Have you ever cooked with sweet soy sauce and wondered what it is?
Sweet soy sauce is a popular ingredient in Asian cuisine, and it’s made by combining soy sauce with palm sugar or molasses.
While it might sound like a strange combination, the sweetness of the sugar helps to balance out the saltiness of the soy sauce.
Sweet soy sauce is often used as a glaze or marinade for meats, and it can also be used to add flavor to stir-fries and other dishes.
If you’re interested in trying sweet soy sauce, here’s everything you need to know about how to cook with it.
Also, since it can be hard to find, here are five of the best substitutes for sweet soy sauce.
What’s Sweet Soy Sauce?
Sweet soy sauce, also known as kecap manis, is a thick, syrupy condiment that originates from Indonesia.
It is made by simmering soybeans, water, sugar, and salt until it reduces into a thick sauce.
Traditionally, kecap manis was flavored with spices like star anise and cloves, but nowadays, it is often simply seasoned with garlic and shallots.
The result is a rich, sweet-savory sauce that can be used in a variety of ways.
Sweet soy sauce can be used as a dipping sauce, marinade, or stir-fry seasoning.
It is often used in Indonesian and Chinese cooking and can be found in many Asian markets.
If you cannot find sweet soy sauce, you can substitute it with a combination of soy sauce and molasses or brown sugar.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Sweet Soy Sauce
If you’re looking for an alternative to sweet soy sauce, there are several different options that can be used in its place.
Here is a list of five substitutes for sweet soy sauce that can help you achieve the same flavor and texture as the original:
1 – Coconut Aminos
Coconut aminos is a condiment made from coconut sap and sea salt.
It has a similar taste and texture to soy sauce, making it a popular substitute for those who are looking for a soy-free option.
Coconut aminos are slightly sweeter than soy sauce, with a more subtle coconut flavor.
It can be used as a dipping sauce, marinade, or stir-fry seasoning.
When substituting it for soy sauce, you may need to add a little bit more salt to your dish.
Overall, coconut aminos are a delicious and versatile condiment that is perfect for those on a soy-free diet.
2 – Soy sauce and Molasses
Molasses is a type of syrup that is made during the process of refining sugar cane or sugar beets into sugar.
It has a thick, dark brown color and a slightly sweet flavor with hints of caramel.
Soy sauce, on the other hand, is a fermented condiment that is made from soybeans, wheat, and salt.
It has a dark brown color and a salty, umami flavor.
While molasses can be used as a substitute for soy sauce in some recipes, the two products are not interchangeable.
The molasses will add sweetness to the dish while the soy sauce will provide saltiness.
As a result, it is important to use the correct ingredient when following a recipe.
3 – Hoisin Sauce
Hoisin sauce is a thick, dark brown sauce that originates from China.
It is made from a base of soybeans and is sweetened with sugar or molasses.
Hoisin sauce has a strong, pungent flavor that is both sweet and salty.
It is commonly used as a dipping sauce, marinade, or stir-fry sauce.
Texture-wise, hoisin sauce is very thick and sticky.
This makes it ideal for use as a glaze or coating on meats.
It can also be used as a thickener in soups or sauces.
When substituting hoisin sauce for sweet soy sauce, keep in mind that the flavor will be much more intense.
You may want to start with half the amount of hoisin sauce and add more to taste.
4 – Tamari Sauce
Tamari sauce is a type of soy sauce that originates from Japan.
It has a rich, umami flavor and a thick, viscous texture.
Unlike regular soy sauce, tamari is made without wheat, making it gluten-free.
It can be used as a dip for sushi or as a marinade for meats and vegetables.
Tamari sauce can be used as a substitute for sweet soy sauce in many recipes.
It has a similar flavor profile but is slightly less sweet.
Tamari also has a more intense umami flavor, which can help to round out the flavors in a dish.
When substituting tamari for sweet soy sauce, you may need to adjust the amount used to suit your taste.
Start with less tamari and add more if needed.
5 – Tianmian Sauce
Tianmian sauce, also known as sweet bean sauce, is a thick, dark brown paste made from fermented soy beans, wheat flour, and sugar.
It has a sweet and savory taste with a hint of umami, and a slightly sticky texture.
Tianmian sauce is commonly used in Chinese cuisine as a dipping sauce or marinade, and can be used to add flavor to stir-fries, noodle dishes, and soups.
It can also be substituted for sweet soy sauce in many recipes.
To substitute tianmian sauce for sweet soy sauce, simply use an equal amount of tianmian sauce in place of the sweet soy sauce called for in the recipe.
Keep in mind that tianmian sauce is slightly sweeter than sweet soy sauce, so you may need to adjust the other ingredients accordingly.
In conclusion, sweet soy sauce is a versatile condiment that can be used to add flavor to many dishes.
However, if you are looking for an alternative ingredient, there are a variety of options available.
Coconut aminos, soy sauce and molasses, hoisin sauce, tamari sauce, and tianmian sauce are all great substitutes for sweet soy sauce.
You can experiment with these ingredients to find a flavor that suits your tastes.
With a little practice, you can easily create delicious recipes that are free of soy sauce.