There are many different types of soy sauce. Broadly speaking, you have sweet (such as ketjap and teriyaki) and salty soy sauces. With the latter, for example, you have shoyu, which is made from soybeans and wheat. Tamari is made without wheat and is therefore normally gluten-free. But I have also seen that sometimes a small amount of wheat is used to make tamari because this is cheaper. So pay attention to the packaging if you need to eat gluten-free. You also have tamari that would contain less. I usually use tamari strong myself.
For what reason would you use soy sauce?
Soy sauce as a substitute for salt
If you want to use less salt, you can omit the salt and replace it with a little soy sauce, or less salt and a little soy sauce. It also makes the dish salty without having to use too much extra salt. It is a bit healthier, but it has no loss of taste, on the contrary.
Making dishes more savory – umami
You get the extra taste umami by using soy sauce. Umami provides heartiness, so if you want to make your dish a little more savory, a dash of soy sauce is a good solution.
What can you do with soy sauce?
Soy sauce is best known for Asian dishes. In the supermarket, you will be able to find soy sauce in the section with Oriental Ingredients, where you can also find nori leaves. You will also find an extensive variety of soy sauce in health food stores and Asian shops.
You will usually find small bottles, but I always buy a very large one. I do not only use it in Asian dishes but I use it in everything. Or almost 😉
Let’s start with the most obvious …
Soy sauce is ideal in Asian dishes, you can add both salty and sweet soy sauces. For example in a wok.
Dip with sushi
If you eat vegan sushi, it is usually dipped in a soy sauce. You can use this tamari purely for that.
Pour warm water over couscous and let it well. After I have added water, I also add a dash of olive oil and tamari for the extra taste and then fluff the couscous with a fork.
After the vegetables have been cooked from the soup, I mix them. I usually eat mixed soup. Then I season the soup further. I.p.v. to use extra salt, I add tamari to bring the soup to taste.
Making a vegan gravy, without soy sauce, that is impossible. It also gives the gravy the brown color.
Seitan stew is delicious with fries, but you can also eat it with other things of course.
Recipe of seitan stew >>
In the boiling water
If you are cooking pasta or noodles, you can add salt to the boiling water for the extra taste. You can replace the salt with a dash of soy sauce.
I’m not such a big rice fan myself. But sometimes I eat it and then I cook the rice with a dash of soy sauce in it to make it taste better.
I think quinoa is very tasty but even better by adding a little of the tamari in the boiling water.
In (green) mashed potatoes
With green mashed potatoes I often vary which leafy green I use. I mash the potatoes together with, for example, endive, spinach, kale, … And a dash of soy sauce for good taste.
Marinades are ideal for flavoring tofu and you can also give vegetables an extra flavor. Marinades can be made with all kinds of different ingredients, but one that will immediately give a lot of flavor is…. soy sauce.
You can crush tofu with a fork and bake it like scrambled eggs. For the egg taste, you use kala namak. For an extra savory taste I add a dash of soy sauce.
Roasted sunflower seeds
What I really like are sunflowers roasted in a pan without oil. When these are ready, add a dash of tamari and immediately stir together. A layer of soy sauce comes around each sunflower seed. This is so delicious that I usually stock it up and keep it in a container. I eat it straight away, with oatmeal or on a salad. You get the crunch of the sunflower seeds and the extra taste of the tamari.
Stews and spaghetti sauce
I also do a dash of tamari in stews for extra heartiness, even in spaghetti sauce.
This is the soy sauce that I use the most >>
If you are allergic to soy or you don’t want to use it, you can replace soy sauce with coconut aminos. Read (or view) more about coconut aminos here >>
You notice that you can do a lot with soy sauce. Are there things that are new to you that you have never thought of using soy sauce in? Are there things that I have forgotten and that you use it with? Let me know in a comment at the bottom of this page.