodium was in the broth you started with and how much extra salt you add for seasoning the sauce after cooking.

  13. Yummy! I also add cayenne pepper & a splash of lemon juice. Everyone loves it!

  14. I, too, have decided to avoid soy for the same reasons. I didn”t use a whole lot of soy sauce, but would like to have some of the substitute on hand for when I need it. The recipe makes way more than I would use in a week, so I was wondering if you know how well it freezes (like in ice cube trays)?

    Thank you!

    • Personally I have not tried freezing the sauce. I always use it up shortly after I make it. Since the sauce is nowhere near as salty as regular soy sauce I use it in a number of recipes. It is especially good in Asian style recipes as a base sauce. Like my Korean-Style Chicken, Yakisoba, Asian Sesame Glazed Salmon, Chicken Chop Suey etc. All of the aforementioned recipes use at least half of the soy sauce substitute for their base sauce, and one of them uses the whole recipe. So needless to say, when I make it I plan on using it up, so I don’t usually have much left over.

      With all that said, if you want to freeze it into ice cubes, I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t work.

    • I hope that people realize that some foods, like soy, really only become dangerous when one over indulges in them. For example fats, grease, sugar, caffeine and many others like it are not good for you when you excessively eat them.

      • I understand what you’re saying. But actually soy is harmful to you unless it is made correctly. The soy must be in its “fermented” form, such as natto, miso, traditionally made soy sauce etc.

        A few facts about soy:
        Soy interferes with thyroid fuction
        Soy increases the body’s need for Vitamin D
        Soy is a Trypsin inhibitor, block the absorption of proteins/minerals
        Soy is very estrogenic
        Soy is high in free glutamic acid (MSG), which is a very potent neurotoxin

        If you want to read more about soy I would suggest doing some research. There are some great books out on the subject. Here is a great article from Dr. Mercola “The Truth About Soy Foods”.

        • I heard that balsamic vinegar has naturally occurring MSG. I have food restrictions and can’t have MSG. Others have recommended using rice vinegar. Comments??

          • Clare, I would suggest doing some research on bound glutamic acid, (natural MSG) and free glutamic acid (synthetic MSG). They are not the same. Natural msg is bound and does not give the body issues, usually. Free MSG is a chemical made by man, that is the one you hear so much about. So a natural product may not be an issue. Do test to see if it gives you a problem. I plan on doing an article on the differences between Free MSG and Natural MSG in the near future. – Jeff

      • Well, yes, soy is harmful. It is thrown into everything these days. If you eat any processed food it is hard to avoid, therefore hard not to overindulge. Picked up a can of peanuts the other day. What did it have? Soy! Tell me why that’s necessary. For someone who is allergic to soy, this is a wonderful website. Thank you!

  15. I am Loving this website! I also Love the Name! Thank You for having this Wonderful Site! Can one advertise on it? Also how can one Share recipes with others on my FB page? Thank You! Jeani’D

    • Jeani’D, thank you! So glad you enjoy the site. You can share recipes on your Facebook page by simply copying and pasting the link to the recipe on your page. If you plan to use them otherwise, please see our License & Usage page for details.

      Check out our Affiliate Program if you haven’t already signed up.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Cooking God's Way. Cooking God's Way said: Avoiding Soy due to an allergy or other health reasons? Check out this recipe for a great Soy Sauce Substitute! […]

  2. […] thanks to Cooking God’s Way for sharing the recipe with […]

  3. […] I found out about The Many Dangers of Soy, I have avoided making it. But in comes this healthy soy sauce substitute that is easy to make and comes pretty close to tasting like the real thing…without all of the […]

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