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The 5 Best Substitutes for White Soy Sauce

Have you heard of White soy sauce?

This cannot-be-missed ingredient has been gaining traction in the culinary world and is a must-have in any cooking enthusiast’s kitchen.

What truly sets it apart lies in its unique properties, as it balances out sweetness and saltiness with a velvety umami flavor.

But what exactly is this mysterious sauce, and how can it be used? Besides stir-frying, white soy sauce can also be added to marinades, sauces, soups, vegetables, and salads – livening up each meal.

Unfortunately, there is no one size fits all substitute for this complex seasoning, but here are five alternatives that will help you achieve a similar taste: tamari sauce, coconut aminos, liquid aminos, fish sauce, and Worcestershire sauce.

Let’s take a closer look at each of these alternatives.

What is White Soy Sauce?

White soy sauce is a unique sauce that has been around for centuries, originating from ancient China.

Its full name is shiro-shooyu, and it has rice, barley malt, and sometimes wheat in addition to the traditional soybeans usually used to make soy sauce.

The distinct color of white comes from the lack of roasted wheat used in the creation of the sauce.

White soy sauce has a less intense flavor compared to regular or dark soy sauces, but it still carries with it a salty taste and nutty smell.

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The texture of white soy sauce is clear, thin, and watery – making it perfect for sashimi dishes or light-colored seafood platters.

It can also be used as a dipping sauce or marinade ingredient when cooking fish or pork cutlets.

If you’re particularly adventurous, why not try adding white soy sauce to your tacos for an added kick?

The 5 Best Substitutes for White Soy Sauce

If you find yourself in a pinch and out of white soy sauce, don’t worry.

We’ve got the solution for you.

Here are five substitutes that can replace your beloved white soy sauce to get the same flavor profile, but with just a few tweaks:

1 – Tamari Sauce

Tamari sauce has been around for centuries, but only recently has it been devoured by curious taste buds.

It originated in Japan as a byproduct of miso, which is made from fermented soybean paste.

Truly, tamari is different in flavor and texture from white soy sauce and can easily be substituted for it in recipes.

Unlike regular soy sauce that includes wheat as an ingredient, tamari contains no gluten at all, which makes it a superb alternative for those who are looking for a gluten-free option.

Texture-wise, tamari is thicker than regular soy sauce.

Flavor-wise, it has a nutty profile similar to hoisin sauce with a more intense umami flavor.

So if you’re looking to add some interesting flavor to your recipes without the worry of overusing salt or MSG, try trading out white soy sauce with some tasty tamari.

2 – Liquid Aminos

Liquid aminos is an interesting condiment made from coconut sap and sea salt for flavoring cooked dishes, salads, and dipping sauce.

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Originally derived from Southeast Asia and introduced in the US in 1977 by entrepreneur Eugene Blanza, it is packed with good protein and amino acids without sacrificing flavor.

It has a slightly sweet taste with a burst of savory aftertaste while being low in sodium than regular soy sauce.

Liquid aminos are thicker than soy sauces, so they can also be used as a replacement to sauté vegetables or crispy tofu cubes.

Furthermore, Liquid aminos can be used as a substitute for white soy sauce, making any dish significantly healthier without losing its zestiness.

3 – Coconut Aminos

Coconut aminos have become a popular condiment in many interest-seeking diets.

Unbeknownst to many, the roots of this soy-sauce alternative stem from Southeast Asia, where coconut sap and sea salt are used as flavors in their traditional recipes.

Coconut aminos contain a range of different minerals and vitamins, giving it its own unique nutritional value compared to white soy sauce.

In terms of flavor and texture, amino’s is thinner than white soy sauce with a hint of sweetness that comes from the use of organic coconut blossom nectar – something that definitely sets it apart.

Depending on your diet’s preferences, it can be used as a substitute for regular old white soy sauce while cooking up Asian meals.

4 – Fish Sauce

Fish sauce is a staple in many global cuisines but one that many people are unfamiliar with.

Hailing from Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia, this condiment has been used for centuries.

It is made with fermented fish, salt, and water.

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It has a brackish and pungent aroma with flavors of umami that can be added to provide nuance to dishes.

The flavor of the sauce is intense but not overpowering, so you don’t need much to get the desired salty-savory flavors in a dish.

If you don’t have access to fish sauce, white soy sauce makes an excellent substitute – however, it isn’t as salty as fish sauce, so you should use an additional tablespoon if replacing fully.

Experimenting with this mysterious condiment in your kitchen can open up exciting possibilities and interesting dishes.

5 – Worcestershire Sauce

Anticipate the burst of flavor in every bite with Worcestershire Sauce.

This beloved condiment has been around for nearly two centuries and was originally concocted in 1835 by chemists John Wheeley Lea and William Henry Perrins from the city of Worcester, England.

The sauce is made with a combination of anchovies, garlic, spices, vinegar, and molasses; all blended together to create its tangy taste.

It has a thick, smooth consistency that is both tart and slightly sweet at the same time.

A great substitute when making recipes requiring white soy sauce is Worcestershire Sauce since it carries the same pungent yet delicate notes.

Whether you are having steak or adding a bit of oomph to your Caesar salad dressing, use this magical blend of spices and enjoy the full-flavored experience.


In conclusion, there are various substitutes for white soy sauce to choose from when making Asian-inspired dishes.

From tamari, liquid aminos, and coconut aminos to fish sauce and Worcestershire Sauce, each substitute has its own unique flavor profile that will be sure to tantalize your taste buds.

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Whether you’re looking for a soy-free option or something with a bit of sweetness, there is something out there for everyone.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What can I use instead of Shiro shoyu?

You can use Tamari soy sauce, light or dark soy sauce, miso paste, mushroom-based stock cubes, Worcestershire sauce or fish sauce as alternatives to shiro shoyu.

Make sure to adjust the other ingredients accordingly when using these substitutes as their flavors may be different from Shiro shoyu.

What is the difference between soy sauce and white soy sauce?

Soy sauce is made with fermented soybeans, wheat and salt while white soy sauce or shiro shoyu, as it is known in Japanese cuisine, is made with equal amounts of soybeans and wheat and a lower percentage of salt. White soy sauce also has a lighter color than regular soy sauce and a milder flavor.

Can you get white soy sauce?

Yes, it is possible to get white soy sauce. It is known as shiro shoyu in Japanese cuisine and can be found in most Asian supermarkets. In some cases, it may also be labeled as light or regular soy sauce.

White soy sauce has a milder flavor than regular soy sauce and should not be confused with the clear, light-colored soy sauces that are used in some Chinese dishes.

Yield: 1 Serving

The 5 Best Substitutes for White Soy Sauce

The 5 Best Substitutes for White Soy Sauce
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes


  • Tamari Sauce
  • Liquid Aminos
  • Coconut Aminos
  • Fish Sauce
  • Worcestershire Sauce


  1. Pick your favorite substitute from the list above.
  2. Follow cooking directions for your selected substitute with the proper ratio of ingredients.
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