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Gourmet Hacks: 5 BEST Light Soy Sauce Substitutes

Light soy sauce ran out? No biggie.

Our kitchens are full of surprises, and today, we’re about to spill the beans on the best swaps for light soy sauce.

Ever found yourself mid-recipe only to realize the soy sauce is history?

We’ve been there too. That’s why we’re sharing our top-secret list of substitutes that you probably already have chilling in your pantry.

These aren’t just random picks; each has earned its spot for bringing those much-needed savory, umami flavors to the table.

Stick around, and you’ll never have to pause your cooking groove again.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Light Soy Sauce

If you’re looking for alternatives to light soy sauce, there are many options available.

Here are the five best substitutes for light soy sauce that you can use:

1 – Tamari Sauce

No dish is complete without a touch of flavor, and tamari sauce is here to deliver.

Tamari sauce originated in Japan as an alternative to soy sauce, so if you’re looking for soy sauce-like qualities but with less salt, tamari sauce should be your condiment of choice.

It’s thick and syrupy in texture, composed of fermented soybeans and wheat.

The taste is bolder than light soy sauce while being less salty – even allowing one to detect hints of sweetness at times.

If light soy sauce is what your recipe calls for, but all you have in-house is Tamari, don’t worry.

Simply reduce the amount used slightly, and the recipe should turn out just fine.

2 – Coconut Aminos

Coconut aminos are a tasty and nutritious alternative to regular soy sauce.

Derived from coconut tree sap, it has a unique taste and texture that adds flavor to Asian-style dishes.

It’s lighter in flavor than light soy sauce but still salty and savory, with an underlying sweetness from the coconut blossom nectar.

It contains 17 naturally occurring amino acids and is much lower in sodium than conventional soy sauce or Tamari.

Unlike regular soy sauce, coconut aminos are vegan and contain no wheat or gluten.

As a substitute for light soy sauce, it works especially well in salad dressings, marinades, stir-fries, and as a condiment on sushi since its delicate flavor won’t overpower the flavors of other ingredients.

3 – Miso Paste

Miso paste is a traditional Japanese condiment that has been used for centuries.

It’s made from fermented soybeans and can range in color from light yellow to deep red, depending on the ingredients used to make it.

Miso has a savory and salty flavor, balanced by a subtle sweetness, and ranges from a creamy smooth texture to one that is more coarsely ground.

A good way to substitute it for light soy sauce is as an additional layer of umami flavor, as well as to add dimension to a dish.

It can also be mixed in with warm water or broth to make a flavorful base for soups or sauces, which may require reducing the liquid to prevent the over-salting of your dishes.

4 – Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire sauce is a thick, concentrated condiment with a complex flavor that’s used around the world.

It’s made from a blend of vinegar, salt, tamarind, garlic, onion, and spice extracts – including chili pepper and cloves.

The flavor of Worcestershire sauce is both salty and tangy, with subtle hints of sweetness.

Its texture is smooth yet slightly syrupy.

If you don’t have any light soy sauce on hand and need to substitute it in a recipe, Worcestershire sauce may be an adequate replacement due to its similar composition.

Just remember to use only half the amount that the recipe calls for, as Worcestershire sauce tends to be more powerful than light soy sauce.

5 – Hoisin Sauce

Hoisin sauce is a thick, sweet-salty sauce used for either dipping or flavoring stir-fry dishes.

It’s an essential condiment in Chinese cooking and has a distinct reddish-brown color coming from its main ingredient, fermented soybeans.

When added to a dish, it gives it a tantalizing flavor of sweetness with some warmth, thanks to its chili content.

The texture is glossy and smooth, which makes it perfect for both marinating and as a topping.

It differs from light soy sauce because its thicker consistency has more of an intense flavor suitable for stronger flavored dishes.

You can substitute hoisin sauce with light soy sauce, but you’ll need to reduce the amount you’d use since it’s much richer in taste.

The 5 Best Substitutes for Light Soy Sauce

Need a substitute for light soy sauce in your favorite Asian dish? Look no further! We've compiled a list of five excellent alternatives that will provide the same depth of flavor without compromising on taste.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Substitutes
Servings 1 Serving


  • Tamari Sauce
  • Coconut Aminos
  • Miso Paste
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Hoisin Sauce


  • Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  • Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
Keyword Substitutes for Light Soy Sauce
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5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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