Soy sauce can be found in pantries all over the world but there’s no mistaking its Asian origins. If it can reach other continents, then it must be used in other East and Southeast Asian cuisines.
Whether you had a Vietnamese dish for dinner or you were just reading about the Cold War, you’ve found yourself wondering whether soy sauce is used in Vietnamese food. Well, here’s what I found out!
Is Soy Sauce Used In Vietnamese Food?
Soy sauce, known as xì dầu in Vietnamese, is commonly used in Vietnamese food. Soy sauce adds complex flavors to a dish while enhancing the overall taste, making it very popular in Vietnamese cuisine where Chinese-style light soy sauce is the most common kind of soy sauce used.
Are you still curious about the kind of soy sauce used in Vietnamese food, what alternatives there are, and more? Keep reading to find out!
Why Is Soy Sauce Used In Vietnamese Food?
Soy sauce, usually light soy sauce, is used in Vietnamese food because it complements the flavor profile of most Vietnamese dishes.
Soy sauce’s main flavors are salty and umami with a touch of sweetness. These are very common flavors found in Vietnamese food.
Moreover, soy sauce can add excellent texture and color to food, especially dark soy sauce. Vietnamese recipes usually add dark soy sauce for color rather than flavor.
Is Light Soy Sauce Used In Vietnamese Cooking?
Light soy sauce is the type of soy sauce most commonly used in Vietnamese recipes. It is known as xì dầu or Chinese-style light soy sauce.
Is Dark Soy Sauce Used In Vietnamese Cooking?
Dark soy sauce is used in Vietnamese cooking but not as much as light soy sauce. It’s mainly used to add texture and color to dishes.
Is Kikkoman Soy Sauce Used In Vietnamese Cooking?
Kikkoman is almost never used in Vietnamese cooking because it does not complement the flavors of Vietnamese food.
Moreover, Kikkoman is often used in Japanese food as a dip for foods rather than a seasoning. Vietnamese food typically uses other soy sauces like light soy sauce to season their food.
Is Tamari Soy Sauce Used In Vietnamese Cooking?
Tamari soy sauce can be used in Vietnamese cooking but it is not often required in most recipes that need soy sauce.
This gluten-free soy sauce only has soybeans, water, and salt. But it does not taste that much different from regular soy sauce so it may be used in Vietnamese cooking if needed.
Is Low Sodium Soy Sauce Used In Vietnamese Cooking?
Low sodium soy sauce can be used in Vietnamese cooking if you want an alternative with less salt.
Vietnamese cooking does not typically call for the low sodium soy sauce, but it is fine to use in place of regular soy sauce.
Is Gluten-Free Soy Sauce Used In Vietnamese Cooking?
Gluten-free soy sauce may be used in Vietnamese cooking but it is not a requirement.
People may opt to add gluten-free soy sauce to their Vietnamese recipes if they want to and it will not have a big difference in taste.
What Alternatives To Soy Sauce Can I Use In Vietnamese Cooking?
If you do not have any soy sauce available, you can use these substitutes as an alternative in Vietnamese recipes.
Remember that the following cannot perfectly replace soy sauce as they do not have the exact same flavor profile as soy sauce.
1. Fish Sauce
Fish sauce has the same saltiness as soy sauce, making it a decent replacement for soy sauce in Vietnamese dishes.
However, it is important to remember that you cannot add more fish sauce to a recipe that already calls for fish sauce.
Fish sauce is very pungent and salty with a much brinier flavor than soy sauce. Adding too much of it can easily overpower a dish.
2. Worcestershire Sauce
Worcestershire sauce is a fermented sauce that can replace soy sauce in a pinch because it is salty and darkens food.
Keep in mind that Worcestershire sauce has a distinct flavor, so you may need to use less Worcestershire sauce if you are using it to replace soy sauce.
Table salt can work as a soy sauce substitute in certain situations, particularly when a dish just needs a bit of saltiness.
However, salt lacks the complete flavor that soy sauce offers because salt does not have umami.
If you want to learn more about soy sauce, you can see our related posts on whether soy sauce is used in Thai cooking, if soy sauce is Chinese, and soy sauce facts you might not know.
Soy sauce is a common ingredient used in Vietnamese food to enhance flavor and add color. Light soy sauce is the most popular type of soy sauce used in Vietnamese cooking.
You may use alternatives such as Worcestershire sauce if you do not have any soy sauce for a Vietnamese dish but it will not completely replace the flavor that soy sauce offers.